How Much is Alan Wake Worth?

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How Much is Alan Wake Worth?

An hour of Alan Wake is worth more than an hour of Borderlands. Except for when it isn't.

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Nice article.

I for one would (and do) happily pay 35-40 for a 6/7/8 hour game (singleplayer only), and I'm a penniless 16-year-old.

It irks me to see people leave comments about games saying "no mutliplayer no buy", as well as a "short" playing time generating a game tonnes of undeserved hate.

DEUS EX AND FALLOUT 3. No? Well it was worth the try. Probably the only 2 games I would ever even remotely consider buying 4 times!

Well, as a person whose main hobby is games (I avoid the term 'hardcore' because it always seems pretty sneering to those who aren't) I would much prefer to pay full price for a long game than full price for a short one. This may change when/if I get a job, but as a penniless student I would prefer it.

Except in Canada the game will cost $70USD even though our dollars are nearly identical right now and after tax that comes to $80USD which then means it costs me $6.66... an hour

but that's not really the point. If I want to do a 16 hour session with a game I want to be able to. Beating a game in a single sitting like that seems like a waste of $80 dollars. I no longer see it as an hourly break down but as "I spent $80 on today's entertainment". That's too much, sorry. I may as well just rent it.

"I've paid full price for game that I never even finished, yet still felt completely satisfied with."

Can anyone ever honestly say that they have finished a game like Obilivion?

B0BX:
"I've paid full price for game that I never even finished, yet still felt completely satisfied with."

Can anyone ever honestly say that they have finished a game like Obilivion?

I have honestly finished Oblivion. I'm pretty sure it took about 300 hours, but I became the top of every guild, and I think I did every sidequest and the main quest.

Interesting fact, since I save so much I had 1.1 gigs of save data.

While I agree that a game that last longer isn't necessarily 'worth' more than a shorter game, I would hesitate to pay €60 for 10 hours worth of gameplay. While shorter games aren't necessarily worse games, I do have a sort of personal minimum that I expect to get out of a game. Whether it's a simple arcade game I'll play through a dozen times or a huge game I'll only play once, there's a certain minimum time I expect to be entertained by it. A bad game that gets unbearably boring 10 hours in is worth about as much as a good game that is 100% finished after 10 hours, in that way. It's not my primary concern when shopping for new games, but certainly one I take into consideration when making my choices.

Besides, if you can finish a game in one (long) session, there's little reason not to just rent it and return it when you're done.

Well I think I can quantify fun. If we use this formula

Total fun= ((how likely are you to die from happiness from 1-10 during certain moments in the game)*(how long these moments last)) /(total game cost -(0.5% total game cost for every hour of total gameplay))

As for what to call the unit of measurement im not sure

i dont even know if that formula even makes sense

My friends and I had this running gag with ourselves that included a copy of The Bouncer (terrible game but it had multiplayer brawling on the PS2). One of us would buy it we would all play it to get all of the characters, cry at the unfairness of the final final boss, play the multiplayer for a while, something new would come out, we would sell The Bouncer, come back a few months later and say, "Hey! Look! Its the Bouncer let's play it!", rinse and repeat. I think this happened at least five times. It was always selling for like $5.

I can't imagine what game's you've bought 4 times. That's excessive.

This is why I rent though. Sometimes I want to play one of those short games but you have to admit it's hard to put down $60 for something you'll be done with in a week.

But you also have to wonder, why would developers pour all this work into building a really great game with cool mechanics and an interesting look only to make it a weekend visit. Sounds like they're gypping themselves.

AC10:
Except in Canada the game will cost $70USD even though our dollars are nearly identical right now and after tax that comes to $80USD which then means it costs me $6.66... an hour

but that's not really the point. If I want to do a 16 hour session with a game I want to be able to. Beating a game in a single sitting like that seems like a waste of $80 dollars. I no longer see it as an hourly break down but as "I spent $80 on today's entertainment". That's too much, sorry. I may as well just rent it.

And in Australia the game will cost $90 USD, so about $7.50 an hour.

I don't mind paying for a game with no replay value, as long as I had fun playing it. The length of the game doesn't even worry me that much. With the odd exception nearly every big name game that comes out gets finished in 2-3 days anyway.

What I do expect, regardless of how much I payed for it or how long it is, is that there are no game breaking bugs.

Hmm, Left 4 dead and borderlands?

Well I guess the best solution for these types of games is making them episodic, but unlike Valves example with Half-Life. You have a well planned out game with DLCs that come out on a timely bases, and unlike some DLCs, you're not getting material that suppose to come mid game like Mass Effect or Fallout.

For example take Heavy Rain, the DLC that comes with the game is some mid-game material, and the question is what's the point of it if we've already beaten the game and in this case solved the murder mystery?

Heavy Rain should have been an on going process like a TV drama, where episodically we'd get tid bits to the murder mystery, hell if it was done like this we could have had the "who shot JR" of video games.

Alan Wake should also take this example, and if the game concludes after the 8 hour mark, the DLCs just won't be interesting. It'll just be like the second half of the second season to Twin Peaks when the murder mystery was solved, and the reason I bring up that TV show from the early 90s is considering how heavily this game is suppose to be inspired by it.

Did the developers learn anything from the mistakes made in Twin Peaks when the ratings dropped and the show was canceled?

GonzoGamer:
I can't imagine what game's you've bought 4 times. That's excessive.

Yeah, hard to argue with that, really. In the one game's case, it makes a certain amount of sense because each version was somewhat different. In the other game's case....I was being at least somewhat loony.

Monopoly and Tetris? I'm guess on different formats if for the 2 if I'm right or wrong.

I was going to guess one of them is Silent Hill 2, both the original and then the special edition one on the Xbox with the extra level, but that still leaves me two short Greatest hits and platinum hits editions maybe? No idea what the other game would be. You'll tell us, right? I'm curious.

I'm getting Alan Wake because it looks like a throw back to "good" horror, not "jump out and shock you" horror. Don't care how short or long it is.

I bought 3 copies of World of Goo (first came out, as a gift with pay-what-you-want sale, Humble Indie Bundle), and I own 3 copies of Deus Ex (original, was gifted the GotY, then steam sale for 2.50). I almost bout a fourth copy of Goo because it was bundled with some other things...

But yeah, great article. The only thing I would add is that it's possible to sell a slightly used copy of Alan Wake and get some money returned, such that it doesn't cost full price in the long run. If Alan Wake isn't worth $60, would Alan Wake be worth ~20-30 dollars?

I will, of course, reveal the two games eventually. But I'd like to hear some other guesses first. :)

I agree...upto the point where this becomes a argument that longer / games with more features should cost more. I live in Ireland, an average game is €50 - 60 new, which is what...$60 - 75...about that. And if we agree to the argument that more costs more (which is the flipside of the "too short" argument, which I don't agree with because in my opinion MW2 was too short, as I was left completely by the multi-player)...and if there is a grading of release cost, whats to bet that what is now the "normal" price becomes the lowest price.

I don't like paying the same for say...Heavy Rain (which was short but very enjoyable) and Fallout 3...but I wouldn't like to pay for Fallout 3 in ratio to its length to Heavy Rain...cuz that's a massive difference. Some games are longer than other. Deal with it!

To be honest I love a good time sink. I tend to really get absorbed in games, so if I'm playing and I finish it in two sittings, I'm going to feel a little cheated, or at least not as fulfilled as I can be. Games like Fallout 3, Half life 2, any Zelda or Mario game, all great lengthy, well paced games. 10 hours is simply too short for me to spend so much money on full price. Then again I'm a dirt poor student, so value for money is something I thrive on.

Edit: oh to guess the games, I'll go with super mario bros (which has been on about a bajillion consoles) and seeing as you said one was updated I'll guess a street fighter game.

My guess is Peggle and Tetris. Tetris has been on every system ever, and Peggle is on PC, iPhone, XBLA, and DS.

I have a few games that I've bought and only played once or twice. I tried to play Oblivion twice, and I just got bored and stopped. Same thing with Gears of War. Also, when I got my PS2, it was a few years after it came out, so I got a stack of like 10 games for around 80 bucks, and I played a few games for a really long time (timesplitters 2) , and a few for almost none (splinter cell). I don't think it matters so much about how much you pay for a specific game, as long as you have fun with the total of your games. Sure, maybe you spend more time with one than another, but it might just be worth playing one for the experience of having played it.

I've actually only ever bought one version of Tetris - the original Gameboy version. You're close with Peggle, as I do have it on PC, DS, and XBLA, but that's only three.

I would love to purchase and play Alan Wake, as it sounds quite entertaining. Sadly, the powers that be decided they did not need my demographic's business when they made it a console exclusive, so barring an eventual PC release, I'll be ignoring it forever.

Either Diablo, Starcraft or warcraft *sigh* I've bought each of those games At least twice each...

Bought Diablo 2, left it in the wrong city. Bought starcraft, lost it. BOught warcraft 3 enjoyed it a ton, then had it stolen. I bought the battlechests for each one :D

Oh and its $100 for a AA game here in NZ :( SO its like 8/9 $'s an hour... Four months after the rest of the world fo course.

I agree with Susan: I paid 3 for Bioshock and felt ripped off by it. I paid 10 for Call of Duty 4 and I'm not entirely sure if that was money well spent.

I paid 5ish for Team Fortress 2 (part of Orange Box) and I've had 300+ hours of enjoyment from it. Now that's value for money.

I'm going to guess Plants vs Zombies or Bejeweled.

I will admit the length of Alan Wake is a little annoying...after all the time put into it I expected more...

Susan Arendt:
I will, of course, reveal the two games eventually. But I'd like to hear some other guesses first. :)

Soul Caliber and Sonic?

All I got to say is: thank God for renting games. If I hear a game's campaign is only a few hours long, I'll go rent it for less than ten bucks. I'm sure I can get through a twelve hour game within a five day rental period. It makes having fun a lot cheaper.

Tell the story well enough, and make the gameplay fun enough and you can revisit a linear single-player game plenty of times thus turning the 12 hours into 120 or even more. Case in point - Max Payne 1 and/or 2 (at least for those of us that enjoyed it as much).

My guess for the two games would be:

1) A SNES-era Final Fantasy game (probably 4 or 6).
SNES, PSX, GBA, NDS... those games have been released a lot of times, both individually and as a part of collections.

2) An indie game (hooray for extreme vagueness!).
Because those are the only games I'd consider spending more money on than necessary.

Firstly, the obligatory guesses: Soul Calibur 2 and umm...I dunno, Mega Man?

Secondly, the article handles a question that I find quite interesting: how does one put different games' values in a scale? I kinda have this problem whenever someone asks me whether or not 'Game X' is worthy to get or not. I find that in most cases, there are simply too many factors defining what one find "fun" to give a simple answer.

An example would be when my older cousin - who so far has only bought some "UFC"-fighting game and NHL 09 for his 360 - asked me if Assassin's Creed 2 was any fun. I'd say that yes, it most certainly is, but he found the intro to be quite uninteresting due to the emphasis on narrative over gameplay. And while it does open up later in the game, it keeps being a quite story-driven game, and I couldn't with unwavering certainty tell him that it would 'get better'. All I could say to him was that it does get more 'free' later, but it'll never get to the point where you would just go crazy and stab people at random while walking down the street, trying to avoid the guards.

Simply put, since I didn't know what he considers 'fun', I couldn't give him a straight-forward answer on whether or not he should get it.
I guess that must be the hardest part in writing a professional review; giving proper advise on a game's value in just a few words.

Susan Arendt:

GonzoGamer:
I can't imagine what game's you've bought 4 times. That's excessive.

Yeah, hard to argue with that, really. In the one game's case, it makes a certain amount of sense because each version was somewhat different. In the other game's case....I was being at least somewhat loony.

Each version is somewhat different, eh? So that's 4 "slightly different" versions of a game.

My guess would be Ocarina of Time, since that was remade a few different times. I'll take a second guess and say Resident Evil 4, which has a Gamecube, Wii, and PS2 versions, all sightly different. Then I'll take a stab in the dark and say Little Big Planet.

Susan Arendt:
I will, of course, reveal the two games eventually. But I'd like to hear some other guesses first. :)

Persona and Animal Crossing ( and special sneaking in at teh last second with edit button guess: Disgaea 1!!!!)

In the spirit of personal disclosure, I've purchased Wizardy 1: 3x, MGS: 3, FFVII: 4x, FF Tactics: 3x, Disgaea 1 3x, Colonization and Pirates: 3x

And if they'd make it, I'd buy both X-Wing and TIE-Fighter (NOT XvT tho), including mission packs, about 5 more times if it would convince GOG or Steam to license and DOSBox it up.

Mass Effect 2 and Tempest?

I always find it odd that people get a bit annoyed at spending 6 bucks on an hour of video game, but have no problem paying 10 (that's how expensive movies are where I live) for movies.

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