Single-Player Healthcare (The Jimquisition)

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After EA murdered Visceral and “pivoted” its Star Wars game, there has been much talk of the death of single-player games.

The Jimquisition explains just how long this debate has lasted, and why single-player is doing okay.

Bonus Content: Oh, Ubisoft!

Natalie
Member
Natalie

You know, it just occurred to me yesterday… The whole “games as service” thing? It isn’t just decimating single player. It’s actually also poisoning multiplayer in the AAA space. It used to be when triple A brought out multiplayer games, they were made to be fun, simple experiences you could jump into and have some goofs. Now, it’s all about leveling up your profile, leveling up your loot, looting up your profile, leveling up your icon, looting loot, loot, loot, levels loots loot levels achievements icons loot loot It doesn’t really seem like they’re bothering to make games that are… Read more »

Mrmcdoll
Member
Mrmcdoll

Funny. Two gaming experiences that I “come back to and enjoy” for a long time, are mass effect 1 and dragon age 1. Both are EA games… I’d say you need look no further than cdprojekt to find a developer that is committed to providing great single player experiences and who have given away expansive content, and provided stuff that’s worth the extra price, with their phenomenal expansions. You’ve hit the nail on the head by identifying that the issue isn’t some crap about games costing more, but rather publishers considering a lack of additional revenue as actual revenue lost.… Read more »

Xion Eternum
Member
Xion Eternum

You would think that with all the “success” garnered trying to copycat CoD, WoW, and every other major market trend that someone somewhere would realize; this doesn’t work. Nope. These millionaires with their multi-billion dollar publishing companies are too stupid to realize that doing the same thing over and over expecting a different outcome is in fact; stupid. Nearly every game or franchise that has tried to copy CoD hasn’t had a collective success touching the highest selling single game in the CoD franchise. Why? Because why would someone buy a CoD-clone if they already have CoD? All but a… Read more »

Ford.Fairlane
Member
Ford.Fairlane

It feels like “Customers want more graphical fidelity” is the publisher misreading the audience. I thought during last gen there was a pivot from Graphics to Art Design as a real selling point for a game. Bioshock, Borderlands, Bastion/Transistor, plenty of others… The quest for hyper-realism just ended up with everyone’s shooter looking like everyone else’s shooter. Then some people decided to stop making their games look real and just make them look cool. I know the CoDs of the world are still pushing pixels, but having a killer aesthetic can really sell your game while knocking a ton of… Read more »

AntarcticOasis
Member
AntarcticOasis

I’m really glad single player games aren’t going away any time soon. I think there’s something to be said for a focused gaming experience that a person can enjoy by themselves from time to time.

As a side note, I look forward to the forthcoming Jimquisition on Sonic Team and SEGA’s inability to get modern Sonic right, despite Generstions and Lost World being two solid directions to go in.

Konrad Victor
Member
Konrad Victor

Questions:
How many copies has Skyrim sold?
That thing is an ancient Single Player experience and it is still selling. Additionally it will probably get a VR Version at some point.

Oh and where is the Weird Yellow Hat Dude that wants to die from?

Dj_Ziio
Member
Dj_Ziio

I think the Switch is a perfect example of why single player games will never die. Nintendo’s best first party games are both single player. Its what they have always done best. The fact that you have to use your mobile device to chat with others when playing a multiplayer game on the device leads me to believe that multiplayer was never seen as integral to its success.

mth
Member
mth

While I agree that “linear” doesn’t have to be a bad thing, there are cases where it can be justified to use it as a criticism: when a game or its marketing suggests that player choices make a big difference when in fact they have very little impact on how the story unfolds.

Alex Brown
Member

I know that Kotaku is a dirty word around these parts, but Jim, you really should read Jason Schreier’s article on the closure of Visceral .The jist of it is that the reasons given for it’s closure (that they wanted to pivot the direction into a loot based multiplayer game) were to placate investors, but the reality of it was that the development was floundering. On top of that the studio was around 60% more expensive to run than the average studio of it’s size, simply for where it was located, and that the ambition of the game was too… Read more »

drownedsummer
Member
drownedsummer

There was a solid single-player experience last year as well No Man’s Sky.

yaminsoul
Member
yaminsoul

As someone who primarily plays single player games, and CRPGs most often, I completely agree with this. Especially in the CRPG space, the last few years have seen an actual major increase in titles, both Western produced and games coming into the Western market from elsewhere (Legend of Heroes being brought over for PC made me so happy). I just finished playing Divinity Originals Sin 2, which, while having a very good multiplayer system (several actually), is at its heart a single player, narrative driven game, I would argue, and that has sold at quite well.

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

Sigh. Is there anywhere I can check the commenting rules? Everything I post gets a “waiting for moderation” flag.

Stormbringer
Member
Stormbringer

5 minute episodes was 500% better.

Денис Фролов
Member

Bottomline – AAA single-player games can fuck off. If they indeed die, I won’t be mourning them. Bethesda franchises will remain for a time anyway, and indie market is there forever.

Arella Jardin
Member
Arella Jardin

Bioware makes some of my favorite games, and the fact EA has them in their grips worries me. I think Dragon Age Inquisition was the best in that series, but even then, resources were diverted away from the singleplayer game to tack on a pointless multiplayer mode… with lootboxes (doing it before Overwatch made it cool). EA shuffled ME Andromeda, Bioware’s biggest franchise, to an untested branch studio and forced them to use Frostbite despite the engine not being good for that sort of game (and later canceled the singleplayer DLC because the game was only modestly profitable. Yes, they… Read more »

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

The best part of Assassin’s Creed Origins DRM is the fact the game was cracked, and pirated within 30minutes to and hour of release..
Even worse the DRM is so obtrusive that it’s ruining performance for people actually playing the game, causing even beefy machines to crash, or have horrible frame rates.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

I remember when the industry said “Adventure Games” were dead in the 90s, and that’s only because they lost their prominence. They were still around, and many good ones were made, the problem was, the market was flooded for a while.
The same thing happened to RTS games, and is happening to FPS and Zombie games.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

Oh god, I played Alone In The Dark Inferno last week for Halloween, it was so bad that during the first 10 minutes I was in tears about how hilarious bad the production value was and had to turn on my streaming device to share it with people.

Jiryn
Member
Jiryn

As I asked last week, is there any validity to the reports that the real reason Visceral was closed down and the game was refocused was due to not have any marketable characters?
Apparently you play a plucky rogue/smuggler, and there isn’t a Jedi to be found, so EA (and probably Disney) were not happy with this since they can’t sell Merch.

Coughee
Member
Coughee

Regarding Phil Harrison, admittedly I had that sort of mentality myself regarding single player and multi player. Before things took a turn to a monetization scheme instead of a feature, anyway. Pretty much everybody I knew (and yes, this IS anecdotal and I’m not saying this was true for ACTUALLY everybody) kinda had the same mentality. “I could play this single player game, but hey, this game I could actually play with other people.” So I can see where he would have made that assumption: at the time it seemed especially realistic to me. Nowadays I’m actually super critical about… Read more »

Terry-Osaurusus Hex XI
Member

As a wise and ancient Roman poet once said; The words of Ubisoft, Microsoft and EA representatives are written in wind and running water.

La Chica Incognita
Member
La Chica Incognita

Fun Fact: The only way to “stop” piracy is make a game people want to pay for. Funny, huh?

diehardfast
Guest
diehardfast

This user has been deleted, but this comment will remain here so the following thread does not have to be deleted.

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Also on the Oh, Ubisoft, am I the only one who noticed that they used the same excuse the Air Control devs used?

Greene Scott
Member
Greene Scott

Fans being at fault is sadly true, too many times have I been crapped at or told I’m not a “real” fan by fighting game fans for liking the lore of fighting games and single player stuff like arcade modes, story modes and offline player vs player with my brother. I’ve often been told to accept that they are “dead”, “outdated” and bad even though games like Injustice 2 making great single player modes and selling millions while games who half arse it like MvCI and SFV selling poorly… But still making money due to the sheer amount of the… Read more »