CAUTION: Nostalgic Whining Ahead
I’ve played games for almost all of my life, but I didn’t exactly come out of the womb with a controller… that would create an entirely different story that I’m not exactly sure would be appropriate here… err anyway. Most of my friends literally grew up with parents who owned Atari’s and bought the Nintendo and Super Nintendo when they came out. Then there’s me, who grew up with gamer friends since the second grade and with brothers who had gamer friends. Yet… it wasn’t the people you would call gamers… it was my brothers themselves and split screen multi-player.
An Aging Relic
It’s kind of sad to think that split screen is rare these days. Sure there’s Call of Duty, Resident Evil, and Halo… but those games have change since then. There was a time when almost every multi-player game had split screen… and little else for multi-player options. Now it seems that split screen multi-player is either half done, or just forced into the game for the sake of content.
It’s even sadder to realize that some developers won’t even consider a split-screen option because it isn’t as profitable. If you make a mutli-player game that requires every playing to purchase and own a copy, you make more money than selling one copy to every group of four friends. But also… you can put more into a game if you make a server do some of the work in regards to multi-player.
Anything in a game requires some amount of resource, and resources are finite. When everyone playing only has one game on a console, a little more resource can be spent in multi-player for more features… and you know that most developers equate quantity with quality. I mean… sure I’m glad I can do so much in Brink, but I still kinda wish me and my brothers could just pop in the game and play for an hour or five… just like the old days.
Gone but Not Forgotten
As I said before, there are still some AAA titles that have split-screen. It isn’t exactly the same, but that doesn’t make it bad per say. I mean, things either change a little or a lot as time goes on… or they go away completely. Sure, I miss the old days, but I’m glad that some companies are still trying to remind me of them and to help me recapture some of the old-fashioned fun.
image from IGN.com “Multiplayer: The REAL Winner of Games today“