An Open Letter is a regular feature where we communicate directly, straight to the heart of someone/something/anything in gaming. Today, we talk directly to 'Multiplayer', in the wake of an announcement from EA stating that they won't ship a game without it.
When we first met, Multiplayer, I’ll admit it, we were buddies. You came round to my place most weekends, we had a blast. Busting through craploads of pizza, sinking a few beers – playing some Goldeneye – split screen of course. Man, those were some good times.
By the time Halo come out, on the original Xbox, we had become best friends. You’d come over – we’d system link, get a whole bunch of other guys over, have LANs, run big tournaments. I guess you could say our experience got serious - in a totally heterosexual way - and I was cool with that.
Then online gaming came to consoles, in a big way. We were inseparable. I stopped hanging out with other friends, got a bit weird and anti-social. We sat in the house every night and just let the pizza boxes stack up. Halo 2, was the big one. Then we moved onto Halo 3, Call of Duty, etc, etc.
Multiplayer – you were my best friend in the whole world.
But enough is enough! You’re too clingy! Everywhere I turn, you’re staring me back in the face and, to be perfectly frank, it's starting to get a little bit creepy. I turn on Bioshock 2, just to spend a little time on my lonesome, and there you are, staring back at me from the menu screen. I mean what the hell – pretty soon I’m going to be taking a leak and see you in the toilet bowl.
Now I hear you’re going to be in Dead Space 2? No dice dude. Give me some room to breathe. Apparently you’re now going to be in every single EA game ever made from now until eternity and, I’ve got to admit man, that makes me feel a bit claustrophobic. I think you just need to back off a bit. We’re good friends, don’t get me wrong, but you don’t need to be involved in every single aspect of my life – can’t you just come over every now and then? Instead of every single night! I mean, there’s a time and a place for everything and I think you just need to gauge that a little better.
Look I know this is awkward. I know this is hard. But just... give me a little bit of space. I like singleplayer as well, you know? And there are times when that’s all I want, times when that makes sense, and you just have to realise that.
Love, Mark Serrels