A Cry to Publishers: No More Multiplayer!

Stop Creating A Game Mode That Doesn't Matter!

In the beginning…

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Let’s pretend you just bought Bioshock Infinite the day it was released (you know, the good ol’ days). You took the weekend off to marathon through the game you’d been waiting since BioShock 2 for. Over the span of that weekend you beat the game. Then what? Most likely you either play through it again, at a slower pace perhaps and/or a harder difficulty, or you place it on your shelf with you other ‘Keeper’ games (or sell it).

Could Multiplayer have kept you playing longer?

I played Tomb Raider a few weeks ago and loved it. Very fun story, gameplay was amazing, graphics… Just an overall awesome game. When I was done I thought “Well, there isn’t much else to do…” and contemplated retiring it to my Keeper shelf when I noticed the multiplayer mode. I tried one game and immediately said  “Nope. This is over”.

Multiplayer is not the answer

Publishers believe that creating a multiplayer mode will extend the life of their game. They probably look at the success (sales, it’s always about money) of Call of Duty or Halo or Madden and say “We could do those numbers if we had online!” Then decide to put some money towards a team death match/capture the flag multiplayer and say “Look! Now with Multiplayer!”

This is their mistake: If you’re designing a Single Player experience then online doesn’t matter. When I think back to the best games I’ve ever played, I enjoyed the single player or the multiplayer–very rarely did I enjoy both. The story modes in Halo or CoD never blew me away. Sure, Halo 4 had a good story but was it really one of the greatest ever in gaming? And how many times have you popped in Halo to replay the Story Mode? Likewise, when I played Telltale’s The Walking Dead I never once thought “This could be good online!”

Back to my Tomb Raider example; I actually sold the game the next day instead of putting it in to early retirement on my shelf. Multiplayer actually made me say “Good game, I’m never playing it again.” The multiplayer had such an adverse effect on me I literally shipped the game out of my house. It cheapened the value of the game.

Keep It Simple, Stupid!

Short answer: Multiplayer will not keep me playing a game just because it’s there. As a matter of fact, I’d rather they use the money to polish the single player. Create a new level or what would’ve been DLC; just put on the disc. Don’t cheapen the value of a game in hopes the word ‘Multiplayer’ will push a few extra copies.

While writing about Arkham Origins, I mentioned it was the first game of the series to feature a multiplayer. The gameplay footage does look like fun and I think outsourcing the mode will allow WB Montreal to polish single player game. I’m not buying Origins for the multiplayer. And unless it’s as much fun as it looks (I’m skeptical until I play it) I still wish they filled the disc space with another hitman for Batman to take out.

Am I wrong?

Read this article I found over at Gamespy about bad multiplayer in games that shouldn’t have even had it. It’s almost a year old but I’m sure everyone here can think of another game that could be added to the list. Mine’s Tomb Raider (it really was terrible guys).

What do you guys think? Are you sick of seeing multiplayer in traditionally single player games? Are you ok with it as long as it doesn’t ruin the game for you? Make a list in the comments of the worst multiplayer you’ve come across and let’s all laugh at it together!


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Author
Steve Lawton
My name is Steve. I consider myself a casual gamer but lover of nerd culture. Things interest me I don't even understand half the time.