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Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an "Endangered Species"

GamesIndustry International has an excerpt from their in-depth interview with Blizzard's Rob Pardo where the World of Warcraft lead designer expresses skepticism about the "endangered species" of AAA single-player games. "I don't see there being a great business model for it these days. It's really sad, there's just a lot of elements out there that conspire to make those games difficult to make now," he says. "Between pirating or the ability for people to rent games, it's hard for publishers to pour millions and millions of dollars into a game and not necessarily see the return they need to make those budgets realistic."

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65. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 20:47 Bhruic
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 4, 2012, 10:48:
My point is what Parallax said - they really cherry picked the quote here.

They picked the quote that was likely to be the most controversial. And - surprise, surprise - it's turned out to be. Why is that the least bit surprising?

My other point is that regardless of what is necessary, it's what's happening. AAA single player games are currently endangered because there's a clear trend away from them. Will it be a long term trend? Maybe not. Will it mean all single player games go away? Of course not. We heard warnings of that back when UT and Q3 came out and it never came to fruition. But there's a clear movement towards higher budgets and, therefore, more desperate ways to make money back. If AAA games are more likely to make that money back when they're multiplayer we'll see more of that.

You're again equating two different arguments and presenting them as if they are the same. They are similar, so it's understandable, but they aren't identical. In one, it's "this is happening because of X". The other is "this has to happen because of X". Pardo is claiming the second, you are claiming the first. The problem is, no one is arguing about that it is happening, they are arguing that it doesn't have to happen.

Also, people keep mentioning Diablo 3 as an example of a single player game. It wasn't really. It was a multiplayer game that you could play without other people. It was always on, and the experience was essentially the same with or without people. That was a multiplayer game. SimCity 5 is a multiplayer game. This is going to be the trend from publishers. Whether necessary or not, they're currently making fewer true single player experiences. For the time being.

This again? What defines a single player game vs a multiplayer game is whether you have other people in your game when you are playing it. Terraria, for example, can be played entirely single player. Or you can play it multiplayer. There's no functional difference between either other than your choice of menu selection. The only thing that Diablo 3 did is remove the menu selection. You can still play it single player, you aren't forced to play with other people, so calling it a multiplayer only game is just incorrect. Requiring you to play online doesn't automatically make something multiplayer.

Which isn't to say that Diablo 3 didn't aim their game at the multiplayer side, but the same is true of Borderlands 2. They designed the game around coop. But you can still play it (and Diablo 3) single player.
 
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