In a recent interview with the UK’s Official PlayStation Magazine, Hitman: Absolution director, Tore Blystad, revealed that IO Interactive believes only 20% of players will actually finish the game. Apparently, the team behind the latest Agent 47 adventure has been making use of metrics to track player behaviour, and the results are somewhat depressing.
“We are using metrics a lot more now than we did, for good and for bad. The general player will probably never even finish the game,” Blystad admitted, “which is very sad. Or they might only play through it once, but the game is built for the people who want to go back through every single level and get all the stuff out of it. It’s built to last, rather than be a one-off experience.”
Blystad believes that the reason this completion percentage is so low is because “people can’t commit to taking all those hours to finish one product”. He also believes, however, that it’s not just Hitman: Absolution that’s being faced with this statistic, “it’s for any game”.
So then, how does IO Interactive aim to thwart their metrics results? Well, it’s a tough nut to crack, making the 20% completion number higher; I would have thought that good story and great gameplay were good enough to carry gamers through to the end. IO Interactive plans to keep players hooked for longer, and it doesn’t sound like they’re relying on multiplayer to do so. They aim to “incentivise replayability in different ways”.
“In the user tests we have they actually tell us that the replayability factor in itself, it’s the situation or the humour that’s the reason people actually go back through the levels, they want to see more, they want to find these things, which makes us very happy, because it takes a lot of time and effort to get these things in.”
Incentivising replayibility will probably not influence the 80% of gamers to finish the game, and that’s largely thanks to Blystad’s initial reasoning (time constraints). But the good news is that if you’re one of the few who plays through to the end, then there’ll be enough interesting stuff (“humour”?) to encourage you to revisit some levels.