On September 16, 2019, the official Dragon Quest Twitter account posted that the first three Dragon Quest games were all coming to the Nintendo Switch at the end of the month. My first reaction was, “That’s so cool! I never had a chance to play the original games!” It was shortly followed by, “Wait, I don’t have time to play those games. Does anyone?”
Keep in mind that these Dragon Quest titles originally released in a time where a “good game” released for consoles/handheld every six months. There was not a weekly release schedule for anything, so we all had the time to sink into these games. The next good game wouldn’t be out for another three to six months, giving people ample opportunity to get everything out of one game before the next appeared on store shelves. In the case of these DQ games, each one can easily rack up well over 100 hours. When you have this much of a stopgap between releases, this time commitment is nothing.
Naturally, there was a double-edged sword to this. Depending upon what games you liked to play, you may have had to wait a year or so before a game that appealed to you released. Nowadays, AAA games release almost every week, not counting the numerous indie titles that always crop up. Every week, there’s a chance of something you’ll enjoy.
We have traded quantity of games for quantity of time.
I don’t know which is better, but I do know my backlog says this current state of the gaming union is not working for me or my time.
It is appalling how many games I still have in wrappers. Part of it is because I keep getting games to review (I know, pity poor little me), but another part of it is that I don’t have enough hours in the day.
I run my own business. I teach yoga. I have two young kids. Fitting in even a couple of hours for video games sounds like a pipe dream. If I attempt to devote my time to a massive JRPG like these, that’s what I’ll be doing for the next few years. In that amount of time, how many other amazeballs games will release that I will have to play right now? This is exactly why I haven’t started The Witcher 3—I’m afraid of the time commitment.
For those of you who are scoffing at me because you’re still young, single, and kid-less, just you wait. The time is coming when you will realize the video game industry does not respect your time.
You too will wake up one day and look around at the unopened games surrounding your dusty console, wondering when you find time to fit this one game into your schedule. Oh wait, but there is this other game releasing next week that I really want to play with my friends. I should get that and then work out when we can get together and play, when there aren’t sports practices or scout meetings. But then what about this first game I really want to play? Can I do both?
And that’s when you’ll collapse in a sobbing heap, because while your love for video games hasn’t diminished at all, your time greatly has. Then, a few months down the road, you’ll do this all over again. Rinse, and repeat.
No respect, I tell you. No respect.