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Submitted by Gekko 1280d ago | news

Assassin’s Creed 3: ‘Making games too long is disastrous’ – Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed 3 creative director Alex Hutchison has revealed to VG247 the true scope of the studio’s upcoming open world title, and warned of the dangers of making games too long. (Alex Hutchinson, Assassin's Creed III, Dev, Industry, PC, PS3, Xbox 360)

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detroitmademe  +   1280d ago
making them too short is also disastrous.long games r great as long as the gameplay is good enough.ocarina of time was a long game,felt like it anyway.
knowyourstuff  +   1280d ago
More variety is usually better if you know how to implement it approprately. This means better design and thought put into extra features needs to be made.
gaffyh  +   1280d ago
You can also look at it another way though, and that is that if only 20% of people who buy your game play the entire thing, that means the majority of people never finished your game. So you wasted time and money developing this game that only one-fifth of people finished. I'm sure that there are some long games that people complete, i.e. Skyrim (Platinum FTW), but from a developer perspective, it's better to make a game that's half as long as what they'd normally make and get 80% of people finishing the game, than the other way around.

If people finish the game, that means they are more likely to buy the next game. How many sequels of a game have you bought where you didn't finish the previous game? With the exception of certain blockbuster titles, you probably can't name many.

Of course, if you can make a game that is long AND good, then great. But that's not usually the case for most games, so it's better to stick with a slightly shorter (obviously not 4 hours) game, with more polish imo.
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AKS  +   1279d ago
Quality seems to be much more important than duration. A great game can be as short as Journey or ICO or as long as Skyrim.

A terrible game, on the other hand, can be any length, and a lengthy bad game is just as lousy as a short bad game.
Reibooi  +   1279d ago
I always kinda like the Batman Arkham City model. The main story isn't mega long but once you beat it you have a metric crap ton you can do with finding all the Riddler trophies, Finishing up side quests, challenge maps and of course new game +.

I think that is the perfect way to do it because the game isn't overly long for those who just want to see the story but for those who want more out of the game there is always something to do.
Yi-Long  +   1280d ago
Making games too short by cutting out content...
.... then selling it later on as DLC, is even more horrible.

Assassin's Creed 2 had that problem.
Seventh_Blood_Reborn  +   1280d ago
Yes, but it had also another problem, a bigger one: after the first 15 hours it gets boring.

It was a very good game, but at the core the mechanics were not manifold enough for a game that lasts so many hours.

I like both short and long games, it all depends from solidity of the gameplay.

PS: I hate this DLC trend too.


"In the end a game needs to find the right length that keeps the player engaged, with out boring them"

I agree, Skyrim is another good example.
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Yi-Long  +   1280d ago
... I bought the GOTY version of AC2, and I never felt it got boring. It was all -just- right, when it came to length and diversity of setting and gameplay. Great game.

I would have felt ripped off if I would have bought the normal edition, and found out some 'fragments' were missing, and only available if you BOUGHT them as DLC.

Sickening DLC-milking by Ubisoft.
Nimblest-Assassin  +   1280d ago
As someone who bought both sequences... they really did not add much to the story or the gameplay... and if they were parts of the game.. it would have hampered the story in my opinion, as sequence 11 ended very well, and the time skip was good... sure their excuse of "oh the animus data is corrupted, we need ten bucks" was a bad decission, but Ac2 had a good length, and if sequence 12 and 13 were included, people would have complained as they both would have felt unecessary, as sequence 12 was all fetch quests, and 13 was all about killing people

Not the best DLC available for sure... and hopefully Ac3 has worth while dlc (im hoping for something along the lines of elder scrolls and borderlands.... or even GTA4 and red dead redemption in terms of their dlc)

The Davinci Dissapearance was pretty good, but it was short

Im cautious about the season pass, as those always squander content with meaningless stuff

ex: Uncharted 3, Max Payne 3,etc
Nimblest-Assassin  +   1280d ago
It really depends on variety, and something that keeps the player engaged.

A good example of a game that lacked variety was Max Payne 3.... its still a very good game, but I couldn't play it for extended periods

Also short games are also disappointing, especially with the 70 dollar price range (force unleashed 2 says hello)

In the end a game needs to find the right length that keeps the player engaged, with out boring them
MostJadedGamer  +   1280d ago
There is no such thing as a game being too long. I been playing games since the Atari days, and there has never been a time where I thought this game is too long.
DaReapa  +   1280d ago
Same here, and agreed. This "too long" mentality is one that developed this gen. Sounds like more of an excuse, and precursor, that AC3 is possibly going to be the shortest of the series.
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yuval152  +   1279d ago
This,The longer the game the more it's worth the money. you can buy a 60$ game that lasts 4 hours or buy a 60$ game that has 20 hours(quality also counts),what will you pick?

Maybe they are just saying it as an excuse to cut the game and release it as DLC.
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lastdual  +   1279d ago
But some games pad out their length with repetitive sidequests, etc.

A game shouldn't be long just for the sake of being long. The game's length should serve the story and gameplay vision of its developers.

Just like a good film or book, the right length is the length that fulfills the creator's vision, not some arbitrary checklist of "how long a game should be".
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aquamala  +   1279d ago
Max Payne 3 is too long, it just goes on and on, I never finished it
showtimefolks  +   1279d ago
i just don't have the time i use to when games could be 40hrs and i can finish them now a days anything over 10hrs is perfect for me. AC series all games are 20-30hrs long but i rather them make it 15hrs but make it an unforgettable experience

instead of having useless side missions how about spending that time making sure the game is balanced and the content that's in the game is absolute blast to play

than there are games like borderlands where i can create the time because the gameplay so so much fun. AC series has had the same boring,dull gameplay for a while now how about spicing things up a but

for all the hate on COD and other FPS well AC series is just like COD same gameplay with different coat of pain but AC3 is changing things up hopefully for better
Ashunderfire86  +   1279d ago
Making a 5 hour game, and rehash multiplayer is disastrous... Cough Cough... Call of Duty... Cough Cough.
TooTall19  +   1279d ago
Terrible example for this topic. People play COD mp or zombies for hundreds of hours.
Irishguy95  +   1279d ago
Length is not a problem imo, the dev needs to make sure it doesn't get repetitive is all
RuleNumber5  +   1280d ago
Agreed, cutting games simply for the sake of cutting them is more damaging. If there is a reason to tell a part of a story then it should be there regardless of length. Besides longer games provide people with a greater sense of getting their money's worth. I know I do. MW3's campaign was a joke and far too short, but then again in that world it's all the same anyway so might as well make it short.
AsheXII  +   1280d ago
Adding fluff just to prolong a game more than it really has to also damages the pacing and story. Balance is extremely important.
prototypeknuckles  +   1280d ago
ill say it again UBISOFT SHUT UP.
RuleNumber5  +   1280d ago
Yeah I mean it is more Alex Hutchinson who is always running his mouth but I agree.
ame22  +   1280d ago
Hmmm...sounds like this could have the shortest story campaign in the franchise.
Primal Rex  +   1280d ago
Yeah we may get our moneys worth how dare we
OmniSlashPT  +   1280d ago
I prefer a short campaign to those that are long only because of unnecessary side quests (like most RPG's and open world games). I find games like Journey and Uncharted, with linear but cohesive and memorable campaigns with better campaigns than games such as Skyrim that only rely on sidequests and freeroam. I'm sick of 'go get this for me to avance on the story' type of missions in every open world game. RDR is the only expection, that was a masterpiece, everything felt as a whole.
#6 (Edited 1280d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(11) | Report | Reply
Moby-Royale  +   1280d ago
You said it yourself, my friend.

"Unnecessary". As in they aren't necessary. Just don't do them dawg.

Ramas  +   1280d ago
true, to long games sucks, i started skyrim explored everything carefuly, talked with every posible person and after 150+ hours got bored and sold the game. Not even completed it.
FinaLXiii  +   1279d ago
150+ hours and didnt enjoyed the game...sounds legit s/
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Ramas  +   1279d ago
at begining i enjoyed it, but the more i played the less joy i was receiving. for example first 20 hours or so joy was 100%. 20-50 hours only 50% fun 50-100 hours 25% and 100-150 hours almost no fun at all thats why sold it without even finishing.
DrJones  +   1279d ago
IWentBrokeForGaming  +   1280d ago
I prefer longer games based on the hefty price tag we pay for them.

It's a shame most people I know want to skip cutscenes/story elements to get to gameplay. This p!sses me off, because the droves of those people are the ones being primarily catored to... thus dumbing down our games!

I want story... I want to know the purpose of what Im doing... and I want the game to mean something when I beat it. Too many games mean s#!t anymore, especially cause most or brainless FPS's...

Games with length, with purpose ARE worth the money... but when devs. want a lazy quick buck knowing damn well they can rape us in DLC later if we want the full expierence... this is where gamers are losing the best expierences' we should be having!
HonestDragon  +   1280d ago
Mass Effect 3 had those options of going bare bones for gamers who just wanted to focus on action and not bother with story. It's a shame really. Gamers complain that they don't get their money's worth, yet when a fully fleshed out game is given they complain it's too long or too boring.

I, too, want story and purpose in my games. Sure, I like Left 4 Dead and Team Fortress 2, but narrative is what I like most. It's just a shame when developers go for the least common denominator to appeal to everyone. The best experiences are those that the player has with their game by learning and interacting with it. Getting engrossed with the details and mythos of a game is what truly benchmarks a successful game.
stormskiier  +   1280d ago
I always thought the half life games were extremely long but were also very fun to play through. And there was even a proper story can you believe that?
spektical  +   1280d ago
it depends on the quality. For example resistance 3 was a phenomenal single player experience, it was gritty, lively and felt like a real "life after world-wide disaster" game. The ending was lacking, but it was one of the greatest 5-6 hours I've ever played.
AusRogo  +   1280d ago
If the story is decent and engaging, then no its not disastrous to have a long game.
user7792788  +   1280d ago
L.a. Noire complete edition is too long.
RickHiggity  +   1280d ago
God forbid you give customers their moneys worth...
-Gespenst-  +   1280d ago
SURELY that depends on the game. What an absurd generalization.
Psychotica  +   1280d ago
What he really means is that we can develop shorter length games at the same price which means they will finish sooner and will want to buy another game..
WeskerChildReborned  +   1280d ago
Long games are awesome as long as they have an interesting story and fun gameplay. Short games i try best to stay away except if the story is really good.
swat_teem  +   1280d ago
long games work if they have lots of unlocks and changes in gameplay
JKelloggs  +   1280d ago
Especially if they're as tedious as an AC game
Drainage  +   1280d ago
well screw AC3 then if its a 60 dollar 8 hour game
kent80082007  +   1280d ago
big difference between 'being long' and 'dragging on and on'
schlanz  +   1280d ago
Thinking back on the really long games that I recently finished.. yep, all pretty awesome especially Xenoblade Chronicles.
vork77  +   1280d ago
Ubisoft need to spend 2 or 3 years making this like Rocksteady did with batman Arkham city they did not rush it
HonestDragon  +   1280d ago
I'd rather prefer my game to be long for $60 as opposed to short for $60. Content also plays a part in whether I think a game deserves to be price marked at 60. Battleship certainly doesn't deserve it, but Skyrim does.

Anyway, I'd rather have the games I'm playing be worth while for my hard earned cash. It's my money and I want to spend it on something worth while. A good, sizable campaign coupled with a good amount of content is what makes long games great. Near as I can tell, Assassin's Creed 3 has lots of content and is so going to be worth full price come October.
iamlegend9999  +   1280d ago
I swear if this means that assassin's creed 3 will be short.
ApolloTheBoss  +   1279d ago
Borderlands 2 says Hi.
#25 (Edited 1279d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
TheDivine  +   1279d ago
Depends on the game and genre. Something like kane and lynch 2 was WAY short but felt great because it was action packed and a fun thrill ride. Something like lost odyssey was 80+ hours and felt just right because its a jrpg with exploration and optional dungeons and bosses. Fallout 3 would suck at 5 hours but mw3 would suck at 40 hrs. You need to make it fit for the content you provide. If a game gets dull before its over then its a problem. Keep us interested and theres no problemo.
bunfighterii  +   1279d ago
Yeah hit the nail on the head- depends on the game and its style.

Fallout 3 and Skyrim for example I just didn't want to end. I'm still on Skyrim at 60+ hours and loving it.
RedHotChiliPepaSpray  +   1279d ago
*well said*
yeahokchief  +   1279d ago
Just have a solid vision of what you want your game to be and make it. Play it, reiterate and refine. Cut out anything that doesn't kick ass.

Don't bend the game for some standard, age bracket, convention and don't let profits or costs obscure the vision.

If people don't finish it then they don't finish it... but the people that DO finish it will love it all the more because it won't be like every other game out on the market that's following the same lame conventions.

Depends on the game, but yeah if the game is really tedious then you need to cut that shit out. Every moment should be awesome and memorable or important for some reason. You should be able to demo any level in the game and have it represent the experience.

It's like this bag of chips here. There's nothing wrong with having a big bag of chips, but I can't stand it when you open up a big bag of chips and its only 50% chips and 50% air. I just want the chips. If they're good then you can't stop at just one, but don't pack it with filler so it seems bigger.

I'm hungry.

Case in point: I have over 300 hours in DARK SOULS. I've probably played it more than all my other games last year combined. It doesn't matter how long a game is. So long as it's always awesome, i'm going to play the shit out of it. On the opposite side of the spectrum you have a game like DEAD ISLAND. I wanted it to be over after clearing the second area. Not a bad game, but every mission felt the same after a while. It never really challenged you in new ways or mixed things up enough. It got stale.
#27 (Edited 1279d ago ) | Agree(2) | Disagree(0) | Report | Reply
tommygunzII  +   1279d ago
Making mediocre games annually can be disastrous too.
yeahokchief  +   1279d ago
lol. exactly.

they run out of good ideas and it's all filler no killer.
Kopite_2020  +   1279d ago
I really don't think Ubisoft should be commenting on something like this after the protracted spin off and DLC laden AC II. Even AC I began to feel tedious after a while.
modesign  +   1279d ago
dont let this moron onto the watchdogs team, he would shrink the game and gut content so its not to "long"
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