Update: The Metroid Dread patch notes actually had the opposite effect from what we originally reported, causing the gameplay timer to not count failed boss fights as it previously did in one specific instance.
Here's the wording from the patch, which we initially misinterpreted: "Fixed an issue where retrying after a game over would cause the play time to be added only when retrying a specific boss fight."
We regret the error.
Original story: A new set of Metroid Dread patch notes have gone live, with the second update for the game fixing up an issue that's probably been a little too favorable to your total play time.
Nintendo posted the Metroid Dread patch notes in an update to its official support site (opens in new tab), with fixes outlined for six specific issues in the game. Chief amongst them is a fix for an issue which would only add on to your total play time when retrying a specific boss fight; in other words, Metroid Dread originally forgot about the extra time you spent when you got a game over for the majority of its boss fights, meaning it would only count the time you spent for your final, successful attempts toward your total.
Some of the boss fights in Metroid Dread are pretty tough, so that's potentially a lot of retries and extra time to forget about. Your total play time determines what kind of ending scene and unlocks you get at the very end - as is Metroid tradition - so it's a significant detail for the game to track accurately.
The other issues fixed in the new Metroid Dread patch notes include shoring up a force quit incurred by hitting frozen enemies with Shine Spark, weirdness with jumping while in a Morph Ball Launcher, and a few glitches where Samus or enemies could get stuck in the environment.