Fire Emblem: Three Houses director Toshiyuki Kasukihara confirmed earlier this month that the game will take players over 200 hours to fully complete, provided they're interested in playing through the different narratives of each available house. Fire Emblem: Three Houses is the ambitious reimagining of a classic tactical JRPG series, taking place before and then during a war between three major political factions.
In classic Fire Emblem style, a lot of the game will be about what happens off the battlefield, with players navigating the relationships between their own character and the myriad other cast members available in the game. Managing friendships and the personal goals of troops translates into improvements on the battlefield, too, incentivizing even the most battle-hardened among us to at least attempt to get to know some of their units better - even if it's only to give them a boost in stats. Fire Emblem: Three Houses ramps things up even further, introducing a school social-sim system that will make up the early parts of the game before a timeskip brings players to the actual war proper.
Given the amount of depth that's already been advertised for Fire Emblem: Three Houses content, it's not surprising to hear that the game could take upwards of 80 hours to complete just one house's storyline. The shocker is that there aren't really many shortcuts available after that, with Kasukihara revealing during an interview with French website JeuxVideo (translated by GamesRadar+) that those who don't skip content are in for a long journey if they want to fully complete Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Kasukihara spoke from personal experience:
"To finish the game with just one of the three houses, it took me 80 hours. I did not cut the vocals or cutscenes, of course. So if you want to do the three paths, it can take you more than 200 hours."
There's hope for gamers without as much time to spare, then, as Kasukihara didn't skip cutscenes or voice-acted segments, which means he likely padded out his playtime quite a bit as a result. For those looking to run through the three campaigns, there will likely be a fair amount of overlap, too, meaning even if they didn't skip the cutscenes the first time, they can probably do so for a few in subsequent sessions. Still, 200 hours is a daunting amount of content for a game like Fire Emblem: Three Houses, which already branches out into many different scenarios due to features like permanent character death and decision-making that affects storylines.
The revelation from Kasukihara about Fire Emblem: Three Houses content length also raises a bigger question about the industry - who has time to play these games to completion anymore? With more games being released every year and more adults playing them, it feels as though the crunch on consumer free time is at an all-time high. Is designing a game that takes 200 hours to complete in full appealing, or is it a detriment for those who love completionist runs but know they'll never get to the end? The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt offered a similar amount of content, and it's spawned a Netflix adaptation, a successful card game, and more - so perhaps Kasukihara and Nintendo are onto something after all.