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Is the Used Games Market Successful Because of Short Games?

Posted on June 19, 2013 9:00 AM by Rob Williams
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The used game subject is a hot one at the moment, there’s no doubt about that – however, most talk recently has been about the impact that Microsoft’s Xbox One used game scheme makes on consumers. Nintendo last week came out and stated that companies should just make better games, while this week, Avalanche Studio’s Christofer Sundberg claims that the reason people trade in their games is because they lack replayability – unlike his company’s Just Cause series.

For the most part, that’s something I can agree with. While I never trade games in (the downfall of buying every game digitally), there are definitely those few that I’ve played through once and will likely do so never again. If I had the option to sell those titles off and use the cash for a new game, chances are I probably would. Then there are those games that sucked me in so much, I’d never imagine getting rid of them.

When I think back to some of the games I’ve played over the past couple of years that I suspect I won’t play again anytime soon, they do actually have one thing in common: they’re all rather short. On the opposite side of the coin, I’ve sunk nearly a hundred hours into Sleeping Dogs (our review) thanks to the sheer amount of content it has (and things to accomplish), and even though I’ve 100%’d the thing, I still feel regularly compelled to go back and start over.

Sleeping Dogs Year of the Snake 01
Sleeping Dogs

It’s easy for a game like that to suck a lot of your time, though… there’s just a lot to do. There are other select games that don’t offer you a lot of gameplay but are good enough to keep around and replay through again and again. A personal favorite of mine is Mafia II (our review) – I’ve cleared through the game about four or five times, and still have fun whenever I load it up. It’s simply a great game, even if a lot of people wouldn’t be so quick to replay it like I would be.

Of course, let’s not overlook Borderlands. The main quest with the DLCs in either the first or second game will take about 70-80 hours to play through for most gamers, and even after that point, you’re likely to want to replay through the entire game a second time to continue progressing your character.

Borderlands 2
Borderlands 2

Out of the 62 people I have as friends on Steam, a staggering 34 of them own Borderlands 2. Would that be the case if the game was only 10 hours long? I’m willing to bet that no, probably not.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you trade games? If you’re like me and can’t, would you if the ability was possible?


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