Blackened Skull

There is no gene for the human spirit

Losing multiplayer

with 2 comments

A little trend seems to be developing with next years videogame title releases. With Bioshock Infinite looking likely now not to have a multiplayer option, 4A Games have confirmed that Metro: Last Light will now not have multiplayer.

The link above to a Q&A with 4A Games reveals something which I’m beginning to believe is very centric to the videogame development process;

Q: How much better would the single player campaign have been if you’d just focused on that right from the start?

A: Fortunately, we never dedicated too many resources to the MP component beyond prototyping – it never entered full production. By making the decision when we did, we think the single player campaign will benefit as a result.

By allowing a multiplayer option, game developers are likely allowing the single-player experience to suffer. Videogames are at their best when the worlds they create don’t fall apart under the duress that multiplayer can put upon them. I believe that dev teams need to be clear from the outset what they want to create. Either a single-player experience with a fully realised world or look to create something new that isn’t a pastiche something that I believe the current state of multiplayer is now.

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Written by David Osbon

October 22, 2012 at 10:01 pm

2 Responses

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  1. It depends. There’s certainly been a pattern of including multiplayer in recent years. EA even made a fuss about not allowing any new single-player-only titles. Not sure how they’ve kept that vow. But I’ll give Mass Effect 3 as an example. When it was first announced it would have a multiplayer component, the world sighed in frustration, myself included. BioWare assured us a totally separate team was building the multiplayer, that way the single-player game wasn’t losing development resources. Ya know what? ME3 has my favorite cooperative Survival mode out there, it’s really good (if you’re into that, of course) and they’ve released four or so map packs totally free. But that’s BioWare. Not every studio can afford a whole new team just to build a good multiplayer component. Not every game needs multiplayer. Although, Mass Effect was one of them, and look how much my friends and I play the multiplayer now… And of course, BioWare has also said Dragon Age 3 will have some sort of multiplayer component but have not said exactly what it will entail yet.

    But there are plenty of examples of games that a) did not need multiplayer to begin with and b) the studio didn’t have the resources to spare anyway so the multiplayer component is tacked-on and of very poor quality. Spec Ops: The Line is a recent one, even the lead designer said the MP mode was crap and they only did it because the publisher ordered them to. Didn’t Dead Space 2 have a lousy MP component too?

    Talyn

    October 22, 2012 at 10:23 pm

    • Hey Talyn you still over at G+?

      Both Bioshock 2 & Dead Space 2 had multiplayer that should not have been developed. I consider these two sequels to be inferior to their respective originals and that could be due to wasting resources that would have been better served on the single-player.

      EA seem hard-pressed to steer Dead Space 3 towards a conventional FPS which would be a great shame.

      Hopefully a rebalance of less multiplayer and slightly more single-player only titles will begin to transpire in 2013. I must admit I’ll be having another look at Metro 2033 ready for Metro: Last Light.

      DM Osbon

      October 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm


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