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Op Ed

Gamasutra - Does Visceral's closure prove AAA single-player games are dying?
"In a way, I can understand why EA management canned the project then, since I’m sure it wasn’t in a state where it could exist as a “live game” very easily, and a publicly traded company like EA is looking for the largest profits out of the largest games….which are currently live online games. I don’t see a world where a single-player Star Wars multiplatform game would have hit that, even with the license.

This probably means large companies like EA won’t be investing in linear action-adventure type things any time soon. Those that do will probably do so with some kind of console exclusive deal tied to it (Horizon Zero Dawn, Uncharted), or will do so at the cost of exorbitant crunch."

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26 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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26. Re: Op Ed Oct 20, 2017, 14:16 jdreyer
 
Heltorne wrote on Oct 20, 2017, 02:16:
haha so if single-player games are dying and MMOs are basically dead, what is the *in* thing right now?

MOBAs?
 
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25. Re: Op Ed Oct 20, 2017, 07:33 Jonjonz
 
All the better, a more open market for games like the Witcher, Wolfenstien, and Skyrim to laugh all the way to the bank.  
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24. Re: Op Ed Oct 20, 2017, 05:53 Redmask
 
Streaming games is the big one right now. It's so big Microsoft is basically planning not to ship exclusives outside of their core 3 anymore and is just going to attempt to partner with whatever the fad games are for their dumb Mixer service that no one uses.  
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23. Re: Op Ed Oct 20, 2017, 03:23 NKD
 
Heltorne wrote on Oct 20, 2017, 02:16:
haha so if single-player games are dying and MMOs are basically dead, what is the *in* thing right now?

Uh well, judging by whats been going on recently: Accessible online games, or online modes, with cash shops. This business model can be applied to just about any genre.
 
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Doors and corners, kid. Doors and corners.
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22. Re: Op Ed Oct 20, 2017, 02:16 Heltorne
 
haha so if single-player games are dying and MMOs are basically dead, what is the *in* thing right now?  
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21. Re: Op Ed Oct 20, 2017, 01:59 El Pit
 
Absolutely. Just like pc gaming has died a long time ago when the queston was "Is pc gaming diying?" Yes. There are no pc games anymore. Bummer.  
They're waiting for you, Gabe, in the test chamber!
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20. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 21:07 jdreyer
 
RedEye9 wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 18:53:
jdreyer wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 16:02:
Also, don't forget that certain genres are almost always single player or primarily so like strategy. Civ, Stellaris, Cities: Skylines, Offworld TC, Total Warhammer, XCom, Endless Space, Homeworld: Deserts, all AAA games released over the past couple of years.
I bet Electronic Arts could fix that.

I think they tried. Wasn't it EA that tried to make SimCity online multiplayer only? That failed pretty miserably IIRC.
 
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19. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 20:28 Slashman
 
If the AAA part of the single player game experience dies, I really don't think I'd be that sad. Single player games, though, will go on.

This isn't some crisis. The classic AAA single player model is not sustainable apart from a few stalwart franchises that are so entrenched with their fans, that they will always sell.

The majority of the time when we buy these $60 'experiences' we're paying for Michael Bay type set pieces and Hollywood talent voice actors. The majority of the time, the games are not complex enough (or graphically engaging enough) that they couldn't come from a medium sized studio, working with a reasonable budget, creating a tighter experience.

In other words, if gameplay, character depth, and a good story were the focus, these games could pay for themselves. All the while making a tidy profit and thereby leaving themselves plenty of room for quality expansions and DLC.

The real issue is that these publishers are so corporately bloated that five or six 10 million dollar games making 15 million dollars profit a piece doesn't get the shareholders jizzing their pants and creaming their panties. Slow, sustainable growth is laughed at in the boardroom. So it's either make blockbusters or make nothing and proclaim doom. No middle ground.
 
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18. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 20:09 mellis
 
Creston wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 16:43:
It's dead. DEAD I TELL YA.

There was a time when Gamasutra wrote decent articles. Now it's IGN level clickbait trash.

It's not click bait. AAA Single player games are ruinously expensive to create and - as others have pointed out - have little return over the initial sticker price. Maybe a few DLC's but that's it.

EA have had a string of expensive failures, the most recent being the 'AAA' single Player experience Mass Effect: Andromeda and they are likely being forced to take steps to improve their increasingly poor performance.

That is not to say AAA single player is by any means dead. It's kept Take 2 and Rockstar in idle luxury for nearly two decades and looks set to do so again in 2018 with Red Dead Redemption 2. And another company, Ubisoft, churns out predominately single player experiences (Far Cry, Assassins Creed etc), but variance and originality (or risk as the analysts term it) is definitely on the decline.

None of this is really surprising when the budgets for triple A games now match those of the Hollywood movie industry which - somewhat ironically - is also experiencing its own financial crisis at the moment.

 
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17. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 19:00 Flatline
 
Creston wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 16:43:
jdreyer wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 16:02:
Also, don't forget that certain genres are almost always single player or primarily so like strategy. Civ, Stellaris, Cities: Skylines, Offworld TC, Total Warhammer, XCom, Endless Space, Homeworld: Deserts, all AAA games released over the past couple of years.

It's dead. DEAD I TELL YA.

There was a time when Gamasutra wrote decent articles. Now it's IGN level clickbait trash.

Back when I first encountered Gamasutra, it's focus was on the game creation industry, by industry workers. It felt like a trade publication instead of a general gaming site.

It's slid downhill over the years I agree with that.
 
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16. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 18:53 RedEye9
 
jdreyer wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 16:02:
Also, don't forget that certain genres are almost always single player or primarily so like strategy. Civ, Stellaris, Cities: Skylines, Offworld TC, Total Warhammer, XCom, Endless Space, Homeworld: Deserts, all AAA games released over the past couple of years.
I bet Electronic Arts could fix that.
 
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"Nullity's Law"
There's an easy and fool-proof way to tell if anything related conservative/right-wing/Republican politics is true or not. If anyone calls it "fake news", you can be sure it's the solid truth
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15. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 18:42 Prez
 
Electronic Arts AAA singleplayer games are dead. Which is fine, because it's EA and they are SO easy to ignore. Fuck EA; there are tons of other studios making excellent singleplayer games.  
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14. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 17:54 Luke
 
CJ_Parker wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 10:40:
AAA single player games are definitely a very endangered species. Skyrim is from 2011 by the way and the next TES still seems to be far in the future while it remains to be seen whether it will be pure single player as previous games.

The idiots of this planet have voted with their wallets. They WANT microtansactions, they want to be able to buy skins to look cool and they want to play the loot box lottery.

So it is not too surprising that just about every game nowadays gets a multiplayer focus. The Witcher is a cute exception to the rule but let's take a serious look at the AAA landscape: MOBAs or team-based multiplayer games like Overwatch or stuff like PUBG (which has dominated the Steam charts for MONTHS now so guess what conclusions the publishers will draw from that?) make up 9/10 of the releases these days.

And then you have gigs like Ubi who mangle single player and multiplayer together as in GR Wildlands or some of the AssCreed games where multiplayer features spill over into the single player portion.
Pure single player games in the AAA space are few and far between and I'm afraid it will stay that way.

People will be tripping over themselves for Anthem cuz OMG BioWarez.
It will take a series of failures for the industry to rediscover single player games. It's the typical cycle. Right now everyone is on the multiplayer bandwagon but once that is saturated then maybe some publishers will refocus on single player in an attempt to stand out.

For me it can't come soon enough. Microtransactions and loot boxes are bad enough but also fuck multiplayer games because of their usual problems like cheating and dudebro lulz behavior.

Yep
 
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13. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 16:43 Creston
 
jdreyer wrote on Oct 19, 2017, 16:02:
Also, don't forget that certain genres are almost always single player or primarily so like strategy. Civ, Stellaris, Cities: Skylines, Offworld TC, Total Warhammer, XCom, Endless Space, Homeworld: Deserts, all AAA games released over the past couple of years.

It's dead. DEAD I TELL YA.

There was a time when Gamasutra wrote decent articles. Now it's IGN level clickbait trash.
 
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12. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 16:02 jdreyer
 
Also, don't forget that certain genres are almost always single player or primarily so like strategy. Civ, Stellaris, Cities: Skylines, Offworld TC, Total Warhammer, XCom, Endless Space, Homeworld: Deserts, all AAA games released over the past couple of years.  
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11. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 12:41 Cutter
 
Nice clickbait.
 
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10. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 12:33 MoreLuckThanSkill
 
It'll be interesting to see how well/poorly Wolfenstein II does in a week or so. AAA, linear story based shooter, no multiplayer(was there some tacked on in Wolfenstein 1?). Aside from the vocal minority of nazi wannabes who will refuse to buy it, it should sell pretty well.

Games costing more and more money to make to be considered "AAA," tons of competition, relatively high price of entry for their intended audience, multiple platforms to support(if you want ALL the money), online distributors taking their cut... yeah it's not exactly easy to make hundreds of millions on a single player game.

There's definitely some multiplayer peer-pressure as well, that most likely leads to increased sales for multiplayer games. "Wait, you guys are all playing PUBG? Okay I'll get it too!" Single player game recommendations from friends probably aren't as compelling to make people buy a game at full retail price.

Single player, high quality indie games will probably sustain the market until the big studios realize they can't all make successful battleground/MOBA/whatever flavor of the month games at the same time.

Or maybe the big studios will just continue to exploit the shit out of their IPs with microtransactions and jam multiplayer into everything until this hobby is dead.
 
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9. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 12:04 loomy
 
there are lots of single player story games, divinity original sin 2 is clunky as hell and people went crazy for it. there are a million cheap story games on steam. some innovative ones for VR. and consoles are still dripping with them, and we still get their ports. all visceral's closing proves is that EA sucks. remember the image of EA putting down every company they've acquired? this goes back to the 90s at the latest. it has nothing to do with single player games  
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8. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 10:47 NKD
 
"Dying" is overstating it, but it's definitely on a down turn. Story-driven AAA experiences are expensive to make, and hard to monetize beyond the initial box cost, and they are only getting more expensive.

I think there's life left in AAA single-player games. Not every developer has a specialty in MP, or even any interest. So... yeah.. not dying, but definitely going to continue to be a smaller slice of the AAA gaming pie.


 
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7. Re: Op Ed Oct 19, 2017, 10:46 Primalchrome
 
Clickbait.

No different than,"PC GAMING IS DYING, CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHY!" or "2017, THE YEAR OF LINUX ON THE DESKTOP!"
 
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26 Replies. 2 pages. Viewing page 1.
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