This Week In The Business: Single-Player's Not Dead Yet

"As a company we love single-player more than anything, and believe in it absolutely - for storytelling and a sense of immersion in a world, multiplayer games don't rival single-player games."

That's Rockstar Games director of design Imran Sarwar insists the success of Grand Theft Auto Online and lack of narrative-driven GTA V add-ons doesn't mean the company has lots interest in single-player DLC.

QUOTE | "The assertion that single-player linear games are going to disappear is totally absurd. EA might not be the company that carries that torch, but there are so many groups out there that are passionate about this kind of game that they won't go away." - Former Visceral senior level designer Zack Wilson sees no cause for concern in EA's cancellation of Visceral's Star Wars game and closure of the studio.

QUOTE | "The only way we can create these super immersive narrative experiences is if we can solely focus on the single-player. Having a multiplayer component in this work process would just dilute it all. That's the danger if you try to do two things at once." - Machine Games' narrative designer Tommy Tordsson Björk explains why his studio didn't include multiplayer in Wolfenstein: The New Order or its newly released sequel, Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus.

QUOTE | "Unfortunately, the game wasn't attracting players fast enough to support a viable matchmaking player base with the current game design direction, which is the lifeblood of this type of game. So, with heavy hearts, we're taking a step back to reevaluate the design and may revisit our intrepid heroes in the future." - Digital Extremes explains why it's shelving its hero shooter The Amazing Eternals after less than two months in beta.

QUOTE | "If you have a lower number of users, there's more room for experimentation and really engaging with those people, growing it with them." - Cliff Blesznski explains why Boss Key is sticking with its hero shooter Lawbreakers after an unimpressive two months of release.

QUOTE | "…the loot box or microtransactions controversy has not yet resulted in clear noticeable limitations of the sales potential of the games with [those mechanics]." - Mat Piscatella of the industry-tracking NPD Group says loot boxes don't seem to hurt sales. In fact, games with loot boxes tend to sell better than those without, though he stresses that's only a correlation.

QUOTE | "The monetisation seems to be more aggressive than the casual appeal the title suggests. A high-quality mobile version of Animal Crossing can become a long-term cash machine for Nintendo." - Dr. Serkan Toto, founder of Japanese mobile game consultancy Kantan Games, assesses Nintendo's new free-to-play Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp.

QUOTE | "I set tons of my own rules and created stories around all this and imagined the CPU characters attending secret meetings in Bowser's Castle: 'What's to be done with this player? He's breaking everything!'" - Playtonic studio director Gavin Price explains how Super Mario Kart and a broken leg gave him his start in game design.

QUOTE | "[Everyone] doing an open-world game - and this is valid for other games, not just Ubisoft ones - faces the same problems. At some point you come up with solutions that might resemble ones that others have already used." - Assassin's Creed: Origins creative director Jean Guesdon dismisses the notion of an Ubisoft template for open-world games.

QUOTE | "It had nothing to do with the amount of development time or anything like that. I really believe players don't see any of that and don't understand any of that when it comes to opening their wallet and buying a game." - SkyRogue designer Kenny Backus, when asked how he set the mod-friendly flight combat game's price. (SkyRogue was $US10 ($13) while in Early Access, and $US20 ($26) after its proper release.)

QUOTE | "Hurricane Maria knocked us back into the Stone Age for a few days; her fury and destructive power can still be seen and felt throughout the island." - Michael Hoyos, CEO of Puerto Rico-based SRG Studios, is setting up a Play for Charity initiative to further relief efforts.


Comments

    Kept reading it as "lots of" rather than seeing it as an error of "lost". Good job, it's part of the teaser on the main page:

    "That's Rockstar Games director of design Imran Sarwar insists the success of Grand Theft Auto Online and lack of narrative-driven GTA V add-ons doesn't mean the company has lots interest in single-player DLC."

    The video game industry needs another crash like the one in 1983. Microtransactions are getting to a point where its going to/ Has already ruined the industry. Someone (Looking at you EA) is going to push it too far and cause a collapse in consumer confidence. EA and alike are poking the hornets nest with microtransactions and eventually that hornets nest (Us as consumers) are gonna go on the attack.

      You reckon? Don't get me wrong, I hate that kind of thing. But they've been sh*tting on us all for years with their DLC, season passes, online passes, microtransactions, deliberately releasing hopelessly broken piles of crap to get them out in a particular fiscal quarter (sometimes patching it into shape later), etc, and it hasn't really made much of a difference.

      If we were all going to rise up in rebellion and stop buying these games, we would have done it already.

    I for one have already lost faith in the gaming industry (For consoles at least), losing co-op and having incomplete/short games because they worked to a deadline instead of completeness, having to install 60+ gig onto a console, then a 60+ gig patch/update as soon as you play for the first time and every other time when you pick the game up again in a week. Not to mention games coming out solely (Or at least 95% of the content) being for online play, don't get me started on Rainbow Six Seige, Ubisoft needs to bite the curb.

    QUOTE | "The assertion that single-player linear games are going to disappear is totally absurd. EA might not be the company that carries that torch, but there are so many groups out there that are passionate about this kind of game that they won't go away." - Former Visceral senior level designer Zack Wilson sees no cause for concern in EA's cancellation of Visceral's Star Wars game and closure of the studio.

    While this is absolutely true, the valid cause for concern is for anyone who has any affection for the franchises being held hostage by the IP-holders - like EA - who hate single-player and are determined to do awful (ie: multiplayer), and exploitative things with them.

    Also, Jesus... Feeling bad for Cliff. That's some next-level 'silver lining' shit he's grasping for.

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