Not only since Fortnite, but PUBG the alleged death of the classic single player game is also predicted. Big publishers rely increasingly on the “Games as a Service” model. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t still developers who are firmly convinced of the concept of a story-based game for just one player. Among them is Cory Barlog, game director of God of War.
He said a few weeks ago that he considers single player games important and now he’s jumping into the breach for them again.
Single player games are as topical as a phoenix. We go through the tides. Games change when different creative minds get involved and say,’Hey, I’ve got this crazy idea!’
The current trend is Battle Royale, but this does not mean that there is no room for other experiences or that they disappear. It would mean that that was something we were focusing on right now. Besides, they are not for everyone – including himself.
I don’t want to work on games that don’t have a story component. It’s what attracts me. Competition doesn’t motivate me. That doesn’t mean that competitions are bad, it doesn’t mean that competition-based games are bad because I love that they exist. But they’re not my thing.
According to Cory Barlog, there will always be a place for both single player and multiplayer games, the popularity of both experiences would only change again and again. It is not a competition between single and multiplayer, none of them is alive or dead. Instead, we should see the two genres as a kind of Schrödinger’s cat that can be alive and dead at the same time.
The future of single player games
Call of Duty recently drew attention to itself with the rumor that Black Ops 4, which appeared in the fall, would allegedly appear without a campaign. And also Rainbow Six’s: Wins were discontinued in favor of 10 years of support.
Uncharted author Amy Henning is meanwhile of the opinion that many players prefer to see single player titles online as Let’s Play rather than experience them themselves. She made this statement during the big single player discussion shortly after the closure of Visceral Games, which led to the termination of her Star Wars project.
However, other developers do not want to be discouraged by this. Witcher developer CD Project Red not only promises a vigorous campaign for Cyberpunk 2077 but also declares that they would leave greed to others. Bethesda launched a campaign in December 2017 to save single player games, and Sony has repeatedly asserted its commitment to remaining true to the single player experience.
At least that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The publisher celebrated enormous sales successes in recent months with games like Horizon Zero Dawn and God of War. Just yesterday it became known that God of War is the fastest selling PS4 exclusive game of all time.