Just 10 percent of gamers actually finish a game, an industry veteran told CNN in a recent feature, and his colleagues and other figures back him up. "Ninety percent of players who start your game will never see the end of it unless they watch a clip on YouTube," says Keith Fuller.
Raptr, the gaming social network, vouches for that, noting that only 10 percent of those in its service who have played Red Dead Redemption have finished the last mission for one of 2010's most acclaimed games. Raptr's John Lee, with a career that included executive jobs at THQ, Sega and Konami subsidiary Hudson, recalled being told the completion figure was about 20 percent.
CNN goes further into the psychology of completion, games design and the pile of shame, noting that as gamers' average age gets older, they have less time for massive, 40-hour campaigns. And even if they don't have a wife and kids, "The amount of digital distractions now is far greater than it's ever been before," says Konami's Jeremy Airey. "People need time to check their Facebook, send a Twitter, be witty on their blog, play with their phone — oh, and that game you made. If they feel as though the end is far away, they'll simply say, 'I don't have time for that' and stop playing."