Today I read one of those “ain’t that the truth” articles on Kotaku
by Keza MacDonald. In a nutshell, “keeping up with video games, even just the biggest ones, is becoming impossible for anyone with a job, a family, a social life or indeed other interests and passions. And it’s not just open-world games that have become extremely demanding of our time.”
Of course we can all sneak a match 3 game on the smartphone here and there but we’re talking about the world of the AAA which requires a significant time investment. A straw poll at Amiqus HQ revealed the number one blocker to enjoying a great game is lack of TIME. What with weddings, triathlons, kids and well just LIFE it’s getting increasingly hard to get decent game time in.
This got me thinking, randomly, about cricket. This was a sport who’s spectator numbers had dwindled, not through lack of appetite or love for the game but because you need to take 5 days off work to catch a test match! The response? A new game format, Twenty20 cricket. This reduced the playing time down to a much more manageable 3 hours or so, closer in line with competing sporting options. You can even fit a match in to a weekday evening at a floodlit venue. Crucially it was not the intention that Twenty20 would replace other forms of cricket but would continue alongside it.
Have we hit on something here? Is there a market for a AAA quality mini-quest game? Ok so we don’t have to complete every side-quest and we can rattle through the core gameplay, but having paid for the full experience (and knowing it is there) it feels like a rush rather than a choice.
Is it time we had a AAA experience option but with a ‘2 hour recommended playing time’ on the box having paid £12 instead of £40? What do you think?