Despite the Skells (mechs) of Xenoblade Chronicles X being so heavily promoted as a key component of the game, fans were in for a surprise when they discovered the first access to Skells in the game doesn’t occur until around 30 hours of gameplay have already been spent. While this upset many gamers, studio head Tetsuya Takahashi tells GameSpot that those 30 hours are a necessary cost of world building, saying that it takes that long to invest players in the game’s setting of Planet Mira.
“World building is something that’s really important to me in creating games, and it’s something that on the player’s side and takes some time. In order for you to feel like you’re almost living in this world, you have to spend some 20 to 30 hours there. If immersion and a deep sense of detail in the world is my goal, then I need to use a design that will allow people to spend that much time in it, because it’s an essential element. When I say it takes perhaps somewhere about 30 hours to feel like you’re actually immersed in a role and living there, what keeps people coming back to these games is that they want to live in roles like this in these games.”
— Tetsuya Takahashi
Do you think Takahashi is right about how long it takes to become invested in a game’s world? Let us know in the comments below.