With more and more publishers focusing on multiplayer titles many are wondering if this is the start of the end for the single-player games in the game industry especially after the fact that EA shut down Visceral Games and noted that their Star Wars title was shaping to be a linear action-adventure title.
However, not everyone thinks that single-player titles will ever be extinct in the game industry. According to Xbox boss, Shanon Loftis, single-player games are central to game development and will always have this reputation.
She added that single-player games are not dead but, the economics for developing the single-player title is changing.
Game development in general is about a couple of things. It’s about delivering and experience and it’s about telling stories. Storytelling is as central to game development as it ever has been.
I don’t think that it’s dead per se. I do think the economics of taking a single-player game and telling a very high fidelity multi-hour story get a little more complicated. Gamers want higher fidelity and they want higher resolution graphics.
Since the shutdown of Visceral Games, many developers have come forward to defend single-player only titles including God Of War director, Cory Barlog, who also defended single-player only titles saying “I love linear single player games. Saddens me when the word linear is considered a bad thing. You can have agency in a linear story game”.
However, there have been many single-player titles that launch this year and have been immensely successful such as Horizon Zero Dawn, NieR Automata, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice are just a few examples of successful single-player games.
We will also see the launch of Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus and Assassin’s Creed Origins which are highly-anticipated single-player titles.
With everything said and done, we are sure of one thing that single-player titles are not going anywhere and will all be central to the game industry.