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Assassin’s Creed 3: ‘Making games too long is disastrous’ – Ubisoft

Friday, 3 August 2012 12:55 GMT By Dave Cook

Assassin’s Creed 3 creative director Alex Hutchison has revealed to VG247 the true scope of the studio’s upcoming open world title, and warned of the dangers of making games too long.

Hutchinson explained, “The game is huge, both in physical size, play time and in the amount of new gameplay we packed in. We stripped out a lot of mechanics and systems from previous games but I think we are still pushing the maximum possible scope.”

But there is always a danger that too much content will stop many players reaching the end Hutchison warns, “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.”

“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.”

Hutchison also explained that the game world of Assassin’s Creed 3 is 1.5 times the size of Rome in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood.

Stay tuned for our full Assassin’s Creed 3 interview next week.

Assassin’s Creed 3 hits Europe October 31 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.

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28 Comments

  1. Hcw87

    There’s no such thing as ”too long”. If the game’s good, people will finish it even if it’s 40 hours. If people want to rush through everything and get annoyed if it takes too long, maybe they should consider another hobby.

    #1 3 years ago
  2. Moonwalker1982

    I’d say the exact opposite. Especially when you look at certain genres these days. Why must almost every shooter be only 4 to 5 hours? I apreciate it when there are still shooters out there that reach the 10 hour mark or more. I hope Halo 4 is gonna be that and Far Cry 3. I definitely expect Far Cry 3 to reach that mark.

    #2 3 years ago
  3. friendlydave

    I think the longer the game the more varied the content has to be (or hold up an interesting story) for it too be good. This automatically isolates some genres, e.g shooters where instead its more concentrated on re-playability than length of game.

    Assassin creed to me has always been dulled down by the time I reach the end of the game, this is probably ‘cos I enjoy just roaming about and spending way to much time not “accomplishing anything” story related.

    #3 3 years ago
  4. varsas

    I hope more developers think about the issue of length. Games in the past did not generally last as long as they do today and if games are all long then how can a gamer with a life reasonably play more than a handful of games in a year?

    #4 3 years ago
  5. friendlydave

    @4 “if games are all long then how can a gamer with a life reasonably play more than a handful of games in a year?”

    But who says they need to play more than a handful a year? I mean if your enjoying the game your playing why would you stop and buy another just because it was released? (multiplayer games exempt)

    #5 3 years ago
  6. majicship

    I am noticing a trend in the games I am playing where I am often wishing they would just hurry up and end rather than dragging out yet another repetitive scene. I thought that AC Revelations was a good example of this. Max Payne 3 went on probably one or two chapters too long for me too. I see nothing wrong with a punchy 6-7 hour campaign provided it keeps up its pacing.

    #6 3 years ago
  7. Gadzooks!

    I agree with the article. It is possible for games to outstay their welcome, and in general I would think gamers would be less inclined to buy a sequel to a game they didnt finish.

    It’s difficult though, because we all get differing amounts of gameplay longevity. I know people who were thoroughly satisfied with a 20 hour Skyrim playthrough, whereas I am at 100 hours and still not bored with it.

    Batman:AC has too much content for my liking, as I do like 100%-ing games. Still a fantastic game mind you, but Batman:AA was a better size for me.

    #7 3 years ago
  8. Gheritt White

    Case in point: Castlevania: Lords of Shadow. Truly *amazing* game – better than God of War IMHO – but did it really need to be 25 hours long? I for one would have welcomed a ‘radio edit’ version.

    #8 3 years ago
  9. varsas

    @5 There’s no need to play any games at all but as a gamer does one not want to play all the good games released in the year if they are the types that one likes?

    Last year I played Marvel vs Capcom 3 and Uncharted 3 at the time while catching up on a backlog and only caught up with 2011 releases Deux Ex, Mass Effect 2 and Portal 2 a few months ago; I have Back to the Future, ICO HD, LA Noire, Outland, Skyward Sword and Trine 2 to complete, Dark Souls and Yakuza 4 on the shelf and I haven’t even tried Arkham City yet.

    #9 3 years ago
  10. AHA-Lambda

    @8 – This. I liked LoS alot but it definitely was too long and outstayed its welcome. On the flipside Portal 1 was really short but it made it pitch perfect in terms of its pacing.

    #10 3 years ago
  11. Takeshi

    @7: I disagree with your point on the Arkham games. Then again I am a huge fan of those games. Both are respectively GOTY for me. I personally did a few side quests and went for the main story. Then waited a few days and went back to complete some side quests. And have been clamouring for more content until HQR got out. Playing that game was like freakin’ christmas for me. Literally waiting for it since it got announced does that to you, I guess.

    For Assassin’s Creed it’s more that it’s the same. You go to a town, and kill a bunch of people, and that pattern pretty much repeats itself. I mean, it’s just a bunch of filler trown in way too easy. There’s far too little plot twists or interesting developments.

    For the first time I am actually looking forward to an AC game so I hope we get less repetitiveness. Should say, the AC game I played was ACII so I don’t know if Brotherhood and Revelations improves that aspect. Only played an hour of each through the PSN game trials.

    I mean, I love the action/adventure genre (Uncharted, Batman: Arkham, Alan Wake and Mass Effect), but AC is just way too dull for me.

    #11 3 years ago
  12. xxJPRACERxx

    It has been said before, but I prefer a short game full of awesome than a long game full of boring.

    But the minimum should be at least 6 hours.

    #12 3 years ago
  13. ManuOtaku

    I think there is two things involve in this, first the high costs of creating a vidogame are influencing this type of thinking, thats why we are getting shorter singleplayer campaings on all fronts in FPS, adventure, platform,third person shooter,etc, of course there are games like skyrim,Batman AC,assasins creed etc, that last the 10+ hour mark, but those are the exception rather than the rule.

    Second the current trend of games being more like movies, therefore they are aiming for a very cinematic feel which may lead to higher costs, photorealistic graphics, but with a 6 or less hour campaings, so to resume things up, i really do hope the decision for getting shorter games is based on purely a desing aspect, and not the reasons i stated above.

    #13 3 years ago
  14. DSB

    I think that’s an encouraging statement. Assassins Creed II should’ve been at least 10 hours shorter for my liking. The last 10 were just filler content, going through the same motions. It didn’t have nearly enough variety to really warrant that.

    I think Batman: AC got it exactly right. I spent something like 10 hours on it, left out some of the sidequests, but there was never a dull moment for me.

    #14 3 years ago
  15. Maximum Payne

    Only thingI didn’t like Arkham City was too many riddler’s puzzle.

    #15 3 years ago
  16. TMRNetShark

    Depends on the game… for an action adventure game like AC… around 20-30 hours TOTAL (main + side quests) is a nice sweet spot. The man is right about not making a game TOO long or else it gets disconnected (unless the story supports the long winded game length).

    ALTHOUGH, RPGs should minimum be 30 hours main campaign and 100+ in side quests. Never take away length from RPGs!

    #16 3 years ago
  17. OlderGamer

    I think it depends totaly on the game in question. If the game is linear and tightly structured I don’t want it to be too long. And that is often the case for SP games.

    But when you look at the investment of todays games vs the economy we live it, I don’t want to drop 60usd(plus DLC) on a 4 or 6 hour game. But that is why I don’t often pick up sp story driven games. There isn’t as much value in those games. I ussualy pick those games up on sales.

    I have games where I have reached 500plus hours. And I have games where I have played 3 hours. For me it just comes down to the price of the game. I have a lot of indie games where I spent less then 3usd and only played for a couple of hours. It just comes down to investment vs reward. But that ratio is going to change for everyone.

    #17 3 years ago
  18. DSB

    I’d rather get out of videogames than start buying them based on how long they last.

    Either the content is worth it or it isn’t. I’m not going to go bitching that it didn’t “take long enough”.

    You can’t exactly complain about the general quality of games while demanding they be a set length. That just makes you part of the problem.

    #18 3 years ago
  19. TheBlackHole

    Although I agree many games are too short (CoD), the fact is that most games have a completion rate of less than 20%, and that is a monumental waste of development time when you look at it.

    #19 3 years ago
  20. ManuOtaku

    #19 Well i dont know to which point the lenght of the game has some incidence in the completion rate of the games, i think an important factor as well as the lenght, is the big amount of AAA tittles we are getting nowadays, almost every month we are getting 4+ AAA tittles, and if someone adds the XBLA/PSN/Wiiware games too, i think is even more, therefore if an avid gamer wants to expirience all those games, it will have to let incomplete some of them, therefore i think this has some incidence as well, alongside the lenght of the game IMHO.

    #20 3 years ago
  21. TheBlackHole

    @20 an interesting point – certainly it must be some of the reason completion remains low.

    #21 3 years ago
  22. Aimless

    So, did he actually say the words in the headline? Because from the quotations in the article Mr. Hutchinson seems to very specifically be talking about ACIII, not making a general statement.

    #22 3 years ago
  23. DSB

    Nobody mention Ben Kuchera!

    #23 3 years ago
  24. mobiugearskin

    I prefer games to be shorter these days. Working 40 hours a week, I tend to cherish the weekends and spare time a little more. I’ll play a big game but it will take me a while to finish it.

    These big, open world games are bit of a mixed bag for me. I absolutely love the AC franchise and I’ve “completed” the main stories on each. But I tend to just ignore the side content and stick to the quest. Did the same with Batman: Arkham City.

    Pumped for AC III though. Looks brilliant.

    #24 3 years ago
  25. YoungZer0

    @14: Have you played Brotherhood? I’d say the whole game was just filler content.

    #25 3 years ago
  26. Turbobutts

    Consider this, Mr. Hutchison. It doesn’t depend on how long a game is, it depends on how good a game is. Of course if a game is a miserable piece of crap, people just want to get over with it and move on to another one.

    #26 3 years ago
  27. Kunami

    He is totally right! For a series like Assassin’s Creed you can easily make it too long.

    However I found the series started to feel stretched out and monotonousness after playing AC:2 and brotherhood. You don’t have to worry about people not finishing revelations because after brotherhood a fraction of the people are going to buy that game. AC2 was “buy” worthy while revelation and brotherhood are essentially bad DLC with not enough innovative content or storyline.

    The entire 3 games combined felt like one overpriced and overly long game.

    #27 3 years ago
  28. Fin

    There certainly is a sweet spot for games – someone mentioned Max Payne, I thought the campaign about the right length. I think about 30 hours for all achievements sounds good.
    On the flipside, there’s FF13, which I’ve put nearly 40 hours in and am still only 2/3rds of the way through. I JUST WANT TO FINISH THE FUCKING GAME.

    I remember a Redeye article from an old issue of Edge – he compared games to literature, why long books aren’t necessarily perceived to be better than short books, but yet the opposite is true for video games. I think it’s changed since the article was written (mid-2000s), but can you imagine the nerd rage if the next FF was 15 hours long?

    #28 3 years ago

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    Microsoft has confirmed the departure of Phil Harrison, its corporate VP of Xbox in Europe. According to a statement, Harrison left to pursue interests outside of the company, Xbox boss Phil Spencer told GI.biz. “Following a successful tenure as Corporate Vice President in Xbox in Europe, Phil Harrison has chosen to pursue business interests outside […]

  • Battlefield Hardline Rent-a-Server option coming to both last and current-gen consoles

    Battlefield Hardline players will be able to take part in the Rent-a-Server program, similar to the one in Battlefield 4, when the first patch for the shooter is released. Rental servers will come to both last and current-gen consoles, and CPU issues will be addressed in the patch as well, which PC players will be […]

  • Chip’s Challenge and unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2 arrive on Steam next month

    Chip’s Challenge, the 1989 top-down tile-based puzzler created by Chuck Sommerville, is heading to Steam along with the unreleased sequel Chip’s Challenge 2. After the release of the first game, Sommerville spent two years developing the sequel, only to find the trademark had been sold. The trademark’s new owners wanted him to fund the publishing, […]

  • Pillars of Eternity patch betas hitting Steam, update 1.05 to drop in May

    Patch 1.04 for Pillars of Eternity dropped yesterday, and according to Obsidian Entertainment, players can expect the next round of fixes to arrive in May. According to a post on the Kickstarter page, patch 1.04 contained quite a bit of fixes, and going forward, the team plans to continue squishing bugs, adding additional polish and […]

  • Goat Simulator comes to Xbox platforms

    Goat Simulator continues its plan to dominate all platforms under the sun by releasing on Xbox consoles. Goat Simulator has been released on Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The store page for the Xbox One version is now live, but the 360 one is lagging behind. Don’t know what this game is or what it’s […]

  • Alienation: first co-op footage revealed

    We have our first look at gameplay footage from Housemarque’s Alienation. Housemarque has finally given us a look at their upcoming shooter project, Alienation. The twin-stick shooter will feature co-op and the new video shows it in action. It’s a short one but still manages to demo several environments. The game was shown off at […]

  • ReShade SweetFX supports GTA 5, user-made presets begin popping up

    GTA 5 modders started making presets for ReShade SweetFX as soon as they realised the tool supports it. To the modding community’s delightful surprise, shader-altering tool ReShade SweetFX was discovered to support GTA 5. What this means is that anyone can download the tool, mess around with the post-processing options, and inject them into GTA […]

  • Project Cars goes gold, full track list revealed

    Project Cars has finally gone gold. Project Cars developer Slightly Mad has announced that the racer has reached gold master milestone. “We know the wait for the game to be released was worth it, as we’re confident the quality and realism level we have achieved will provide our fans with the game they are all […]

  • Dragon Quest Heroes has a stupid subtitle in the West

    The Western release of Dragon Quest Heroes has been given the most absurd subtitle. Square Enix announced a while back that Dragon Quest Heroes will come to North America and Europe this year. Unlike in Japan, it will launch only on PlayStation 4. Earlier today, the Japanese publisher revealed what the game’s logo will look […]

  • Minecraft vulnerability allows users to crash servers remotely [UPDATE]

    A security flaw discovered in Minecraft’s code that could give perpetrators the ability to crash servers remotely has been fixed via a patch by Mojang. Update: Mojang has released an update to Minecraft patch 1.8, listed as version 1.8.4, and it is available now. It fixes reported security issues, in addition to some other minor […]

  • Official Bloodborne merchandise now available, including a limited edition statue

    The PlayStation gear store has added a new section dedicated to Bloodborne merchandise. The first set of items is as good as you’d expect. If you’re a fan of Bloodborne and want to make sure everyone around you knows it, you’ll be happy to know that Sony has added a few pieces of Bloodborne-branded gear […]

  • Destiny Xur update: should you buy The Last Word?

    Xur is selling one of Destiny’s top hand cannons today: The Last Word. Is it worth grinding the coins for? The answer is a resounding YES. The Last Word is one of Destiny’s best Exotics, and one of the best Hand Cannons in the game. Our Destiny expert Alex notes that it’s one of the […]

  • Destiny: Xur location and inventory for April 17, 18 – The Last Word edition

    What did our good buddy Xur bring for us this week? Xur: Agent of the Nine, Destiny’s weekend vendor is back with more Exotic offers. Xur is your guy if you’re after Exotic weapons or armour, provided you have the Strange Coins for them. Head over to the lounge in the Tower Hangar, you’ll find […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt discounted for Gold members, pre-load now live

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt files are now live on the Xbox Store. Xbox One owners with The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt pre-orders can start downloading the full game to be ready for launch. The file size was confirmed earlier to be just over 25GB. Those who have yet to pre-order can do so at […]

  • GTA 5 files accessed by modders, reveal horses, zombies, more

    Modders have managed to pry GTA 5′s file lock open and expose many of its interesting innards. GTA community modders have gained access to several of GTA 5′s archives on PC. These files were previously believed to be inaccessible. Popular modding tool OpenIV, which was used in editing files in GTA 4 (hence the name), […]

  • Bethesda’s E3 invite features Dishonored, Doom, Wolfenstein… but no Fallout

    Bethesda is going first at E3 this year with a showcase of games on Sunday night. What clues can we see in the press invite? Skyrim publisher Bethesda has sent out confirmation of its E3 showcase, taking place Sunday June 14. The invite includes a number of Bethesda game characters including Wolfenstein’s BJ Blazcowicz, a […]

  • Here’s Crytek’s VR demo, because dinosaurs

    Dinosaurs! This is precisely what virtual reality is for. VR demos are all over the place and CryEngine developer Crytek has produced one of its own, showing off how the engine is flexible enough t- Look, let me level with you: I don’t care. I only care about dinosaurs. Hush now and watch the dinosaurs. […]

  • StreetPass update adds birthday collecting, VIP Miis and more

    StreetPass collecters should take advantage of an optional update. It’s International StreetPass Week, so now’s the time to break out the 3DS and go hunting. Don’t leave your home network without first checking out a new optional update, though. Kotaku reports the update prompt is available from the leftmost icon in your StreetPass Mii Plaza. […]

  • Massive Uplay sale offers cheap games in time for the weekend

    PC gamers can grab a sweet saving or two in Uplay’s Spring Sale. Assassin’s Creed: Unity, Far Cry 4, South Park: The Stick of Truth, Dragon Age: Inquisition and Alien: Isolation are all on sale as part of Uplay’s Spring Sale, among many other titles. The sale offers discounts of up to 85% off digital […]

  • Fix for GTA 5 PC Windows install bug releasing today

    Rockstar is set to release a patch today that will fix a bug preventing players from installing the game. The bug is tied to Windows usernames that use certain characters not supported by Rockstar. There’s already a workaround available on the Rockstar Support site, but those waiting for an official update will be able to […]

  • Prey 2 dev’s new mobile horror Lost Within out now on iOS and Fire

    Remember Lost Within, that mobile survival horror erstwhile Prey 2 developer Human Head Studios was making with Amazon Game Studios? It’s now available on iOS and for Amazon’s Fire devices, through the appropriate App Stores. There’s a little bit of extra info on it on the AGS blog, if you’re keen; unfortunately the blog doesn’t […]

  • Let’s take a look at Blood Bowl 2′s Chaos faction

    Blood Bowl 2: The Chaos Theory is only the latest in a much loved series of games based on a game based on two other games. Blood Bowl is a popular Games Workshop tabletop game which blends the fantasy universe of Warhammer with a fantasy sport drawing inspiration from American football and related games. It’s […]

  • “Second-person” shooter Screencheat coming to PS4 and Xbox One

    Goldeneye players should be familiar with the concept of screencheating, which is what this new indie is all about. Screencheat has been on our radars for a while but has now been confirmed for PS4, sparking a new wave of interest with a trailer and PS Blog post. However, it was one of a number […]

  • World of Warcraft Timewalking will make old dungeons fun again

    World of Warcraft will soon introduce a feature called Timewalking, designed to make you feel young again. When WoW players participate in a Timewalking event, they’ll be transported to a randomly selected classic dungeon. Upon entering, their level and gear will be scaled way, way down to the Dungeon’s Heroic level – so they won’t […]

  • Bloodborne and Dark Souls messaging – in real life

    Soapstone is a cool little app that mimics the messaging system found in Bloodborne, Dark Souls and Demon’s Souls. Bloodborne and Dark Souls fans will surely agree that the asynchronous multiplayer side of things, with players leaving anonymous tips, encouragement and jokes for each other, is one of the cooler aspects of the From Software […]

  • Mass Effect fans, get a load of this My Talking Elcor plushie

    I have been waiting to write about this all day because oh my god. Mass Effect attracted a devoted fanbase and Bioware has found tons of clever ways to satisfy that fanbase’s desire for clothes, collectibles, books, comics and toys related to the future world of Commander Shepard and company. The company has been so […]

  • Homeworld Remastered Collection headed to retail

    Homeworld fans can purchase a neat little package of gloriously remastered nostalgia soon. The Homeworld Remastered Collection has been available online since the end of February, but is now on its way to retail thanks to a deal between new rights holder Gearbox and Ubisoft. The PC exclusive will launch in physical form from May […]

  • The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt download size lower than predicted

    The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt has a hefty install footprint, but it’s not as bad as we expected. The Witcher 3 was expected to be a 50GB download after a note to this effect was added to the PlayStation Store. It looks like that might have been a placeholder figure, as DualShockers noted today that […]

  • Bloodborne, beaten with a Guitar Hero controller

    Come on now, you didn’t expect anything less from the Souls community, did you? Bloodborne has been vanquished with a Guitar Hero controller, just a few weeks after its release. Kotaku reports Bearzly took nine hours to finish the game, which is probably less than many players using a Dual Shock. You can watch a […]

  • Vendors? New social space? Your House of Wolves questions will be answered

    Destiny players learned more about House of Wolves in this week’s Bungie update than you might realise at first glance. Resident Destiny expert Arekkz cast his eagle eye over this week’s Bungie Weekly Update, which announced next week’s Reef tour livestream. I personally am most excited to learn about gear upgrade paths, but Arekkz points […]

  • GTA 5 playable with Virtuix Omni VR treadmill

    You’ve seen GTA 5 with Oculus Rift, Now see GTA 5 with the Virtuix Omni. GTA 5 PC has unlocked a number of exciting possibilities. Modders and hackers are still working on making the game’s files accessible to third-party creation tools, but several cool things have been produced even with this barrier still in place. […]

  • Mortal Kombat X: play as Rain and other locked characters on PC

    Mortal Kombat X players comfortable with tinkering with the game’s files can unlock unplayable characters. Mortal Kombat X includes a number of familiar fighters available only as opponents, not playable characters. if you’re super keen to try out Rain, Baraka and co, you can – with a bit of fiddling. Redditor XVermillion figured out that […]

  • Madden 16 release date set for August, of course

    Madden NFL 16 has a deeply unsurprising release date. Madden’s release date always falls at the end of US summer, and Madden 16 is no exception. EA Sports has announced that the NFL sim will release on PlayStation 3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One on August 26. We have absolutely no further information at […]

  • Star Wars Battlefront won’t have Battlelog support

    Star Wars Battlefront is not just Battlefield in a Hallowe’en costume, so don’t expect the same suite of features. Star Wars Battlefront is the subject of intense anticipation and curiosity, so it’s not surprising a bunch of rumours have turned up. One of these rumours suggests that Battlefront will have its own version of Battlelog, […]

  • Battlefield Hardline beats Bloodborne to top March NPD chart

    PS4 had a good month but it was EA’s multi-platform Battlefield Hardline that was the best-selling game. March 2015 NPD at a glance Total spend down 6% YoY. Hardware and software both down. Console hardware blamed for significant hardware dip. Accessories up. Battlefield Hardline tops software chart. PS4 outsells other consoles. Wii U, 3DS and […]

  • Destiny: House of Wolves gear upgrade paths will be revealed next week

    Destiny developer Bungie will reveal new equipment upgrade paths during a livestream next week. Destiny: House of Wolves will release on May 19, the developer announced last week, promising a full schedule of reveals over the next few weeks. It also gave a broad outline of some of the things it will be discussing in […]

  • Don’t forget: the Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow

    Just a quick heads up to remind you that The Elder Scrolls Online Welcome Back Weekend kicks off tomorrow, April 17 at 10am EDT. The free weekend is an incentive to bring back beta players which tried the game, but decided not to pursue a purchase. You can play the MMO until 10am EDT on […]

  • Tale of Tales announces May release for Kickstarter success Sunset

    Those attending Kill Screen’s Two5six Festival next month will be able to play Tale of Tales upcoming title Sunset before it’s released. Along with the news provided to us by BeefJack, Tale of Tales have also released new set of lovely screenshots which we have posted below. Sunset will be released on Linux, Mac and […]

  • Take 50% off select racing titles through the Codemasters online store

    Codemasters has launched an online store and is celebrating by giving you 50% off the titles listed. Here’s what’s on sale: F1 2013 Classic Edition F1 2014 – F1 RACE STARS BUNDLE F1 2013 GRID 2 GRID 2 Reloaded GRID Autosport DIRT 3 Complete Edition DIRT Showdown Toybox Turbos F1 RACE STARS Hit up the […]

  • Spy_Watch coming to Apple Watch from Surgeon Simulator devs

    Surgeon Simulator developers Bossa Studios have announced its working on an Apple Watch game called Spy_Watch. Spy_Watch, according to the developer, has players heading up a spy agency which isn’t faring too well. Players will need to train a spy and then send him out on various missions to “reclaim the agency’s former glory.” Real-time […]