How long should games be?

Early in the history of video games, one thing all games had in common was their length – they were all pretty short. Most games could be beaten in only a few hours. In contrast, games that we play today can exceed 80 hours. But do we always need our games to pass the coveted 40-hour mark? We weren’t having a bad time with them back then, so why fix something that may not have been broken?

Some developers will advertise the fact that their game takes 100 hours to complete, printing it as a bullet right on the back of the box. Remember when Nintendo was talking about Twilight Princess? 70+ hours was their estimated length of gameplay. But is this a good thing? The first Zelda could probably be beaten in a few hours, even without going all speed-runny on it. →  Read the rest