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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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45. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 07:40 Bhruic
 
Beamer wrote on Oct 4, 2012, 07:12:
This guy really said a lot of things every single person here agrees with.

I don't know about every single person, but probably most. But I'm not sure what your point is with that - just because someone says something I agree with doesn't mean they can't also say something that I don't agree with - and something that I consider to be stupid.

Is anyone here surprised by that? Yes, there are still big AAA single player games, but we all see the trend the industry is trying to further monetize things to cover the fact that we have a billion people working on most AAA games these days. We may not like it, but we all see that trend.

You're talking about something else here. Can companies make more money by monetizing things? Certainly. Does that mean that doing so is necessary? Not really.
 
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44. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 07:12 Beamer
 
Parallax Abstraction wrote on Oct 3, 2012, 21:30:
GamesIndustry International purposefully making stories out of cherry picked quoted to generate clicks through controversy? Sounds like just another day for them.

Yeah, let's look at the quotes they could have picked:
You certainly see trends. One of the bigger trends is there's a lot of smaller games able to be created, so you are seeing a lot more innovation that isn't possible in the AAA space because of the money and the risk involved. You'll see a lot of these really innovative indie games, mobile games, social games, that people can try out and test new and innovative ideas. I think that a lot of those ideas will eventually turn into AAA games. They'll end up being this experimental hotbed of game design.
Kickstarter being the experimental hotbed of game design? Controversial!

. That's one of the things you've seen a lot with the subscription-based business model. I personally think subscription-based business models can still work, but you can't over-value your game.
Most subscription models are stupid and overpriced, in part because they're made by people not connected to the game? Controversial!

One of the biggest issues with free-to-play models these days is the feeling that a lot of games give me: That for me to progress in this game, or to really have a deep game experience, you have to pay. That's where free-to-play gets a bad rap. But that's more the game design than the model.
F2P is often badly designed? Controversial!

Take first-person-shooters; there's just a basic physics problem with how long it takes for you to get instructions into the cloud and back to the client again. I don't know how you'll ever be able to deal with those sorts of latency problems with cloud gaming.
Cloud gaming is only right for certain game types? Controversial!

I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last traditional console generation and it evolves into something new after that.
Consoles becoming less popular? Controversial!

I think it would be really sad if the only kind of games we could interact with in the future will be touch-based games.
The rise of tablet games being a bit sad, in that its stealing focus from deeper games? Controversial!



This guy really said a lot of things every single person here agrees with. But he also said that, with rising budgets, it's hard to get a return on a AAA single player game that you do on something that has more financial touchpoints with a consumer. Is anyone here surprised by that? Yes, there are still big AAA single player games, but we all see the trend the industry is trying to further monetize things to cover the fact that we have a billion people working on most AAA games these days. We may not like it, but we all see that trend.
And, as he mentions, Kickstarter is giving us access to indies which are filling the innovation and SP void.
 
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43. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 05:41 Julio
 
Just because Blizzard isn't capable of making a single player game that is a success doesn't mean all games have to be multiplayer. Looks like the geniuses at Blizzard learned nothing from the Diablo 3 fiasco. Enjoy milking WOW until it dies.

The new gaming model is here, and its good. Kickstarter is looking like the best way for consumers to get what they want to play. More profit for good developers. Screw the gaming industry geniuses that want everything to be a multiplayer, real time, FPS, free to play, DLC driven, DRM'd, with four hours of playing time game.
 
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42. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 05:28 jdreyer
 
Cutter wrote on Oct 4, 2012, 02:59:
Hey Pardo? Why didn't I buy Diablo 3? No offline SP.
THIS. Will I be picking up TL 2? As soon as I unpack my PC from its moving box.
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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41. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 05:25 jdreyer
 
I think there are lots of players like Jivaro, Prez, and myself who are largely (exclusively?) single player game players. We do it for the narrative, we do it for the experience, we do it for the immersiveness (which playing in an MMO where someone writes "kthxby, dude!, and ttyl" all the time can really take you out of).

It's like saying, "Now that people have chat clients, I don't see there being a great business model for the novel these days. There are just a lot of elements out there that conspire to make novels difficult to make now. Between libraries and PDF files on bitorrent, it's hard for publishers to pour millions of dollars into a noevel and see the return they need to make those budgets realistic."
 
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"It's just a bunch of mystic bovine scatology to me." - 1badmf
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40. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 04:39 shihonage
 
Blizzard is an endangered species, and, just like a wild-eyed gazelle in an open field, they have no idea of their impending doom.  
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39. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 04:35 InBlack
 
And this is the final nail in the coffin for Blizzard, at least for me. I will not buy another game from them, not unless they somehow capture the magic that used to be their hallmark.

Rob Pardo can go fuck himself with his megalomaniac "out of touch" "holy know better than though attitude" statements. Blizzard has grown so bloated and corporate that they have forgotten that games DONT HAVE TO COST millions and millions of dollars to be quality titles. Pumping money does not guarantee quality as can be seen from exhibit A: Diablo3.

Single player games are simpler, easier and YES CHEAPER to make than MMOs or DRM infested quasi multiplayer pieces of shit. That is why there will ALWAYS be a market for quality single player titles. My favorite games have always been single player, if for no other reason than its still the best way to tell a good story.

So to reiterate Rob Pardo can go suck on femdiablo's shemale parts.
 
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I have a nifty blue line!
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38. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 02:59 Cutter
 
Hey Pardo? Why didn't I buy Diablo 3? No offline SP.
 
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"The South will boogie again!" - Disco Stu
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37. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 02:41 Jerykk
 
PropheT wrote on Oct 4, 2012, 01:54:
mlw wrote on Oct 3, 2012, 23:17:
One word to debate this idiot: Skyrim

Well, 4 words kind of put that to rest when the future of that series is "The Elder Scrolls Online".

Anyway...Isn't that "one word" kind of his point?

If you could come up with a few more words I think you might be on to something, but the two other single player games from the last year that came to mind also have some kind of online component (Dark Souls, Dragon's Dogma).

There seems to be quite a few people here calling him an idiot when what he's saying is really, really hard to argue with if you look at the list of AAA games from the last few years. There's less than a handful of them each year. What AAA single player games have hit this year? Dragon's Dogma is the only one I can even think of, since its online component isn't actual multiplayer.

Skyrim and Batman: AC were last year, what else was there?



I'm pretty sure that Bethesda is going to continue making single-player Elder Scrolls games regardless of ESO's success or failure.

As for AAA (in terms of budget) SP-only games that came out (or will come out) this year:

Sleeping Dogs
Darksiders 2
Dishonored
Hitman: Absolution (Contracts mode doesn't count as multiplayer)

While it's definitely true that most AAA games have a multiplayer component these days, that component is often tacked on. For most games, the focus is clearly on SP. Publishers are just afraid of making purely SP or purely MP games these days. AAA MP-only games are just about as rare as AAA SP-only games.
 
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36. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 02:41 Scud
 
PropheT wrote on Oct 4, 2012, 01:54:
mlw wrote on Oct 3, 2012, 23:17:
One word to debate this idiot: Skyrim

Well, 4 words kind of put that to rest when the future of that series is "The Elder Scrolls Online".

I seem to recall that Elder Scrolls Online was just on the side and not set to replace the single player games.
 
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35. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 01:54 PropheT
 
mlw wrote on Oct 3, 2012, 23:17:
One word to debate this idiot: Skyrim

Well, 4 words kind of put that to rest when the future of that series is "The Elder Scrolls Online".

Anyway...Isn't that "one word" kind of his point?

If you could come up with a few more words I think you might be on to something, but the two other single player games from the last year that came to mind also have some kind of online component (Dark Souls, Dragon's Dogma).

There seems to be quite a few people here calling him an idiot when what he's saying is really, really hard to argue with if you look at the list of AAA games from the last few years. There's less than a handful of them each year. What AAA single player games have hit this year? Dragon's Dogma is the only one I can even think of, since its online component isn't actual multiplayer.

Skyrim and Batman: AC were last year, what else was there?


 
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34. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 01:53 Muscular Beaver
 
Good. Another reason not to buy a Blizzard game ever again, since he is only talking about Blizzard games.  
Avatar 12928
 
Oh that is so lame... You will PAY for your use of inappropriate dialogue!
- Mojo Jojo
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33. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 01:26 Jivaro
 
I am not sure if I would continue gaming were single player games to become truly all that rare.

As others have pointed out...there are plenty of single player games that have made their developers/publishers a lot of money. Many, if not most, become full on franchises that basically print their own money with each subsequent sequel. Hell, I don't even like Assassin's Creed or Dead Space, and yet any idiot can see that they are obviously doing quite well being primarily or only single player games.

But his line of thinking bothers me mainly because the two things I see hit the hardest, in terms of game design, when a game becomes focused either partly or entirely on multiplayer is the storyline and the character development. I don't just mean shorter single player campaigns or limited hair options either. I mean all of it...things like the writing, voice acting, etc.

For me, my favorite games have always been story driven with a player character that I was allowed to make my own. While some MMOs are good at one aspect or the other, I have played very few that are good at both...and none that were able to stay good enough to warrant a subscription. The other thing is that the two main issues he states are pirating and renting...and quite frankly I don't see how simply being a multiplayer game changes any of that in a way that a single player game can't.

It would definitely negatively affect my interest in this hobby if this man's opinions turned out to be realities.
 
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32. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 01:14 RailWizard
 
El Pit wrote on Oct 4, 2012, 00:27:
RailWizard, it might also be wise to remove your mail address from the last line.

The yahoo one? That's not me, that's the phisher.
 
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31. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 00:27 El Pit
 
RailWizard, it might also be wise to remove your mail address from the last line.  
Consoles? I owned two: a Pong clone and an Atari 2600. And that's it.
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30. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 00:23 gilly775
 
Yeah, because online only games are so stable right now and disconnects, lag, and lack of Internet availability EVERYWHERE are a thing of the past. What a f'ing moron!  
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29. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 00:16 RailWizard
 
Oh and speaking of Blizzard games, I got my first Diablo 3 phishing email last night. Gift



Greetings!

It has come to our attention that you are trying to sell your personal Diablo III account(s).
As you may not be aware of, this conflicts with the EULA and Terms of Agreement.
If this proves to be true, your account can and will be disabled.
It will be ongoing for further investigation by Blizzard Entertainm?ent 's employees.
If you wish to not get your account suspended you should immediately verify your account ownership.

You can confirm that you are the original owner of the account to this secure website with:
* link removed *
Login to your account, In accordance following template to verify your account.


If you ignore this mail your account can and will be closed permanently.
Once we verify your account, we will reply to your e-mail informing you that we have dropped the investigation.

Regards,

Account Administration Team
Blizzard Entertainment 2012

>>Message-ID: <32435FE44D1AD91B31A2D12B94C3AA21@zidzsdr>
>>From: =?utf-8?B?QmxpenphcmQgRW50ZXJ0YWlubeKAi2VudA==?= <Marcsman123@yahoo.com>
 
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28. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 00:02 RailWizard
 
TheEmissary wrote on Oct 3, 2012, 21:35:
I think this is a case of trying to say the same thing enough times and hoping it becomes true in the long run.

Hmm where have I seen this before...

It's a shame we weren't able to kill the propaganda machines when we destroyed the Nazis or indirectly destroyed the Soviets. Of course, we had our own, which is why it survived.
 
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27. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 4, 2012, 00:02 theyarecomingforyou
 
Skyrim
Batman: Arkham City
Deus Ex: Human Revolution
Max Payne 3
Civilization V
The Witcher 2
X-COM: Enemy Unknown
Metro: Last Light
Dishonored
Watchdogs
GTA V
Assassin's Creed 3
Dead Space 3
Crysis 3
Bioshock: Infinite
Aliens: Colonial Marines
Mass Effect 3
Portal 2
Total War: Shogun 2
Hitman: Absolution
Far Cry 3
SimCity
Tomb Raider
Dragon Age III

Sure not every title on there will appeal to everyone but that's a plenty big enough list. Diablo III was a great game but Blizzard shouldn't be making such ridiculous statements about the industry - we know they hate singleplayer games but based upon the sales figures for Skyrim and Batman: Arkham City I think it's fair to say that a few people still play singleplayer games and don't just pirate them.
 
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26. Re: Blizzard's Pardo: Single-Player Games an Oct 3, 2012, 23:20 JohnBirshire
 
Yeah, when you spend 10 years in development and release a piece of crap like Diablo 3. Sold a lot of initial copies because it's Diablo 3, but once word got out that it is trash the sales plummeted.  
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