CNN Report: Only 10 Percent Of Players Finish Games

by Matt Helgeson on Aug 18, 2011 at 10:59 AM

A report just published on CNN.com gives some surprising numbers regarding how many players actually finish games.

In the article, author Blake Snow quotes Activision production contractor Keith Fuller, who says, "What I've been told as a blanket expectation is that 90 percent of players who start your game will never see the end of it unless they watch a clip on YouTube."

John Lee, VP of marketing at Raptr and formerly of Capcom, THQ, and Sega, says that "bounce rates" (players that quit a game before completion) have risen in recent years. "Just 10 years ago, I recall some standard that only 20% of gamers ever finish a game," says Lee.

Lee's company, Raptr, is an online service that tracks players' online play sessions and achievements. According to Raptr's internal data, only 10 percent of people who played Rockstar's epic Red Dead Redemption (shown above) completed the final mission.

While it should be noted that this data is only from players who are a part of Raptr, and should't be considered as such, I can say that the 10-20 percent completion rate gibes with numbers that several people in the game industry have told me over the years.

The article gives several reasons for this trend. One, as the gaming population continues to age (the average age of a gamer today is 37 years old), time becomes a more precious resource to gamers engaged in parenthood, careers, and other activities.

Secondly, the rise of online multiplayer mean that players often spend less time with a game's single-player component. Other factors include other digital distractions like Facebook, smartphones, and Twitter.

While this article isn't the last word on the subject, due to a lack of hard numbers to back up some of the claims, it does seems to strike at a phenomenon that is real – at least in a growing segment of the gaming population.

What do you think? Do you often abandon games before you complete them?

Source: CNN.com