Casey Hudson, Mass Effect Project Director, has revealed some interesting statistics about the RPG sequel Mass Effect 2. BioWare, like many other developers, collects data anonymously to observe in-game player behavior.
BioWare placed various hooks into the game that revolved around specific events to track the decisions that players were making. For example, the developer could track when dialogue was skipped by the player, leading them to discover that 15% of conversations were skipped by the total player population.
Looking at all of these events on the Xbox 360 and PC, BioWare found that the average completion time was 33 hours. Over 50% of players also took advantage of one of the games more talked about features and imported their save from the first Mass Effect game. "That to me is quite high," Hudson says. However, only roughly half of those who start the adventure ever get around to finishing it.
The stats between the two platforms are generally similar, but not always: "One difference was the people who did certain loyalty missions on the Xbox versus the PC, which is kind of surprising. On the PC for example, people did Mirandas loyalty mission quite a bit, which is where she is trying to connect with her sister and its more of a touchy-feely plot. Not a lot of Xbox 360 players did that one. But the Xbox 360 players did do Grunts mission a lot more than PC players."
All these numbers, Hudson says, keeps BioWare from guessing what players are doing. "We can actually learn about what they like and what they dont like and just try to focus on building the good stuff."