Oh bless you EA, always taking the torch and igniting the fire under the cooking pot of disputatious opinions.
If there ever was a quote that I disagreed with entirely, it would be this one.
I fail to comprehend how EA can say such a thing when many of their best games contain no multiplayer element whatsoever.
Take EA’s Mass Effect series as an example. Neither Mass Effect 1 nor 2 featured multiplayer modes but yet they were still highly successful games that have further proved EA and BioWare’s (the Mass Effect series’ developer) capability to publish and develop amazing games (respectively). No multiplayer was needed in either of the games to make them great and the addition of such gameplay would have ruined the game in my opinion.
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Bioware’s decision to leave out a multiplayer mode was both a very wise and very bold move. It was smart in the sense that it allowed them to focus more on creating an immersive world and a captivating storyline, focusing all of their time and resources into the single player aspect of the game as opposed to delegating teams of people to work on the off and online parts of the game, thereby separating their efforts and resulting in a lacking game. As I said, it was also very bold of Bioware to do this as they could have amassed a large fortune from sales of online maps and other add-ons considering the irrefutably massive fanbase the game has and who would be heading online in the game’s universe too.
It’s the latter of my points that I suspect is the reason for EA saying that ‘single player games are finished’ as many publishers now recognise that your game becomes instantly more profitable if it has an online presence as the option to sell endless amounts of DLC and map packs becomes available to you. However, does that mean that all games should have multiplayer modes? most definitely not. Games are perfectly capable of producing a gigantic amount of revenue for the companies behind them without the online capabilities.
Look at Heavy Rain for instance, it is a fantastic game that has more replay value than almost any other game I’ve played (the Mass Effect games running parallel to this statement) and it contained no multiplayer mode. Heavy Rain was infinitely successful, praised as one of, if not the best games on PS3 and still managed to generate megabucks for Sony and Quantic Dream (the publisher and developer of Heavy Rain respectively) through both the initial sales of the game and the sales of DLC – DLC that further improved the single player only game, with people buying it to improve their experience and not to add anything to the online modes (which obviously didn’t exist in this case). I believe that Heavy Rain was a better game because of its lack of multiplayer. Quantic Dream were able to spend every moment of the game’s development process labouring over the photo-realistic graphics that it employs, polishing the script (which is incredible by the way!) and making the game a true breath of original fresh air, something that seems to be lost in this day and age of endless FPS clones (that all contain multiplayer!) and so Quantic Dream didn’t have to delegate or squabble over server space for online or struggle to come up with methods to reduce ‘lag’.
The list of fantastic games without multiplayer could go on for ages – Dead Space 1, Mirror’s Edge, The Sims 3 (all EA titles) and then there’s inFamous, God of War 3, Uncharted 1 : Drake’s Fortune (all PS3 exclusives) – I could even go on to list more. These brilliant titles all show how developers are more than capable of producing great, well-loved games that are considered commercial successes regardless of whether they have multiplayer modes. Do big multiplayer games like Call of Duty sell better? Yes, they do. But does it mean that they’re better games? No, it really doesn’t.
Single player games have more focus on the core foundations of gaming – where you would sit by yourself and play a game until you could play anymore. You’d be fully immersed and the game would grip your attention because there would be very little to distract you. Games with multiplayer, and while you may not agree with me, seem to have much more focus on how everybody plays together instead of how each individual player is enjoying the gameplay experience and I feel that it makes a game lot worse as a result.
I don’t think single player games are even close to being ‘finished’ and are actually far from it. People still continually proceed to buy single-player-only games and are still appreciating them even in this day and age where super-fast, fibre-optic broadband is the norm and everybody is connected to one another via the Internet at all times. I would love to see more games that only have single player modes because I’d rather have fun on my own than be miserable in company.
Do you agree with EA? – Leave a comment!