Assassin’s Creed 3's creative director, Alex Hutchinson, has suggested that games can suffer from being overly long or perhaps trying to pack in too much content, saying that he felt it was important to strip back some of the mechanics for AC3, but that the game is still "pushing the maximum possible scope".
“The game is huge, both in physical size, play time and in the amount of new gameplay we packed in," he told VG247. "We stripped out a lot of mechanics and systems from previous games but I think we are still pushing the maximum possible scope.”
However, Hutchinson warned against too many diffuse elements, saying that a lack of focus can scupper a good game, and that if you make a game too long, you run the risk of lowering your completion rate - something that he says would be disastrous for a series like Assassin's Creed.
“There is only so much you can juggle in your mind simultaneously, and only so much variety you can add before it starts to feel random and not cohesive," he said.
“Also, we have a very high completion rate on the franchise, and if you make it too long you start to lose that, which would be a disaster for a game like ours where we really value the consistency and continuity of the universe.”
We're rather inclined to agree. A good game is simply as long as it needs to be - be that 2 hours or 40 - and the Assassin's Creed series itself showed that trying to pack too much in to a game (*cough* Revelations *cough*) can result in a patchy affair that lacks cohesion.