How Much is Alan Wake Worth?

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It's sad really. In school, I never had to bother studying, so I would only spend money on games that had the potential for hundreds of hours of gameplay. That quickly evolved into a love of games with that quality, like huge RPG's. Now I don't have nearly as much time, and yet I still buy those games and just never get around to finishing them. Ever.

Sniper Team 4:

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 just got back from playing Alan Wake (If I'm supposed to believe the people here I'm guessing I'm halfway through) and if you're interested in knowing before you buy, it's not at all that horror-like to me, to be honest. Sure there's suspense and the game keeps you on your toes but I never really got scared to go on, which has happened to me numerous times with other horror games.
That may have to do with the Normal difficulty setting I'm playing it on right now. Thinking next play through I'll crank it up two notches (Nightmare), that oughta get me tense.

Anyway the story's great, I do recommend you play it, even if it's more thriller than horror.

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

I'm guessing it's an old game that's been re-released several times...

Super Mario 3?
It's been re-released about a million times so it's possible.

Sniper Team 4:
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.

Have you played Penumbra? I just finished it, and it's seriously great. You can get it for whatever you want to pay from the Humble Indie Bundle

Oh and, Plants vs. Zombies is my only guess.

I've bought Crash Team Racing 3 times. First time i played and loved it. Then it got scratched so a couple of years later i got another. Then that got scratched. And now i have it on the PSN!
If i had to guess at another game i'd say Ape Escape.

Someone else said it already and I back them up, games like Alan Wake and Heavy Rain should be episodic content releases. If not, they should have their value reduced. I always felt this way about any medium of entertainment.

CDs that are under 30 minutes, books that are wine list thin and games that don't have at least double digits of gameplay time.

The problem I see with Heavy Rain and Alan Wake also, is that unlike say, Fallour 3 or even Half Life is most of the fun of the first two is in the first play through, unraviling the mystery of the game, the same way you read a book. Now, if its a very good book, you'll probably come back to read it again, but since games are more interactive, it loses its magic in my view.

I'd be more inclined to rent out a game like Alan Wake, or get a loan off a friend. Or wait til it's dramtically reduced in price.

Was one of these games a pokemon...blue, red, yellow and a remake?

I've bought Mirror's Edge 3 times...maybe I'm just sad

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?

Yeah,I've done all the quests and found almost all of the rarest gear (confirmed with TESwiki)

Veldt Falsetto:
Was one of these games a pokemon...blue, red, yellow and a remake?

Pokémon seems like a safe bet; and silver, and gold, and cyan, and magenta...

Good article.

Chrono trigger and one of the final fantasy games I - VI IM guessing since they have been released as many times, mabey super mario borthers

The only game I can think of that I've purchased multiple times is FFIV.. I've had the SNES version, the GBA version, the PSX version and I will probably still buy the DS version at some point.

As to the topic at hand, I find myself in that same boat of seeing full price as a tough sell when it comes to a lot of games now a days. I, however, find the value question even harder because I also play an MMO (currently LOTRO). I only pay $10 a month to play LOTRO, and between all of my characters and all there is to see or do, I still find myself spending at least a couple hours a day online when I have the time to do so. Even if I only play an average of 2 hours per day in a month that's 60 hours of game time for $10. Very very few other games even come close to offering that kind of value, which is only enhanced by the multiplayer aspects. As such, it's extremely rare that I do buy "short" games even if I know I'll enjoy them. I'll either rent them or I'll wait until they go down to a price I'm more comfortable with.

It certainly must be difficult as a designer to create a game and then see it not sell because it's "too short" but the fact is, despite any personal player attached value, that is a known factor. You know if you're releasing a 10 hour game that it will be competing against the "infinitely replayable" or multiplayer enabled games that are going to be on the shelves right next to it. What's the solution? Honestly, I think it's being more realistic about the pricing of your product. It would never be easy to look at your game and put a price tag on it that's less than the other games that share it's shelf space, but if you're going to compete it's something you may have to do.

Answer to 4 buys question

GTA 4 maybe, i got that on ps3 at first when traded it in for 360 version...

There are games like Fable 2 and Far cry 2 which i hated at first then bought for nothing after i had traded them in weirdly enjoyed them more when coming into them with no hype.

So my guess is something like fallout or GTA where it had exclusive downloadable content and you had the wrong version, maybe getting the PC version if you upgraded too.

Pokemon and Mega-Man.

And nice article. But there is also one big thing to factor in, the almighty force of Nostalgia. I'm sure many of us have fond memories about the games of the past generation and beyond. For example, I'm sure many here have played countless hours of Goldeneye 007 for the N64. And people constantly say how games these days aren't as fun. But I played it recently, and to be honest, it kind of sucked. I've seen many people stack the games of today up against games of the past, and most of the time the games of the past win.

Is it because they are inherently better, or because of Nostalgia. Are we no longer able to enjoy games the way we used to?

Just a thought.

And I am aware that there are quite a few games of the past generation and beyond that are actually better than most games today. I have said and will continue to say Timesplitters 2 and Future Perfect are the best FPS games ever. And I am aware that everyone is different and has their own tastes and so on and so forth, but having recently played some of the "classics" everyone seems to praise, I can't help but think Nostalgia factors in a huge deal.

I find it funny that people who are defending a 6 to 10 hour game now, are the exact same people who hated on Heavenly Sword for being 8-10 hour game.

Still, I understand the point that a 6 hours of one game is worth differently to a 6 hours of another game, which is why I don't really like it when reviewers hate on a game solely for its short play time.

Are you talking about Pokemon because they're basically always the same and we have 4 generations with at least 2 versions each, and you feel the absolute need to catch them all so you always pick up both versions =p ?

O god I need to go to sleep I just reread it and you said 2 games 4 times each, not 4 games 2 times each, good god i'm dyslexic.

I'm guessing one of the two games is a Blizzard game. The kind you want to play later for the sake of nostalgia but you lost the original disc, so you buy it again. To be more specific, I'm guessing Starcraft and Warcraft 2 or 3.

The other.. I wouldn't know.

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

Final Fantasy (NES, PS1, GBA (or PSP), iPhone) and maybe... Orange Box, for you and 3 of your friends. :)

Personally, I've bought more copies of System Shock 2 than anything... I give them away to people that need "real game" education. Like I buy people the DVD set of Firefly when they need to watch "real TV".

- Tir

World of Goo...with all these packs always having it bundled in. The other one...I really don't know =X

You can't assume the amount expendable money of a consumer when reviewing. In the end you can only talk about the quality of the game itself and let people decide if its worth it.

I doubt a game would have much value for a starving person.

Replayability is relative. People buy books and reread them over and over again even though they don't change. If I buy $60 worth of books, I don't expect them to last X hours of reading. Why should I think that about games?

Curiously, I don't buy movies because even though they're much cheaper I don't think they're worth it, as I rarely rewatch movies. I own zero movie DVDs.

Then again, I planned on buying Alan Wake only if my rental didn't have it, which they do. Sorry, they're not getting any money from me, at least directly.

5 dollars an hour is still cheaper then going to a movie theater (where you can also get narrative-driven entertainment).
I'd still rather go to the theater then play alan wake, just because they have these double seats which are fun with your significant other ^^

Woodsey:
Nice article.

I for one would (and do) happily pay Ł35-Ł40 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.

You are over paying then, and I'm assuming it's not your money you are spending?
Becuase I refuse to buy single player games that are not RPGs.
It's pointless. Why spend 60 dollars on a game I will play once or twice with no replay value? I can just rent it for 6 bucks.

I play a little game called mount and blade. I have over 200 hours into it. Guess how much i spent? 9 dollars. And it's a much more innovative and fun game than Alan Wake.

I paid 40 dollars for ArmA 2.
And have over 500 hours on it.

So tell me why should I pay more for less?

I think it is entirely worth it. First of all, it's rare that story-lovin' gamers like myself get a game like Alan Wake. They come out every so often whenever the stars align and someone sacrifices a goat.. etc. (It's a long and complicated process). So it's nice to be able to have Alan Wake.

The 'other' gamers, who think it's not worth it, can shove it, quite frankly. You people have had so many games released to you in the past 5 years, games with multiplayer, games that never end, games with insane replay value, and games that I don't always consider worth it. You've had so much, that you can sit back just this one time, and say.. "Not really my cup of tea, but I fully respect that some people enjoy this good game, even at full price." instead of whining.

I bought multiple copies of Morrowind(XBox original, platinum hits, GOTY, PC) and Zelda:Link to the Past(SNES, GBA, VC). Perhaps you did the same?

I'd say there was a point at a recent Obsidian panel held at PAX East where they brought up Valve's tracking of Half Life 2 and how half of the people who got the game never even reached the ending. And for a game that's used as a sort of benchmark test of a good game really...as they put it very well: "This graph makes developers sad."

So with that knowledge of how jaded or easily distracted the general public is, why bother making a long game? In fact...would spending 60$ on a short game not be worth MORE than spending the same amount on a long game? After all...you'd probably finish the short game 100% of the way for sure, whilst you'd likely not make it to the end of the long one? Wouldn't that mean that you would, in fact, make the most of the 60$ of short gameplay than of the 60$ of the long gameplay?

Really, in the end it's down to how you play games and what you expect from them. If you're a hardcore gamer, that wants to see a game through to the end, then of course that price for Alan Wake is outrageous. But if you happen to be an easily distracted gamer, you might consider it money well spent! After all...the long game didn't get to the ending fast enough and made you waste your cash, while the short game was brief enough that you could get the gist of it for your full price!

It's just that part of being human really. Another little divide between casual and hardcore gamers I guess. In the end people have to make up their own choice based on what they know of their gaming habits rather than trusting graphs or numbers.

Firstly, I've got a friend who's doing quite well for himself, in terms of his income, but he's married with a young child, and leaves the house at around 7am, getting home at around 7pm. He just doesn't get much free 'gaming' time, despite still being in love with games.

For him, and I imagine many people, it's not so much about what it's worth in 'dollar per hour' stakes, but how enjoyable they'll be per hour, and he really can't afford to buy a game that will take 100 hours to complete, as he'll never see the end.

For me, I'd sum up my argument with one word. Portal.

Long version - Would Portal really have been better if they'd padded it out another 30 or similar levels of grind just to increase the play time? I think not, personally.

(and don't forget folks, Portal is free on Steam, hurry up and get it, even 3 hours gameplay for zero money is infinity fun per dollar, beat that!)

Interesting read. I find the questions asked very deep and actually meaningful. I will give it some thought.

Could be FFI and FFII they've been raped thoroughly enough but I don't think anyone would by them four times maybe after 2 they would stop and say thats enough. FFVII is likely, 1 or 2 copies to keep shrinkwrapped on the shelf, another copy to play psx style and one more psn style.

You said one of them in a column once...what was it? Soul Caliber? And I'm gonna hazard Super Mario Bros, in any of it's various 2D(or 2.5D) variations. And it's hard to say how I value my entertainment. Games like Dragon Age and Paper Mario were worth full price, because of near-unlimited replayability for me. Super Mario Galaxy was worth it for the 10 hours or so I played it. There's things off of Steam that were cheaper than my $6 slippers, that had I known I would have paid full price. There's other games I immediately returned for about 90% retail, and regretted those last few bills. Rather why I picked up a Gamefly membership--I know what I'm buying now.

And so the real problem I have with newer games comes to light.

Sometimes, I don't care of the game doesn't have multiplayer. A lot of the time, I am not playing games so I can fight with other people. I am playing them for personal enjoyment, and I don't get it from multiplayer.

I want a good game. And that is one hell of a sliding scale. But also pointed out, its my money, damn it, and I'll spend it how I think is best.

And if multiplayer is the biggest draw on your game, don't expect me to want it, cause I own Left 4 Dead, and that is ONLY a multiplayer game.

Nice article. I usually buy the games I want (and I do want to get Alan Wake) when prices goes down, so I suppose that, for me, the game's value actually goes up.

I'm going to guess one of the Pokemon games (how many times has the first one been re-made, what with the Yellow version and the Fire Red and Leaf Green ones?), and... Maybe Silent Hill 2 for the other, since there are different versions.

I'm really intereted to know what the two games were. Not to judge or anything but just to know so i can think "ohhh i was so close" if i was, or "wooooow never would have guessed" if i'm wrong.

My guess: A Pokemon game and >< grr i want to say the second game is some arcade game you have across alot of platforms.

Please post what they are soon :)

Excellent article, I feel like you capture a lot of my feelings as to the worth of a game. My personal decision on purchasing a game is based on how much disposable cash I have for spending on things, whether there is something I want more than that particular game, how much my personal value for dollar I will get from the game (factor of enjoyment per hour played, cost per hour, prestige of playing game and who I can talk to about having played the game) and other factors that can't be quantified.

I will guess the Puzzle Quest games (because they are on several systems, and well, it's great fun) and umm...Settlers of Catan because it's both an awesome board game with many expansions, and has been ported to the PC, XBox Live AND the DS.

Well, I'd rather buy a game for $60 if it were 50 hours than if it were 12 hours. That being said, if a game is 12 hours long, there is a better chance that I'll replay it than said game that is 50 hours long, especially if I really like it.

It's for that reason I'm probably getting Alan Wake.

SenseOfTumour:
(and don't forget folks, Portal is free on Steam, hurry up and get it, even 3 hours gameplay for zero money is infinity fun per dollar, beat that!)

Actually, you'll be dividing by zero and cause the implosion of the universe.

Thanks a lot...

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