…40 hours, Dragon Quest creator Yuji Horii told Kotaku today. Why 40? Why not 30 or 50?
"It just sounds like the right number," Horii said through a translator in an interview with Kotaku at Nintendo's New York office today. "No particular reason."
Horii is the creator of the Dragon Quest role-playing game series, one of Japan's most massive video game success of the past 25 years. His games, including Dragon Quest IX, which launches in America this weekend, is another that will take many hours to complete.
Horii described the story part of Dragon Quest IX as "not that long, in particular". Only for a Japanese role-playing games that runs dozens of hours could that amount of time be considered not that long. Its campaign can last a few dozen hours. Its multiplayer and downloadable content make it last even longer. Horii said this new game has "almost endless" gameplay.
But 40... that's the sweet spot for a role-playing game, he said. "Probably to complete the main story, around 40 hours would be ideal," Horii said, "However, with Dragon Quest VII it took about 100 hours to complete the game. What we focus on is not the time constraint but the amount of content we put in."
Horii knows that we live in a world of shortening games, but he's looking to deliver value and keep kids happy. "When you purchase a game for a few thousand yen [¥3000 = $39] , you want to have the value of the game," Horii said. "For kids you really want to have a game they can play for a long time. For adults, maybe they will play for six hours and if the gameplay is good maybe they'll be happy and want to play longer. But for kids, they might only get a couple of games a year and I would like them to continue to be playing."