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Data: HowLongToBeat; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

News of Ubisoft's "Assassin's Creed Infinity" project got fans talking about the lengthening playtimes in the top-selling series. But there's no sign that Ubisoft or any other big company plans to make their new games shorter.

The big picture: The conventional wisdom in the games industry now is that the longer people play a game, the more likely they are to pay for additional content.

  • For multiplayer-centric games like "Fortnite" or "Call of Duty" new content can keep players coming back, but so can the social connections and competitive urges of what amounts to playing a competitive sport
  • "Fortnite" = golf for less rich people, basically.
  • For single-player series, keeping players in the game is harder, but Ubisoft clearly believes making "Assassin’s Creed" longer is the way to go.

As "Assassin’s Creed" games have gotten longer, Ubisoft has given players additional outfits, ships and other accoutrements to buy in-game, as well as lengthier additional storyline campaigns that can be nearly as long as the early "AC" games.

Go deeper

Japanese gaming giant Konami at a crossroads

Image: Konami Digital Entertainment

Some unusual new game releases from Konami highlight the strange state of one of gaming's most legendary companies.

Why it matters: Konami was once as revered as Capcom, Sega, Square, Nintendo and other Japanese game-makers, but it has drifted into other businesses and lost the confidence of many players, particularly in the West, who are no longer quite clear what it stands for.

14 mins ago - World

Social Democrats' win in Germany could shake up Europe

Olaf Scholz caught the bouquet on Sunday. Photo: Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty

BERLIN Angela Merkel's political farewell was spoiled Sunday night when the Social Democrats (SPD) narrowly claimed victory in Germany's elections, just four years after suffering their worst loss since World War II.

Why it matters: The stunning political comeback could swing the balance of power in Germany leftward after 16 years of rule by Merkel's conservative bloc, and it could lay the groundwork for a more ambitious European Union.

54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Senate Republicans sink short-term government funding, debt limit bill

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Senate Republicans on Monday voted down the House-passed bill to fund the government through Dec. 3 and raise the debt limit.

Why it matters: Congress is just 72 hours away from a potential shutdown, so now comes Democrats' Plan B. Democratic leadership is expected strip the short-term funding bill of language about raising the debt limit — the part that Republicans' reject — in order to pass a bill before federal agencies close down on Friday.