It doesn’t take a genius to work out that there are a fair number of online multiplayer-centric — be it completely focused or accompanied by offline elements — games that make up a significant portion of gaming’s annual releases. While the likes of EA may try and spin the narrative that single-player games are dying and that both the industry and its consumers are unanimously deciding against single-player only releases, there are those who still defend the notion that both types of video games can co-exist, even prosper alongside one another.
In an interview with GamesBeat Take Two CEO, Strauss Zelnick, added himself to the growing list of supporters for single-player experiences. “Single-player, in my opinion, is not dead, not even close.” Strauss responded, when asked about the notion that such titles are dying. “Companies that feel like they’ll just avoid the hard work of building a story and characters and go right to where the money is in multiplayer, I don’t think that’s going to work…we certainly feel like there’s no evidence that people don’t want a single-player.”
Zelnick’s thoughts on the matter were added to by David Haddad, president of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment. “We continue to believe that even as esports grows, even as time spent playing multiplayer grows, there’s still a very powerful space for narrative, storytelling, world-building, long-term engagement games.” Hadded explained. “We know that’s not everybody’s approach in the industry. How you find those gamers, how you service them, and how you publish inside this time-spent environment, you have to pay attention to that, but we still believe there’s a place for that.”
While the likes of Take Two and Warner Bros do indeed incorporate “games-as-a-service” models into their releases — and, it could be argued, have benefitted from their titles being both received well and selling well in the commercial space — it’s promising to see that even the bigger AAA publishers haven’t entirely ditched the concept of games lacking the necessity for online multiplayer and all the predatory monetisation such modes often have.