Casualties of Multiplayer: Player One is No More

Single player games becoming extinct?

In the rapidly changing video game environment it seems as though single player games are getting to be few and far between. Games that earned a spot in gamer's hearts for a lifetime, games like Bioshock, Fallout 3, and Lords of The Fallen, are getting to the point that it is rare when they are released. 

Even as time goes on in a franchise it seems as though developers feel the need to try and put a multiplayer mode in. Using Bioshock and Bioshock 2 as a prime example again. The first in the series has no multiplayer and a story to chill spines. The twist is more than amazing and leave nothing to be desired. The sequel is also a great game. However, if the developers had spent less time on the multiplayer and more time improving the single player it could have gone down in history as another great.

Games like Titanfall, Plants Vs Zombies, and Destiny are becoming the social norm. Sadly there are many gamers that are not looking into the future. Yes, this is getting ahead of the gun a bit, but imagine this scenario.

For us older gamers the days of Atari, NES, SNES, etc are not too long ago. If those games didn't run properly, well even after blowing in them. If they didn't run properly then they would be worthless. 

Games launched today seem to have an online only functionality. Looking at a game that was a PS3 exclusive, M.A.G. This game had great potential and was fun while it was operational. However now that the servers are down the disc might as well be stock piled and used for a scene in a Shaun of The Dead remake. The discs would truly stick into the skulls of the living dead well, I mean look at how compact they are.

The trend of online only and heavy multiplayer is here to stay. I don't feel I am the only one that this worries. Games need to cut back on the multiplayer options and start focusing on the single player. After all, it only takes one person to buy a game.

Featured Contributor

I acknowledge my writing is not perfect. However, video games are my passion. Looking to break into the industry any way I can. I have a YouTube channel along with Twitch under MisterUnboxers. Twitch streams 8pm Monday thru Friday Eastern Time. Follow on twitter too, FlubbedPython.

Published Nov. 11th 2014
  • Konfess.
    Online play and multi-player is a form of Digital Rights Management (DRM), that most everyone is on board with. The Developer publishes a client that is unplayable without the server. The server only allows valid/paying users to play.

    Developers tried single player games with online DRM, but the public (pirates) protested. Now if the protests went away in favor of client/server single player. Then the single player game would return. A client game renderer, with everything else server side. The client would handle user input and scene rendering. The server would handle game triggers, AI, input updating, physics, and what ever else that makes the game go. Still if and when the server goes down, the license becomes useless. Remember you only buy a license, you don’t own the game. Once that license expires, so does the game.
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    1. Bioshock 2's multiplayer was made by a completely different studio, the same developers behind darkSector and Warframe. The single-player was made by 2K Marin and the reason it didn't blow everyone away was because it had to go through a massive rewrite of the main campaign a year into development (with only a year and a half until release), and because fans of Bioshock were skeptical as hell and open to pretty much any excuse to say Ken Levine did a better job.

    2. Single-player games are not dying. Anyone who spends ten minutes on Steam, PSN, and/or XBLA knows this. Even if a game has multiplayer added to it, it rarely if every has this grand impact people think it does. If anything, for people like me who like different kinds of multiplayer with our favorite single-player games, it's a bonus.

    3. MAG was an MMO! Of course it was online-only. It also released in 2010. Long before games like Bioshock 2 and MAG, there were plenty MMOs and that lived and died within four years of existing. It's the nature of the MMO market. Not even bringing into question the game's actual quality, it was also an MMO on the PS3. Even single-player/local co-op games like Diablo 3 are losing support on 360 and PS3.

    4. Games never stopped focusing on single-player. We live in a market where Shadow of Morder, Batman: Arkham Knight, Bioshock Infinite, Transistor, Uncharted, Dishonored, Skyrim, Fallout: New Vegas, Fallout 3, and plenty more single-player focused games exist. Some series may experiment with multiplayer, and you know what, there actually is a demand for it. Should the series drop it's single-player? No, no it should not.

    You know what they also shouldn't do? Cut off their options because apparently "single-player ONLY" fans increasingly seem unable to accept that they're not the only audience out there. That there's plenty of room for every single type of game, and there is no indication single-player is dying. Just like how horror never truly died, and how adventure games never truly died. Nobody died, there's just a different current we're riding than we did during the PS2/Xbox/GC era.

    5. The Atari/NES example you throw out is a bit confusing, because I'm not even sure where you're going. You almost make it sound as if the nature of losing a game shouldn't be that shocking or unusual to you when I think you were going for the opposite.

    ------

    I get where you're coming from man, but I just keep seeing these statements over and over again (with even some of the exact same examples, like Bioshock 2) when the facts just don't add up. Single-player isn't dead, don't ever worry about it being dead. If anything, at worst, there will be a multiplayer focus for a few years, then a heavy push towards single-player. This industry might be young, but it sure as hell is very cyclic.
  • Eric Nicolai
    Featured Contributor
    The point of bringing up NES and solder systems was that they still are relevant and playable because we didn't depend on internet/multiplayer. Just because they are old doesn't mean they just sit there like a game such as MAG. Other than that I want to say thank you for your input. I'm not here to argue by any means, just here to throw thoughts onto a page. I actually hope your right as far as a push for single player games in a few years, they say history repeats itself so maybe it will be true for video games. The history of games is too young to tell that for sure though. Other than that thanks for the read and input.
  • Elijah Beahm
    Featured Columnist
    ...I wouldn't say relevant in all cases. You can still play E.T., that doesn't mean you want to. Also, most of these can also be played through emulators, and with the advent of private servers and MMO emulators, some games such as Metal Gear Solid 3: Subsistence and Star Wars Galaxies are actually being rebuilt by fans, so we're approaching (slowly) a point where we might see similar restorations for MP games. Also GOG.com's Galaxy App is helping in that respect.

    I wasn't wanting an argument either, it's just... become very tiring seeing almost the exact same post, over and over. It ain't your fault, but I just wish there was more variation to voices on the topic.

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