IO Interactive's Tore Blystad has said metrics compiled by the firm have revealed many Hitman: Absolution players won't see the last level of the game.
Speaking to OPM, Blystad said the realization that only 20% will reach the last level of the game was "very sad."
"We are using metrics a lot more now than we did, for good and for bad," he said. "The general player will probably never even finish the game, which is very sad. Or they might only play through it once, but the game is built for the people who want to go back through every single level and get all the stuff out of it. It's built to last, rather than be a one-off experience.
"I guess people can't commit to taking all those hours to finish one product, they get tired of it. It's not just for this game, it's for any game. Knowing that 20% of the players will see the last level of the game. It's horrible to know. It makes the people working on it really really sad."
Blystad said normally such information would inspire the developers to shift content to earlier parts of the game, but the narrative in Absolution didn't allow for this.
"It's very difficult when something is constructed to fit into a larger story to move things too much around," he said. "I think in some of the previous Hitman games that that might have been the case - that some levels were moved earlier, because they were more catchy or interesting. For us it hasn't really been that easy, because the story is really tying all the levels together, so they're still coming in the same order, more or less, that they were designed.
"In the user tests we have they actually tell us that the replayability factor in itself, it's the situation or the humour that's the reason people actually go back through the levels, they want to see more, they want to find these things, which makes us very happy, because it takes a lot of time and effort to get these things in."
Hitman: Absolution is out on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 in November.