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

Illustration for article titled This Week In The Business: Single-Player's Not Dead Yet

QUOTE | “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.” - 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 monetization 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 $10 while in Early Access, and $20 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.


Foxstar loves Bashcraft

Single player games aren’t going to die out. What people are forgetting is that there’s hundreds of single player focused experiences out there on the market and more arriving every month across PC’s and consoles. That’s not likely to change just because a few AAA studios have decided to focus more on multiplayer experiences because of higher profits, loot boxes and ‘games as a service’

I can see where people are worried, after the massive amount of money that Rockstar, EA and Blizzard pull in and the press covering that however.