I don't think it's a big deal that Bioshock 2 will not have LAN or dedicated servers. I do
think it's a big deal that it's another game going that route. The more games that use this design philosophy now, the more games will use it in the future.
How many companies have to do this before it becomes a serious problem? By the time most people realize it's a real issue, too many companies will be doing it for consumers to be able to turn it around. Even if most of us have no intention of ever playing Bioshock 2 in multiplayer, buying it as such tells 2K's bean counters that we want that. It also tells everyone else's bean counters that, according to Infinity Ward (proven), 2K Games and Blizzard (speculative), we want less flexibility and more direct company control in our multiplayer options. Give it five or ten years and we'll be up to our noses in games that don't work anymore because the developer runs the only server that lets you play, and they don't want to run it anymore so they can make you get the new game. EA's been doing this for years with their sports games, at least for multiplayer. It was only a matter of time before it spread.
This is how production standards are eroded. First they tell us, "Take a look at our upcoming game! It's the dog's nuts! Our atmosphere is second to none. The AI is simply brilliant. 50 hours of challenge and fun, plus countless hours of compelling multiplayer! Oh, and you can't play LAN." Then it's more like, "Take a look at this one! Simply brilliant! The atmosphere is pretty neat. Our AI is pretty bright. 40 hours of challenge and fun, if you die a few times and stop to read every single word of the narrative. Oh, and only we can host multiplayer servers, and you still can't play LAN but you're ok with that now." Then, "Check this out! If you don't compare it to our previous efforts, it's the shit! 20 hours of challenge and fun, if you leave the game running every time you take a dump. Highly atmospheric and immersive levels that are an amazing forty meters
wide! Five unique weapons, WITH SECONDARY FIRE! Our AI can walk through doors and not even bump into the sides! Oh, still no LAN or server hosting. Since you're ok with that, we don't want you playing it at all without online verification each time you start it up." Production value goes down, not just in corners cut from the game itself but also in what the extras (or lack thereof) cost. Every time consumers accept the next cut corner, they cut another. When does it end? Never, if developers keep doing it and we consumers keep rewarding them for it.This comment was edited on Jan 27, 2010, 22:34.
Huh? I'm sorry, I was thinking about cake.