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Is Single player gaming over?

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Red Storm

Lifer
Oct 2, 2005
14,207
216
106
the problem with single player games is that they cost the same as multiplayer games, BUT they dont make as much money, im sure.

online games with microtransactions or monthly fees, may not make a lot of money fast, but if they hook someone playing it, they will for 1 year AT LEAST. What single player game do you play non-stop for 1 year? skyrim maybe... but most games take 2years to develop, take 10 hours to finish. Lets say 10 more hours if you wanna replay it/do achievements and then never touch it anymore

it may give you a better experience, more memorable moments, but in the end, you only played it 20 hs.... instead of 20hs per week in an online game

then of course, having MP games have its risks, like no one playing it...
I agree with you to an extent, but I've put more hours into Infinity Engine cRPG games than I have any multiplayer game... and I played Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat, and EVE Online for years.
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
0
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the problem with single player games is that they cost the same as multiplayer games, BUT they dont make as much money, im sure.

online games with microtransactions or monthly fees, may not make a lot of money fast, but if they hook someone playing it, they will for 1 year AT LEAST. What single player game do you play non-stop for 1 year? skyrim maybe... but most games take 2years to develop, take 10 hours to finish. Lets say 10 more hours if you wanna replay it/do achievements and then never touch it anymore

it may give you a better experience, more memorable moments, but in the end, you only played it 20 hs.... instead of 20hs per week in an online game

then of course, having MP games have its risks, like no one playing it...
So who says that single player games cost the same amount as multi-player games? There a lot of variables on both sides which might significantly alter the costs. In the end, i would bet that making a 'Solid' (of such a beast exists) MMO probably costs a good deal more than a good single player game.

And who says that single player games need to have a shelf life of 20 hours and done? I played Skyrim for a couple of hundred hours and fully expect to go back at some point. Same with Fallout. And I can't tell you how many hundreds of hours I have played at Baldur's gate series. A well built single player game can have an endless life span.

but you are right in that Multi-player always online has several advantages that big corporations like. They like the reduced risk of piracy through always online. They enjoy the micro-transactions and the steady revenue stream. I am sure they enjoy being able to monitor usage and game play patterns as part of their marketing strategy. And they enjoy the 'Facebook' aspect of social media giving them a boost in consumer gaming.

At the end it is literally the difference between (for a really good single player game) visiting an art gallery and (for an MMO) a coloring book. You can sell HUGE numbers of the same coloring book but only a select number will ever visit the gallery.
 

EDUSAN

Golden Member
Apr 4, 2012
1,358
0
0
@red storm and @thespyder
Yes, i know there are EXCEPTIONS... mostly RPGs. They have always been long games that take many hours to complete. But its not always the case, and probably its the only genre that can do that.

FPS for example, even good ones, are not nearly infinite as skyrim. And im not talking about COD games that last 5hours, im talking about maybe Half life 1, half life 2, deus ex.... It took me 25hs to finish deus ex HR, which is a lot for an fps game, but its still nothing compared to how many horus i've spent playing league of legends in the last 2 years.
Im playing skyrim for the 1st time, im already at 45 hours, but its nothing compared to how much time i played unreal tournament 2004 online.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,372
3,057
136
Idealy, MP games where everyone used a mic and played as intended then it would be awesome. But sadly i find MP aggrevating at best.
This is where I sit as well. I doubt I'll ever play a large open world MMO or Battlefield FPS again. The endless number of griefers out there reduce the experience to the point that I am no longer having fun.
I no longer want to deal with 14 year old kids that need to make other people miserable in order to make themselves feel a little better about not being popular. I no longer want to deal with the jerk that joins a group and then goes AFK for 15 minutes every hour, keeping the rest of us waiting. I have no time for the PUG that drops out the second he gets the drop he wants, leaving the rest of us to find a replacement.
So, I'll play the Borderlands, the Torchlight type games, but only with a small group of hand picked friends. Never again will I join the general population of online gamers. My leisure time is too precious to waste on them.
 

ImpulsE69

Lifer
Jan 8, 2010
14,793
826
126
I agree with you to an extent, but I've put more hours into Infinity Engine cRPG games than I have any multiplayer game... and I played Team Fortress 2, Day of Defeat, and EVE Online for years.
If that's true, you're doing it wrong. I think I put more hours into Eve than any other game in my life...and I played TONS of Quake back in the day lol.
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
0
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@red storm and @thespyder
Yes, i know there are EXCEPTIONS... mostly RPGs. They have always been long games that take many hours to complete. But its not always the case, and probably its the only genre that can do that.

FPS for example, even good ones, are not nearly infinite as skyrim. And im not talking about COD games that last 5hours, im talking about maybe Half life 1, half life 2, deus ex.... It took me 25hs to finish deus ex HR, which is a lot for an fps game, but its still nothing compared to how many horus i've spent playing league of legends in the last 2 years.
Im playing skyrim for the 1st time, im already at 45 hours, but its nothing compared to how much time i played unreal tournament 2004 online.
See, the problem I am having is that I don't consider RPGs EXCEPTIONS. I consider them to be a class or genre of game. And it isn't the only genre that doesn't fit your mold. I also play single player GalCiv 2 quite a lot. And Sins of a Solar Empire. And Moo2. I would consider 4X strategy games to have also unlimited (or nearly so) life span.

In short, I think there are loads of game types that 'Can' generate that almost unlimited sense and still be single player.
 

JTsyo

Lifer
Nov 18, 2007
10,988
247
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ditto
Idealy, MP games where everyone used a mic and played as intended then it would be awesome. But sadly i find MP aggrevating at best.
That's a huge turn off from MP. When BF3 was announced, I had an idea on my head of teams working together. Squads supporting each other but in reality it just turns into a crap shoot. Even when playing with buds it's hard to keep everyone together. Then there are the guys that are playing just to get achievements/assignments or fooling around.
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
0
0
That's a huge turn off from MP. When BF3 was announced, I had an idea on my head of teams working together. Squads supporting each other but in reality it just turns into a crap shoot. Even when playing with buds it's hard to keep everyone together. Then there are the guys that are playing just to get achievements/assignments or fooling around.
I think this speaks more to the types of people you end up gaming with. I think with the right group, voice commands and some kind of a command structure would probably rule these types of games. That is why the army uses them in training simulations. But then you have actually real soldier obeying real commands given by real commanders (or at least other solders that are supposed to be 'in charge').
 

Agent11

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2006
3,535
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Hopefully this will mean EA will cease buying good single player game franchises and ruining them.
 

SMOGZINN

Lifer
Jun 17, 2005
13,372
3,057
136
Hopefully this will mean EA will cease buying good single player game franchises and ruining them.
EA will just buy good single player games and force them into multiplayer games. See Mass Effect as an example.
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
0
0
EA will just buy good single player games and force them into multiplayer games. See Mass Effect as an example.
Or buy em out for their street cred. Or buy em out to squash the 'Competition'. Or buy em out Cuz their bored and need to crush the souls and spirits of their consumers that bit further. Or simply buy em out so that they can prove themselves right after all, because if there isn't anyone left standing to disagree, they MUST be right.
 

HeXen

Diamond Member
Dec 13, 2009
7,819
32
91
That's a huge turn off from MP. When BF3 was announced, I had an idea on my head of teams working together. Squads supporting each other but in reality it just turns into a crap shoot. Even when playing with buds it's hard to keep everyone together. Then there are the guys that are playing just to get achievements/assignments or fooling around.
I was reffering to something akin to Xbox Live, aside from the kids, MP gaming is actually pretty awesome on it, far...far more people talk on there. The issue i find with PC, is very few use voice, theoretically being able to communicate like that is far more efficient, the problem is sometimes the kids who like to piss everyone off for fun on it.
But i do find being able to talk to team members to be far more rewarding and engaging experience, but i just don't really know anyone who games on PC, all my friends have Xbox. I feel like the lone PC player in my area
 

Zenoth

Diamond Member
Jan 29, 2005
5,086
105
106
Maybe with developers but not with users.

-Keith
Indeed.

But the problem is that if (and I think it is) it is less popular over time and developers are less willing to make single-player games, then the users (gamers/consumers) themselves will suffer from that. Will we start to develop our own self-satisfying single-player games if actual real developers have less and less intent to do so? No, we won't, because we're not developers, we merely play what's being developed. A way to put it that I've read recently on another forum which I liked is to say that developers are the "action", and we gamers are the reaction. We have no power on their decisions of whether or not their next games on their list will end up single-player or multi-player. When it comes to determine the target audience the choice is rather simple, go with multi-player to propagate the game to a guaranteed wider one (audience), or stick with single-player and cross your fingers.

Is multi-player synonymous with guaranteed success? No. But multi-player alone is synonymous with wider audience, it is true. So it becomes a question of potential and also in a more business-friendly term risk management. Do you risk going with single-player? Or do you risk making potentially more money even if the game isn't that good but is at least making more money anyway? It's up to you of course... some developers "risk it" and they succeed, both with single-player and multi-player games (The Witcher 2 was a huge risk by going single-player, but they succeeded). But sometimes you fail, and you'll statistically fail more often if you stick with single-player rather than going with multi-player. Would DICE/EA risk making a new Call of Duty game that would end up being completely single-player? I doubt it. It's just that, remember, risk management and a question of money, testing waters alone has a price and developers know that (publishers too of course, and shareholders certainly).

Another "problem" is that developers usually don't follow what some consumers may want or wish. In fact what we gamers want is usually irrelevant, it is what we buy that is considered the stuff we want. So if tons of Call of Duties are being bought then of course developers assume it's what "we want", correct? Well yeah. They (developers) mostly follow the money. A part of us gamers might still like single-player games, yes and surely they do still exist, but regardless of the fact that some of us still like them or not the developers will never blindly stop fishing where the fish bites. If a developer knows there's more money (or even just potentially, it doesn't have to be guaranteed) to be made with a game that is either entirely multi-player or at least that has a good multi-player component, then they'll do that instead of opting for a "pure" single-player game.

We can always think that single-player games can still sell very well, and yes they do. But despite the fact that it still happens (single-player games selling well) some developers out there still apparently "don't get it" and they still have that (miss)conception that if their single-player game was a critical success then «Imagine what it could be if it became a MMORPG! Let's do it guys!».

Example? Bethesda and their Elder Scrolls franchise. Before they even announced Skyrim some of us gamers theorized that perhaps The Elder Scrolls V would end up a MMORPG, but lo and behold no! It was still single-player and you bet it sold like hotcakes. Now what, it sold like hotcakes but did Bethesda say "Well then let's keep going with single-player!"? Not exactly, their next Elder Scrolls will be a MMORPG anyway, so was Skyrim a "message" about single-player games still being viable? Well maybe it was to some extent, but was it sufficient? Apparently not. In fact, development on Skyrim started in 2008, and according to the Wikipedia page on Elder Scrolls Online the development on that one (ESO) started five years ago which puts the start of it sometime in 2007 or perhaps 2008 at most if that estimation is not necessarily accurate. That would mean that at the very least Skyrim was not even announced yet that there was development on a MMORPG variant of their Elder Scrolls franchise without even knowing if that one specifically (the MMORPG one) would be good following the almost-guaranteed success (and it was) of Skyrim.

Will Bethesda "stop" making single-player games from now? Well I don't know... maybe? The question is why would they? If they have a MMORPG to tend to for God knows how many years to follow its release then how much time and resources will they also dedicate as well for a "side line" single-player game? And will that game be yet another single-player Elder Scrolls despite already having one that is exclusively on-line? I'm not sure but I wouldn't hold my breath about it. But of course they could... or perhaps it will be a new franchise and will end up single-player for the sake of being single-player to appease a smaller audience that may claim that Bethesda is "leaving them behind" (despite their MMORPG variant being their very first and only multi-player Elder Scrolls to date).

But that's only concerning Bethesda and the Elder Scrolls franchise, obviously it won't affect the entire industry... or I hope not. What I am observing, merely so and nothing else, is that there seems to be a decline in interests for actual real single-player games development. Now of course Bethesda is just one developer out of many still, but when a developer like Bethesda seemingly leave for a wider audience (leaving single-player to opt for the MMORPG model) then at the very least it sends a message of clear intentions to both the industry in general and certainly the gamers. If what I am believing to be the case is indeed true (which again I will say I believe is indeed true) then whether or not us gamers "like" single-player games is irrelevant, since if developers opt to go multi-player or "exclusively on-line" (such as MMORPGs) then we gamers will be the ones "paying the price" in the end. In other words being "stuck" with a majority of such games, while clinging on a handful or rare and maybe decent-at-best single-player games which usually end up being console ports anyway.
 

Agent11

Diamond Member
Jan 22, 2006
3,535
1
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If there hadn't been any good single player games for a few years this might have some traction.

That isn't the case though. Elderscrolls, Fallout, Witcher, Mass effect and Dragon age have all been very well recieved.
 

Stringjam

Golden Member
Jun 30, 2011
1,871
33
91
I sure hope not. With FarCry3 and Metro: Last Light on the horizon, at least I have a couple of possible gems to look forward to.

I've spent thousands of hours in MP, and although it has its place and its own kind of fun, I like nothing more than to sit down in front of a well-made single-player experience. It is by far the most enjoyment I get out of gaming.

I wish I could go back in time and play STALKER again for the first time.
 

bigrash

Lifer
Feb 20, 2001
17,653
28
91
I guess I'm in the minority because I never play multiplayer. Don't see the appeal to it. Singleplayer 4 life yo!
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
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I don't think we are "In the minority" in so much as the core group of gamers probably really appreciate Single Player games. However, with the expansion of the market to encompass Casual gamers, we end up being a very small percentage of the total revenue. Yeah, I guess that actually does make us an Minority. And maybe it makes me an elitist, but I consider that "True Gamers" are a subset of the market.

What happens though, is that a lot of the Casual gamer market are more of the Facebook and Twitter (etc...) crowd. And while that isn't a bad thing, these types are looking for gaming to be yet another social media networking opportunity rather than an actual GAME experience..

And then companies like EA figure that since the vast majority of the market dollars are going to casual gamers, they can cater to those segments of the market and ignore people who play games for gaming rather than social media. Is there an overflow/cross section? Absolutely. But it falls to more artistic types to provide really good experiences in gaming.

It's like your favorite Mom and Pop Italian (or whatever) restaurant gets bought out by a chain. All of the sudden quality drops but the number of stores pop up all over the place.
 

irishScott

Lifer
Oct 10, 2006
21,568
2
0
No. At the very least we'll have kickstarter and things like Project Eternity. Likewise any RTS games of note have always, ALWAYS included a single-player campaign for obvious reasons.

Honestly I'm getting a little tired of "is [my favorite type of] X over?" questions. People have been asking them for over a decade, and I can't think of one single genre that's completely disappeared. Even adventure games are making a small comeback via kickstarter and indies.

What's happening is more people are playing video games, where before it was just hardcore gamers (hell there was a time where playing a game without reading the manual was unthinkable). So hardcore gamers will take their natural place in the market. Thankfully there are enough of us that we can hold onto our little corner and still get good stuff. Just because we no longer rule the AAA titles doesn't mean we're dead anymore than the decline of the British Empire meant the UK was wiped out.
 

thespyder

Golden Member
Aug 31, 2006
1,979
0
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Honestly I'm getting a little tired of "is [my favorite type of] X over?" questions. People have been asking them for over a decade, and I can't think of one single genre that's completely disappeared. Even adventure games are making a small comeback via kickstarter and indies.
Um, Text games like Zork? Are all but gone these days.

Side Scroller games aren't gone, but are definitely dying a slow death.

Just pulling your chain on these though. The point behind the thread wasn't to prophesy the end of the genre, but to stimulate some interest in the core gamer crowd in the hopes that someone in the big gaming companies happens to lurk and possibly read these threads. Not saying that one single thread in a single message board will 'Enlighten' anyone. but every great journey begins with but a single step.
 

gladiatorua

Member
Nov 21, 2011
145
0
0
Side Scroller games aren't gone, but are definitely dying a slow death.
They were "reborn" with the rise of indies. They are even better now. Not from nostalgic perspective, but gameplay, style, graphics etc are much better now.

The whole talk about multi player being the future is stupid. What kind of multi player are we talking about? Co-op? Competitive? The "social aspect"(stuff like achievements at least or subtle gameplay interaction at most)? MMO?
Its just that EA does dumb stuff like tying multi player to single player progress and making it very hard to get "top"-ending without MP(ME3). Or Blizzard making Diablo3 online only.
A lot of games today are not very good for co-op as an only option. Especially with current "progression" fad in gaming industry.
 

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