A little while ago, Valve spoke about Portal 2 being their last "isolated single-player" game .
Many have thought about exactly what they meant with those words and thankfully, Valve boss Gabe Newell has helped to clarify. In an amateur interview , Newell explained the aims of his team; it's not about "no more single-player," as he says, but an attempt at "single-player plus." After citing Portal 2 as a good example of a fantastic single-player experience, Newell continued:
"It's more that we think that we have to work harder in the future. That entertainment is inherently increased in value by having it be social, by letting you play with your friends, by recognizing that you're connected with other people. Single-player is great, but we also have to recognize that you have friends and wanted to have that connected as well.
It's not about giving up on single-player at all. It's saying we actually think there are a bunch of features and capabilities that we need to add into our single-player games to recognize the socially connected gamer. Every gamer has instant messaging, every gamer has a Facebook account. If you pretend that that doesn't exist, you're ignoring the problems that you're taking on.
It's single-player plus, not ‘no more single-player.'"
While we can't deny the popularity of social networking sites, I have extreme difficulty in going with that idea that "every gamer has instant messaging, every game has a Facebook account," etc. …I understand what you're saying, Gabe, and I understand the need to implement features that will appeal to a bigger crowd. But you know what? I don't have a Facebook account. And I only IM for work, and that's rare.
For the record, that's the same for everyone I know who also plays games. Maybe it's just because we're all over the age of 30 and we're not so fascinated with this Twitter/Facebook/YouTube stuff. But obviously, we're in the minority.