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Video Game Lengths – Why You Shouldn’t Quote Straight Numbers


Writing an effective introduction paragraph is crucial in creating a powerful article. It sets the stage for all subsequent sections while building relationships between reader and writer while conveying your perspective on a particular subject matter.

Larian Studios packed Baldur’s Gate 3 with numerous obstacles that may prove challenging for players to overcome, likely taking much longer than initially anticipated to finish it off.


Quoted figures on game length can be misleading, much like Metacritic ratings can. Games may take less time if extra content is skipped over or you become better at the genre, yet several sites exist dedicated to cataloging video game lengths; HowLongToBeat (HLTB) is one such site dedicated to collecting them; this user-driven platform has four modes that indicate game length: Main Story Only, Main + Extras, Completionist, and All Styles to give an approximate estimation of playtime.

HLTB’s Scale

HowLongToBeat’s scale is an invaluable feature that helps you evaluate its estimates’ accuracy. As more submissions come in for any particular game, its estimated completion time may increase or decrease; this can give an idea of how long it might take you to beat a specific title, although remember that everyone plays differently!

Remember that HowLongToBeat statistics are derived from voluntary entries by players, meaning the data might not always be accurate, especially for older games since many gamers weren’t interested in entering their completion times into a public database. But it still provides valuable resources for planning gaming schedules – at least use it as a rough guide!

As you scroll down the page for a game, you’ll also see other valuable data about its gameplay, such as how many total hours the average player spent playing it and its highest and lowest completion times, as well as its retirement percentage – this indicates how many people started but didn’t complete playing it.

Developers usually have an estimate for how long their game will take to play; however, this estimate can often prove wrong. Techland estimated the length of Dying Light 2 Stay Human as 20 hours, while HowLongToBeat estimates it could take around 80 hours considering all side missions and content in-game.

Other Resources

At its core, citing straight numbers is never useful – even when provided by an authoritative site like HowLongToBeat. Relying on them to attack games or justify purchases would be just as ineffective as using Metacritic scores or reviewing bombing to assess it. Furthermore, numbers like these don’t apply to repeatable competitions like chess or Etch-a-Sketch; hopefully, these sites will expand their coverage accordingly and utilize community reviews instead.