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Avalanche: Games Get Traded In Because They're Too Short

The used games debate continues to rage, but Just Cause developer Avalanche Studios is more interested in why people trade in games.

Studio founder Christofer Sundberg told Edge that if games were longer, they wouldn't be returned to retailers quite as often:

"I'm sure it's been an issue but that's because games have been too short. I mean, when you can play a game through from 8 to 10 hours, I would return the game too, because there's no reason for players to play it again."

Sundberg cited Just Cause 2 as still having "hundreds of thousands of daily players," even though it was launched well over three years ago (March 2010). He added that if the game doesn't offer much in the way of variation, there's no motivation for the player to keep it. He said when he goes into game stores, he usually doesn't find that many used copies of Just Cause titles, which is probably true to some extent.

Okay. But how many copies are you seeing of Bioshock Infinite, Heavy Rain, and the God of War and Uncharted titles? Some of the very best games on earth fall into the 8-10 hour range; in fact, most of them do. And personally, I want to keep my great games, regardless of whether or not I'll play them again. But maybe that's just because I'm a collector.

Tags: avalanche studios, used games, preowned games

6/17/2013 10:50:02 AM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (23 posts)

Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:06:50 AM

Truthfully, Ive seen Uncharted 3 and Bioshock Infinite used at Gamestop the very first week. But I have also seen used copies of GTA. I do agree with him as far as shorter games get done very quickly, so you are more apt to trade them in.

Last edited by wackazoa on 6/17/2013 11:07:08 AM

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:07:52 AM

I have to agree from a personal view and I'm also more likely to play the longer games again.

Fallout 3, Skyrim, Mass Effect Trilogy, Dragon Age 1 and 2, Saints Row 3, GT5, Far Cry 3..

All of these are 40 hour plus games and I just can't put them down. I'm either continuing my play through into 60, 80 100+ hours or where there's a definitive or identifiable end point it won't be long before I start yet another playthrough.

With a short game that's done in 8-10 hours I find I never get so enveloped by the game that I want to go through it again. Off to trade it goes. UNLESS the short games are by there very design encouraging you to play through more than once with some sort of benefit for replay.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:11:36 AM

I kind of agree. I mean most used copies are of games that are short and have little to no replay value. You hardly ever see used copies of RPGs, or even games that take around ten hours to complete, but have much re-playability. (Is that a word?)

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:12:46 AM

Just Cause 2 is much older than that? It must be at least three years old?

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:20:32 AM

It is. Typo on my part.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:21:57 AM

MGS4 is no longer than 15+ hours (depends on the gamer) yet is one of the most memorable games of the generation... it all depends on the gamer. I still have my copy of MGS4 which is signed by Kojima-san himself n_n

Last edited by MRSUCCESS on 6/17/2013 11:23:12 AM

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 9:23:23 PM

Actually. MGS4 is about 5 hours long hahaha.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:23:04 AM

very simple,

Make the game worth keeping.
Yes if it is short it probably isn't worth keeping unless...

a) it has an amazing story
b) replay value
c) multiplayer (again replay value if you're into that)
d) Strong characters that you actually give a sh*t about

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:47:17 AM

Ummm... what the heck is he talking about? I think many people, not necessarily most, trade in games because they only see themselves playing games once, unless they are interested in multiplayer components of games. OR the games were just bad choice purchases like RE5 was for me.

Whether or not the game is 8 hours long or 40 hours long what does it matter towards gameplay. A 40 hour game that sucks beginning to end is not going to be replayed unless your memory is really that bad.

Yes I know they are playing the 40 hour games longer because... the game is 5 times longer than the 8 hours. Makes sense right? I know a few who have played Skyrim once through with one character and have moved on to other games. I have seen plenty of Skyrim on the used game shelf. Same with the Mass Effect games, which I love myself. Out of the 3 games I have only played ME2 3 times.

To some the longer games are one offs and hey have moved on including me. Unless you simply devoted to a particular genre which people who live their lives around WoW or GW... they probably love Skyrim and play it and replay it to death like WoW with diff characters, even though its the same story over... and over. And really thats not bad because some of us do the same with the smaller games. Even the indie games such flower and Journey. Granted you cannot trade those for money... unless you bought the collection disc.

And Just Cause 2? of ALL my friends I know of only 1 that actually bought the game and they played it once through.

<< stepping off soapbox >>

It depends on the the game, the hours spent playing the is relative to the enjoyment one gets from it.

Keep Playing!

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Comic Shaman
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 11:47:43 AM

Is this the same guy who said stories don't matter in games? Yeah, okay.

I'm actually more likely to keep a game around if it's short and awesome. I feel like I would have time to play it again in one of the gaps between new games. Super-long games are a huge commitment, and I generally only have time in my life to go through such things once.

Unless it's something really awesome. I guess the takeaway here is that I keep awesome games and trade in the mediocre ones, length notwithtanding.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:59:25 PM

"Is this the same guy who said stories don't matter in games?"

Yes. So this news doesn't surprise me in the slightest.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 12:01:34 PM

That is one aspect of it I think, I tend not to sell the gigantic games because there's always more to do in them, and the longer I hang onto a game the less likely I am to sell it.

But quality is just as important, when a game wows you then you just want to keep it and take it out on dates and take it to bed at night.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 2:09:50 PM

There are only two reasons for me to keep a game:

1) The game was so epic that I just have to keep it even if I don't see me playing it again, like a souvenir.
2) I enjoy the game and there's still a lot of stuff to do in it.

Everything else I trade in.

Last edited by Beamboom on 6/17/2013 2:13:24 PM

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 3:33:04 PM

I agree with him to a degree. I trade games in because that allows me to get new games for less money. I only keep games if they have something that is keeping me playing like great multiplayer or co op sandbox stuff.

However I don't think that length automatically means you are going to not trade it in. It needs variation of things to do or to test your skills as a gamer for me to want to keep playing it.

I think he needs to remember that long games can be long but repetitive as heck.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 3:33:25 PM

A truly great game that isn't particularly long is worth playing through again. I surely don't play through the majority of the games I've already completed but I never know when the urge will hit me. So I keep them around.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 7:00:21 PM

I loved JC2 and put nearly 100 hours into it. Sadly, the game became pretty stale. I miss it and wish I hadn't traded it in.

There are certain games I feel like I should keep but they just depreciate in value when I could use it to buy another game.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 7:54:49 PM

This means a long Mad Max game. Yessssss.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 9:01:32 PM

I keep games I thought were really good, not depending on whether they were short or long play-throughs.

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Monday, June 17, 2013 @ 9:25:59 PM

I don't trade games at all. Never will.

Have done it in the past, back when EB Games used to have "Trade 2 games for 50% off" deals, but even THAT was a rip.

Generally I find trade in deals to be a complete rip-off, and I cannot stand it when people rip me off.

I just spent $100AUD on a game, then a few months later have EB offer me $10 for that game? Are you serious? You want me to have wasted $90?!

When I was old and wise enough to realise how dodgy the used games market is, I vowed to never again use it, no matter what. Which is why I love EB Games 7 day returns policy haha.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 2:40:51 AM

Uncharted 2 I played through multiple times. Killzone 2, Heavy Rain and MGS4. Traded them in around the 40 hour mark. Put 70 hours in one playthrough of Fallout 3 then traded it in.

Some games I even traded in without even playing them! Interests change.

I am as happy with 4 playthroughs of an amazing action game as 1 playthrough of an open world or RPG. The value is the same to me.

Dollar outlayed per hour played.

Any gamer worth their salt should know after a few years where the best place is to trade games, where to buy used and where to buy new. Not necessarily the same place.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 4:33:27 AM

what does the length of a game have to do with how many times you can replay it?
right so if a games only 8 hours long, your going to replay it less than a game thats twice that length?
if anything it would be the opposite, as you think back and remember how long it took and think nah i dont have that much time, or i cant be stuffed playing it for that long.

though games are not traded in because of their length, there traded in because of their replayability.
if you just stick to the story missions JC2 is one of the shortest games out there!
but id never trade that in simply because of how much fun it is!
f*ck the missions, go hijack a fighter jet, strap a car onto it, and go have some fun!
the replayability is through the roof because you can have endless fun with it, and it NEVER gets boring!
especially if you have it on PC and have access to the thousands of awesome cool mods out there!
one thing next gen systems totally MUST have!

the last of us is probably THE best game released this gen!
but the second im finished with it its going back to the shops.
because once you have experienced the story, what reason do i have to go back?
you already know what happens, you already know the events, hell you even know the AI patterns so the challenge is out the window!
so once im finished, what reason do i have to keep it?

thats why people trade games in, not the length of the game.
if you already have experienced everything the game has to offer, then why keep the game?
ive bought almost every game released this gen, and my cupboard is full of about 5 of them!
5 because thats all the amount of games which are actually worth keeping, and offer so much unadulterated FUN and sh*t to do, i can play them for hours on end and ill NEVER be bored of them!
dont want people to trade your game in?
well then give them a million and one things to do, and most importantly let them off the leash.
FAR too many games this gen are so restrictive they go from being fun to play, to a chore.
cough GTAIV!
cough FC3.
heres a hint ubisoft, whats the point of creating massive jumps and hills for people to drive off when every time your car falls 2cms it instantly explodes?
way to make a game thats SO much fun to drive around in, and make it SO frustrating!

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 9:59:57 AM

Witth all the downloadable content for games this gen, there are more reasons not to trade in your game. And not everyone want to do everything there is to do in these sandbox games.
For me purchasing a game new that only has say 8 hrs gameplay seems too expensive. But that could all depend on the quality of that game. The Last of Us is £39 on PSN which I believe is worth every penny. What I tend to do is buy used copy of games, and when I've finished, I'm straight back to trade it in for another used copy. This way I can afford to play the games I want (as I hate to miss out) It doesn't matter to me whether I finished the game in 8 hrs or not quite finished the 40+ hour game.
Personally I feel these large sandbox games get boring after doing the same type of side quest again. I feel most of its tacked on just to make the game last longer.

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Tuesday, June 18, 2013 @ 12:22:18 PM

I think it's actually more that the games aren't worth finishing or worth replaying, in a lot of cases.

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