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BioShock creator: 'gamers want an experience that lasts more than 10-12 hours'

‘That’s a lot to ask somebody to spend’

BioShock creator Ken Levine has revealed that his upcoming project will feature an open world.

Talking toNPR’sOn Point(viaGameSpot), he confirmed that his latest project will depart from the more traditional, linear storytelling of past games like BioShock, and will instead a more open-world style to encourage multiple playthroughs.

“The AAA, single-player narrative game is starting to disappear. Kind of games like BioShock. There’s fewer of them being made,” said Levine.

“The real reason is they’re very expensive to make and I think gamers are saying pretty loud and clear that if they’re going to spend $40, $50, $60, they want an experience that lasts more than 10-12 hours. That’s a lot to ask somebody to spend.”

Although he offered no hints on what to expect from his new game, he did acknowledge that afterBioShock Infinite, he understands that gamers now expect longer experiences for their cash.

“We started this experiment after we finishedBioShock Infinite,” Levine continued, “which was, ‘How do you make a narrative game feel like the kind of games we’ve made before but make it replayable and make it extend and make it react to the players?’

“[You] make it replayable by giving players different ways to approach the problems and really letting them dictate the experience. That is not a simple problem to solve.”

“And the reason ours is an open world game is because if you want to give the player the agency to drive the experience, that really fights against the linear nature of the games we made before likeBioShockandBioShock Infinite. What it really means though is, ‘How do you make your content so it feels like the quality of the content you’ve made in games before but reacts to the players’ agency and then allows the player to do something in one playthrough and something very different in another playthrough?’”

What do you think? Is there still room in the industry for story-rich, linear games, or should we all demand bigger, more expansive gaming worlds?

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