As online connectivity becomes more prevalent in our games, there's a niggling fear that the singleplayer game may soon become a thing of the past. So it's good to know Half-Life developers Valve still see a future for solitary gaming.
"There is an interesting question in how many projects should be offline products, and how long that is going to be viable," Valve's Erik Johnson tells Gamasutra. "Half-Life 1 was a really offline product. I think customers want to find ways to talk about the thing that they are a big fan of with other people, and ideally experience it the same way."
"That doesn't mean every game needs to be multiplayer. With single player games that were completely in a box, and there was no way to experience anything else, I think there are things that customers want that those games don't take advantage of."
Examples he gives of this limited form of online "play" include chatting with other people playing through the same section of a singleplayer game as you are, or to continue Valve's much-appreciated tradition of including DVD-like "commentary" as part of their games.
"I still think the analysis that every product needs to be a competitor in multiplayer, or an MMO, is incorrect; there are a lot of people who want an experience without the stress, so I don't see that changing."
Good to hear. As someone who games to escape, and not to compete, a future without singleplayer gaming is a future that would involve me no longer playing video games.
Rewarding The Players: Valve On Portal 2 [Gamasutra]