It's a hot-button issue amongst veteran gamers, many of whom remain convinced that the multiplayer boom has had a noticeably negative effect on single-player adventures.

Many – including yours truly – dreads the day that single-player campaigns become obsolete and everyone only cares about online multiplayer. And although many designers and developers say there will always be a place for the solitary gamer, EA isn't buying it. In speaking with Develop , EA Games president Frank Gibeau said his company will remain focused on "connected gameplay experiences," and that the era of single-player entertainment is slowly dying away. Said Gibeau:

"Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at. I volunteer you to speak to EA’s studio heads; they’ll tell you the same thing. They’re very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out. I think that model is finished."

Gibeau does clarify that he's not merely talking about multiplayer gaming, but other forms of "connectivity" with interactive entertainment. An example of that might be Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit , which doesn't require online connectivity but with the Autolog feature, it certainly encourages a player to be online. But of course, there are still plenty of quality titles out there that don't bother with multiplayer, including the recent Vanquish and Enslaved: Odyssey to the West , as well as premier, measuring-stick titles like God of War III and Heavy Rain .

But what concerns many is that the most popular games tend to be very multiplayer-driven; Call of Duty is only one example. Furthermore, the sheer amount of time players put into online multiplayer is reminiscent of…well, obviously, of the MMO mentality, which contains certain addictive elements. This may be what's driving the multiplayer explosion these days, but there's one thing of which we're certain: if EA is right (and we don't think they are) and the single-player campaign dies…millions of gamers – yes, millions – might stop playing tomorrow. Including me.

Subscribe
Notify of
145 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
556pineapple
556pineapple
9 years ago

I almost never play online. I stick to single player or split-screen. I just don't find playing online very appealing, unless it's with someone I know. Count me among those who will stop playing when they do away with single-player.

FM23
FM23
9 years ago

Red Dead Redemption has MP…rarely play it. Assassin Creed Brotherhood has MP…tired of the unfair mechanics, don't play it. Both games were purchased for the single player experience and both delivered. EA is putting that pointless MP in Dead Space 2…guess what, I'll try it and never play it again as my interest lies in the single player. Seriously, how many MP games can be produced if everyone is already attached to one MP game already. Oh EA…leave MP as an option, not the primary goal. Man I can wait for MGS5 online…anyone else?

Kiryu
Kiryu
9 years ago

I don't like Online Games.I hate the way the Current Industry is headed.
I love Single Player Games because i am a story and a Collecting Gamer.I still play ps1 and ps2 games because of the story and gameplay while playing the story.

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

"Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at."

Only if your developers suck.

shadowscorpio
shadowscorpio
9 years ago

Thank you. I also think what he said was a stupid statement. If he is right then how in the hell was there so much action and innovation during the ps1 and ps2 gens where most of the games were single player campaigns?

NoSmokingBandit
NoSmokingBandit
9 years ago

And this gen theres Demon's Souls, Uncharted, and Valkyria Chronicles just off the top of my head.

Its not like online games have changed a whole lot. New guns, new maps, same stale gameplay. The only game i liked to play online is KZ2 because of the constantly switching objectives and the class system. Even then its not really innovative, they just put the best of everything into their online system.

THEVERDIN
THEVERDIN
9 years ago

That's when I stop.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Online is where a lot of the action is, but none of the innovation. They are all largely the same few modes grafted onto the game. And as long as games are gimped by DVD, they will always suffer from the addition of MP. Look at Bioshock 2, great game but significantly worse textures plus pop-in and a shorter campaign all add up to the MP gimping it. And for CoD and other wannabe CoDs, well the SP is just a brief excursion.

All games already have connectivity be they trophies or leaderboards or whatever, but if MP became the norm you can count me out of my favorite hobby as well.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Indeed. Just how much innovation has there been in shooters in the last 10 years? Halo 3 is basically the same as Halo 2 and Halo. OK, there are additional/different weapons and vehicles. But the basic gameplay hasn't changed at all. The same is true in most shooters and has been since network play arrived with LAN parties and Doom.

Ricochet
Ricochet
9 years ago

"Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at. I volunteer you to speak to EA’s studio heads; they’ll tell you the same thing"

NO, I VOLUNTEER YOU SPEAK TO THE GAMERS ABOUT THAT; MANY WOULD SAY OTHERWISE.

Here's the problem with "innovation" online. You either innovate or you find a 'winning formula' for the masses. Case-in-point WoW vs Eve online. WoW represents the latter while Eve the former. Ever wonder why Eve is so successful even though there is a horrendous turnover rate for new-comers? It's because it does deliver what no other online community does. HAVING COMPLETE CONTROL over the universe and market. The game even allows you to purchase extended game time by using "in-game" money in itself. This would be the equivalent of re-newing your Xbox live subscription by attaining XX amount of achievements.

However, that type of market is not a dominating one. Ironically, it's a NICHE. Another game is also that innovative "online" portion of Demon's Souls, and I'm betting none of the EA so-called studio heads didn't think of that as an innovative "online" system.

But guess what, it doesn't make the single-player campaign any more obsolete. Unless they're adamant they can keep to their plan of "innovative" online (looks at Dead Space 2), as opposed to a copycat formula done by COD. I may give them a chance. If not, then there's that extra time I need to platinum my other games.

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
9 years ago

That's disappointing to hear, besides the Battlefield series I never buy a game for multiplayer its all about the singleplayer. I hope, pray devs never remove singleplayer completely from games, if they do that's when I stop buying new games and consoles and stick with the old ones.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

Just goes to show how out of touch EA is.

Tim Speed24
Tim Speed24
9 years ago

I agree. I play online 2% of the time and play single player or split screen 98% of the time.

Too many idiots with crying babies and music playing in the microphones. Not enjoyable.

AcHiLLiA
AcHiLLiA
9 years ago

that can be easily fixed, mute the microphone volume, that's what I do when I play COD online here and there after a break from my SP missions and other games as well.


Last edited by AcHiLLiA on 12/9/2010 2:17:45 PM

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

ya, but if you mute the mics you can't hear the others and there's no point in playing with the mic off since you can't hear the team.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Wow!

I mean, just wow! How out of touch are these guys? Single Player gaming is the heart and soul of gaming. Hell, you might as well say that single reader book reading is dead, or that solo movie viewing is on the way out. What a bunch of 100% pure BS.

What, did these fools see Call of Duty and decide that because the world is entranced by the opportunity to shoot each other in a virtual environment we no longer like single player games?

I'm sorry, I just point blank refuse to accept this idea that Single Player is dead. If anything I'd say that multi-player is ultimately doomed because of the sheer number of immature jerks online who make online gaming as pleasurable as walking across broken glass in bare feet while holding a 50lb weight in each hand.

I am so sick of this multi-player mania.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

Do I dare say??
This is all Microsoft's fault.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

LOL! You beat me to it. But I'm sure I can think up some rationalization that makes it all Microsoft's fault…let's see….original Xbox, Halo, multi-player shooter…rise of the twitch gamer…shooter-mania…would you like multi-player with that sir?…Modern Warfare 2…Would you like some single player with your multi-player sir?…Call of Duty Black Ops…EA says single player is dead.

O)K, you're right, it is all Microsoft's fault. Damn them!

LOL! The scary thing is, it actually makes sense.

SirLoin of Beef
SirLoin of Beef
9 years ago

Before Halo, there was never online mutliplayer gaming.

Underdog15
Underdog15
9 years ago

@Sir Loin

You're absolutely right, at least not at this magnitude! (Although, I remember my first online multiplayer experience being Worms Armageddon, which came out long before Halo.)

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

While it wasn't online there was plenty of multiplayer shooters. Golden Eye anyone?? But yea. I didn't get ridiculous till Halo and all its clones came.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Sirloin,

Not in the same way. The hideously successful Warcraft and games like it were/are kind of like harbingers of doom because they brought a certain kind of semi-addictive alternate reality. I refer you to the slightly off-beat, but terribly accurate South Park episodes that are themed on World of Warcarft and then Facebook for examples of what I mean on that. But that kind of thing started way, way back with Multi-user Dungeons. The thing about MUDs was that they really weren't in the same league as World of Warcraft and the like.

Multi-player video gaming really took off with Doom played over IPX/SPX networks. The early LAN parties were where things really started to get interesting. It didn't take long for that to spread to IP based multi-player death match, and the shooter craze was born. You had games like Quake (the original shareware version) that started to stretch the envelope a little more. But Doom established the basics of the strangest multi-player video game trend. MMORPGs have moved into video game territory, but shooters are what represent – in my mind at least – the core of the multi-player online video gaming. Sure there were some multi-player online experiences before Halo, the PS2 had some, but they were limited by the technology and online service. Halo was really the first video game to get just the right balance between video game, online service and online playability, combined with the online user experience to back it up.

If you feel otherwise, I'd love to hear your reasoning.

SirLoin of Beef
SirLoin of Beef
9 years ago

I guess I should've put the ol' <sarcasm> tags around my post. I know that multiplayer gaming was around before Halo. For example, I played a ton of MP on Halo's precursor, Marathon when I was a graphic designer. MMORPGS have been around before XBL.

I responded like I did because, come on… this is really Microsoft's fault? I hate sounding like I'm defending them because I'm not a big fan of theirs but sometimes the "blame Microsoft" mentality goes overboard. They've done enough that warrants legitimate blame (poor QC on their consoles, the way they change MS Office all the time, IE, etc.).

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Sirloin,

LOL! No worries, I was being slightly less than serious blaming Microsoft. I was just surprised at how reasonable it sounded once I rose to the challenge of rationalizing it all as Microsoft's fault.

main_event05
main_event05
9 years ago

well, unlike the Highlander, I wholeheartedly blame Microsoft. While they are not the originators the certainly are the instigators.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Main_event. I don't hold Microsoft blameless at all, but they are not the origin of multi-player gaming.

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
9 years ago

What?! I take that statement as a personal insult of sorts!

EA was showing signs of improvment this generation, but…oh well…looks like they're back to monkey business.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Another reason for mento stop supporting EA with my money. ūüôā that's fine, more to give to Sony and Nintendo.

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Can I have one of those mentos? heh heh.

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Lol! Gah, I hate this iPhone sometimes.

Nynja
Nynja
9 years ago

Damn autocorrect….

http://damnyouautocorrect.com/

Temjin001
Temjin001
9 years ago

"Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at."
There's a lot to interpret from that claim. I suppose he means the forward momentum that generates revenue in today's gaming is largely being derived from content that offers a heavy online gaming component.

There's problem here, actually.
Michael Pachter claimed that heavy online based games sort of absorb the gamer into a single purchase far longer than a single-player game would absorb. This trend has disrupted the flow of gamer transactions; consequently, gamers are buying fewer games.

This would suggest to me one of two logical approaches: publishers will move away from online driven games– but how can they when many gamers have chosen to place their money into online heavy games?
Or, publishers will shift their business model to a more "service" oriented format and create fees for playing online. This benefits the publisher because they won't need to design as many games and still be very profitable by charging service fees.

My argument: Many of PS3's blockbusters, Uncharted, Infamous, GTA/RDR, GoW, Assassin's Creed, and Heavy Rain aren't, or aren't really, multiplayer driven. There's markets for these products today even during this new competitive online gamer movement. So why would a publisher want to close doors on avenues of profitability from gamers who are placing their dollars into these products?
This EA guy seems to be making a broad generalization about gaming trends.

It just seems hard for me to buy the notion that this online segment of gamer will brainwash everyone into believing that online gaming is all that's worthwhile today. It's a slap in the face for those who value something single player driven. And it's quite presumptuous for this guy to make such a claim when single player gaming is still growing and evolving into a richer form of entertainment. Games like Uncharted 2, Assassin's Creed, MGS4, and Heavy Rain could not have existed in generations before. How can this segment of content be considered dead?

All I sense is a dev who is a online gamer who recollects days when he grew up playing single player games and then migrated to the online crowd. So using incredibly flawed deductive/conventional wisdom he's convinced everyone else has experienced things through his eyes just the same.
Which as many would probably know is false.


Last edited by Temjin001 on 12/8/2010 10:29:04 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Temjin, I think you have nailed it. This isn't about gamers, it's about their business model. They know that by converting a game to a service they can gain a stead, and potentially inexhaustible flow of revenue. Where as producing new games can be risky, because a crap game doesn't make any money.

This is more of that micro-transaction bullcrap that others have mentioned before. Things like Farmville where the basic game is free but you pay a never ending stream of small transactions for additional stuff in the game.

It's not about the gamer, or the games, or making good, interesting or even thought provoking products. It's all about monetizing gamers.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

I agree with EA and disagree with you all!

SP is slowly dying away… just a matter of time. This is just my opinion, but im just one of many.

SP can't be erased COMPLETELY, but developers will focuse primarily more on MP.


Last edited by Killa Tequilla on 12/8/2010 10:30:11 PM

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

Yes, well, your avatar image is oddly ironic…

WorldEndsWithMe
WorldEndsWithMe
9 years ago

Wanna back that up somehow Killa? I'm curious.

gumbi
gumbi
9 years ago

Highlander: 10 points!

SixSpeedKing
SixSpeedKing
9 years ago

Yes Highlander!
Haha I just look at the comment and then the avatar and just have to laugh.


Last edited by SixSpeedKing on 12/8/2010 10:48:10 PM

Jawknee
Jawknee
9 years ago

Clueless.

swapnilgyani
swapnilgyani
9 years ago

I'm just going to assume you forgot to put "</sarcasm>" at the end of your post…

johnld
johnld
9 years ago

this is exactly who EA and Activision are targeting with their products. twitch influenced youths that think that they're the core gamer crowd after playing a few years of call of duty or an equivalent game. I for one never touch the online component of a game until i fully complete single player.

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Very young…just a guess…

Lawless SXE
Lawless SXE
9 years ago

You're right, but that doesn't make the concept right. The contingent for online focussed games certainly seems larger, and it's logical that developers will chase that, getting rid of much of the single player in the process. I hate it.
Peace.

FatherSun
FatherSun
9 years ago

@Ben… Very young you guess. The last response to that was from a person who was not so young.. Yet some people portray themselves in a manner that makes them seem this way. I know some very old children that roam the earth. They have grown in age but not in mind and wisdom. I have accepted this fact of life. It makes me appreciate those who make sense so much more.

Killa Tequilla
Killa Tequilla
9 years ago

You guys are funny adults. Talking bout gaming like your life depended on it. What would happen to your conversations if you took em somewhere else besides PSX? What would people think?

MadKatBebop
MadKatBebop
9 years ago

@Killa Tequilla

Come on man, its pretty rude and disrespectful to make fun of them for being proud adult gamers. I'm still young (18) but I agree with everyone of these adult gamers. They have years of experience over us and know what their talking about. So show some respect.

TheHighlander
TheHighlander
9 years ago

@Killa, really? I mean, really? So, you're saying that we should somehow feel bad for discussing a hobby with a group of like minded individuals? You're saying that if we took our thoughts to another site our comments wouldn't be well received? Why? Because others would disagree with us? Big deal, I often disagree with the immature jerks abusing others on those other gaming sites. Places where the level of discussion revolves around the various nasty things someone would do to me, or my mother if they ever meet me. Oh yeah, as if I value those people's opinions on *anything*. Why do you think the number of readers and comments here at PSX is growing? It's not because people disagree with the overall tone of the site and it's readers comments. So, in the immortal words of Chad Ochocinco, all I can say is, "Child, please."

Ben Dutka PSXE
Ben Dutka PSXE
9 years ago

Killa: Grow up. We simply called you on a not-so-educated comment. Most everyone who posts here has a job, family, etc. What is it that YOU do again, besides go to school…?

Ludicrous_Liam
Ludicrous_Liam
9 years ago

BEN!

Why is it when someone says something stupid you assumne they're young? I find it offensive & demand an apology.

Just kidding, but my point still stands :/