Assassin’s Creed Valhalla recently got its latest DLC, and ever since, players have been firing up their gaming engines in order to play Dawn of Ragnarök. The most recent expansion of the Viking story takes a deep dive into Norse mythology allowing the player to take on deities and supernatural creatures. The newly released content adds dozens of hours of gameplay to an already long game, giving the players a lot of gameplay value for their money. Together with the main story and with the other three DLCs, Dawn of Ragnarök stretches the duration of AC Valhalla to over 100 hundred hours. This duration can even stretch longer if you are a completionist.
Normally, most video games are not created with the purpose of keeping the player hooked on one title forever. There are always certain exceptions, such as specific role-playing games, specific open-world games, where the gaming developers make an effort to allow the players to stretch the gameplay as much as they want. Even in casino games, the learning experience can take place outside of the gameplay, with, for example, players honing strategies for baccarat by becoming au fair with the baccarat card & hand values. However, just like in every other industry, studios want their audience to keep buying the rest of their products. With that in mind, most of them try to avoid creating titles that will give players reasons to stick with the game longer than they have to. Assassin’s Creed is a gaming franchise that has allowed players to do that since the first instalment of the series, and this is probably one of the reasons why every instalment has ended up being a best seller.
When it comes to AC Valhalla, Ubisoft seems to be taking a very online RPG-oriented approach. The studio may not allow for co-op gaming (not yet anyway), but it does try to update the game with new free-to-play contents, limited-time events such as the Ostara Festival and with releases that adjust certain areas of the gameplay. Together with the paid DLC contents, these additions can keep players entertained for dozens of hours. In a way, it is a little bit like Destiny 2, as players feel the need to come back at least once a week in order to play the limited-time missions or in order to purchase the limited-time gear. This is why, more than half of the AC Valhalla players, have over 200 hours of Valhalla saved in their gaming libraries.
Speaking of gear, Ubisoft is also trying to improve the weapon and armour logistics of Valhalla. The newly introduced armoury system is definitely going to help the players keep things a little bit tidier, as many were having a hard time because of the way the inventory was set up. With the armoury system, you will be able to sort both your new and your old items, to keep what you need for your upcoming missions and to put your favourite sets together.
It is not Always Easy to Create a 100+ hour Game
Trying to create a ninth-generation video game is almost as hard as trying to create a blockbuster movie. The majority of the players do not really care about how much work the studio needs to do in order to release a title, but creating a new game is a several year-long project. This does not apply to every game of course, as many game creators can produce 3D titles with software like YAHAHA Studio relatively quickly, but if one were to try and create Assassin’s Creed or Red Dead Redemption 2, then they would probably need a team of gaming code editors, designers, testers and script writers.