We are often concerned about the multiplayer explosion, and the negative impact it seems to be having on single-player experiences.
But Valve Software, a company known for both excellent single-player experiences and being a pioneer in the multiplayer element of the industry, says we shouldn't worry…even if the single-player fans feel a little stifled. In speaking to Gamasutra , Valve project manager Erik Johnson said that single-player adventures will always be a part of interactive entertainment.
"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. …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."
That's an interesting allusion to stress, isn't it? These days, I and many people I know utilize gaming almost strictly as a form of relaxation, and few have much of an interest in multiplayer. It really is stressful, to a point. Kicking back and going through a game on your own, taking on AI-controlled enemies and what-have-you, is a solitary experience; that much is true. But it's also a relaxing, entertaining one.
And although not everyone sees it this way, and multiplayer seems to be dominating just about everything these days, the single-player adventures really can't die. They stop…I stop.