This article is getting a lot of play today. Short version: Very few people finish really long games.
Duh. I've pretty much given up on playing any long game (say, over 20 hours) that I'm not sure is completely awesome. I just quit L.A. Noire a good eight cases from the end, and I feel like I played it for too long.
I mean, a game that takes 40 hours? A whole workweek? In this day and age? Who can do that? People don't leave games unfinished because they're weak or dumb or lazy or bad people. It's because, unless the game is really awesomesauce, playing it for 40 hours just isn't a worthwhile use of one's time.
Which puts me in a weird position, because I write long games. I try to put a lot of work into the endings, even though I know most people won't see them. Maybe this is a warning that I should start doing something else, but I don't know what. I tried to make Avadon: The Black Fortress a shorter game but a higher quality experience. Dunno if I succeeded, but that's the direction I wanted to go.
It's one of the reasons the industry is moving towards shorter, cheaper games. And I'm moving along with the trend, a tiny bit. But I'll be writing longish games as long as there is a market for them. The main strength of my games is the sprawling, epic stories. I can't really do that in a ten hour game. So I'll keep doing basically what I do, even though I hear the distant rumbling of impending doom.