Clint Hocking on ‘Replayability’

Clint Hocking writes about my favourite bugbear – the word ‘Replayability’:

Replayability is an oft-debated concept in game development…

But what does ‘replayability’ even mean? The word itself implies an obvious definition: that the game can sustain player interest over the course of multiple playthroughs. Yet in a practical sense, data shows that players rarely finish our biggest games, never mind play them multiple times.

I think the above definition of replayability is an oversimplification of a couple of concepts that deserve closer scrutiny.
Which… is kind of what I was proposing in my polemical ‘Replayability is not a word‘ post from a while back (which, incidentally, still gets a ton of hits). Perhaps a kind of eliminatism is in order – get rid of the word in favour of a multitude of descriptions instead. That’s what I (sort of) advocated in my immersion/attention video also.
Interesting to note though that even Clint still needed to explain the “obvious definition” of replayability – it’s easily still a contested and contestable term.