At Gamescom 2016 in Cologne, DualShockers spoke with NieR: Automata Producer Yosuke Saito, who shared more information about the duration of the game and the side-quest content it will come packed with.
Saito-san mentioned that during previous interviews at Gamescom he answered that the game would last about 25 hours, but when he told that to the staff back in Japan they said “no, it probably takes a lot longer than that.”
He also explained that you don’t need to do the side quests to clear the game and reach the ending, but there are multiple endings, so if you want to see the true one, you’ll “probably have to do the side quests as well.”
There are short side-quests with stand-alone objective that ask you to find an item or similar simple objectives, but there are also longer side quests that might have several chapters telling a longer story.
Saito-san also teased that the resistance camp that has been showcased so far isn’t the only settlement in the game, but more will be revealed about this in the future.