Wednesday, November 22

Will Single Player Games Die Out?

As video games have evolved, there is more and more of a leaning towards major games being multiplayer focused, with little to no single player elements at all. Two of the biggest major franchises, Call of Duty and Battlefield, add single player campaigns more as bonuses than anything else, giving rise to the feeling that single player as a video game medium is on it’s way out.

It makes sense that multiplayer is the focus of video games for many reasons, not in the least because multiplayer focused games are enormous money spinners, often more so than single player games. With multiplayer games being social phenomenons, gamers are required to buy the game in order to be part of the social element, with no option to settle for a single player version of the same game. In other words; if you want to be part of the worldwide gaming community, you need to be part of the biggest multiplayer games.

But is it possible that single player games could die out altogether, or will mobile Keno and other favourites remain in favour?

Biggest Single Player Games

Although it’s true that many of the major gaming franchises today are multiplayer focused, it cannot be overlooked that some of the biggest franchises are still entirely single player focuses. The infamous Uncharted series has no central multiplayer elements of any kind, based entirely around 3D platforming in a single player world. The game focuses on action, story telling, and impressive graphics, with no need for even a token multiplayer aspect.

It is seriously unlikely that the Uncharted series is going anywhere anytime soon, which more or less immediately debunks the notion that single player games are at risk. Likewise arguably the biggest gaming franchise of them all, GTA, is likewise focused on providing an excellent single player experience. GTA Online did bring multiplayer to the GTA franchise, but any new GTA release will certainly be expected to have a strong single player campaign.

Less, But Still Prevalent

Ultimately there is no doubt that there is far less focus on single player online games in the modern era, but it cannot be denied that the biggest game franchises still rely heavily on single player experiences. Many gamers simply prefer single player games to multiplayer, and even multiplayer gamers will settle into a strong single player game, given the opportunity.

One factor that must be taken into consideration is that single player campaigns require a great deal more time, effort and money from developers, given the added costs of voice acting, motion capture, and other needed technologies. These story telling aspects of gaming are not required in most multiplayer games, but are a staple of single player games that focus on delivering a quality experience. In other words; single player games are a great deal more expensive to develop, which gives another reason for multiplayer focus where possible.

It can be reasoned, then, that much of the multiplayer focus in modern gaming also has to do with budget and available time, making single player games ever more elite, and the territory of the biggest developers.

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