There have been studies on the topic before, and the numbers are clear: in the best of cases, only 50% of players will finish a AAA game's story.
Often this number is much lower, leading to many devs wondering if it's even worth it...
Cristofer Sundberg is the founder of Avalanche studios, the creators of the rather enjoyable Just Cause games. The series is based on large, open worlds, where the player can roam as they like and can gain score and upgrades by exploring.
It may not be a surprise then that Sundberg thinks the 3-5 months of time the team spent on the Storyline missions were somewhat wasted, and he goes further:
"Why should a game have an end? Why bother about story when all data proves that players don't care? 6-12hrs story-driven AAA games makes no sense commercially any more"
He did of course go on to point at some games such as The Last Of Us, which are primarily story driven, and are compelling enough to encourage completion. His final words on the topic however were reinforcements that although he enjoyed stories in games, he doesn't see them being part of future successful games.
It's an interesting point; AAA games are getting shorter anyway due to the substantially increased effort needed to create the levels and graphics. If they storyline isn't encouraging players through the game, that content becomes wasted effort.
Can a AAA game survive without a storyline though? Are today's game mechanics interesting and unique enough to encourage play without the carrot that stories often become (usually due to unlocking new items/content).
So GDers, what do you think? Are story's important in triple A titles, or can they be ignored? Tell us your thoughts!