During my long car trips a few weeks back, I filled some of my hours in the passenger seat testing mobile games. Ahead of time, I downloaded something like 40 or 50 new-to-me games that looked interesting, then on the ride I just started logging into each one, thumbing around to get a feel for whether I thought it was something I’d like for a minute or two, then logging back out again. I’d say nine out of ten I then immediately deleted, having snap-judged they didn’t make the cut. Call it speed dating for mobile app testing, but I feel like when I know, I know.
For MMORPGs, I don’t do this so much. For starters, the barrier to play is usually much higher, so I wouldn’t download 50 iffy-looking MMOs to begin with. And while my personal threshold for “how long I need to play to give anything like a legitimate review” is much higher, I suspect I probably “know” whether it’s something I will want to keep playing myself after 20 minutes, not one. The difference is I’ll probably try that same MMO again in the future after some iterations just in case my first judgment is wrong (because hey, MMOs usually improve with age!). Mobile games, not so much.
How long must you play an MMO to know for sure it’s not currently for you?