The battle between single-player and multiplayer games has been raging for decades. Many companies seemed convinced that multiplayer gaming was the future, but a slew of top-notch single-player titles proved them wrong. The past year has been great for single-player gaming.
Apparently, the global community lead for Star Wars games, Ben Walke, agrees. He recently tweeted an homage to single-player games not long after the release of Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order. The tweet sparked many rallying cries from other gamers, proving that single-player is around to stay.
Multiplayer got a little big for its breaches over the years. I personally blame Grand Theft Auto V Online for that one. It becomes the biggest selling entertainment product in the world, smashing global records. Ever since then, everyone wants to create a ‘live service’ that people will play forever.
It started long before that really. As soon as COD became more popular than breathing, companies were scrambling to create online shooters. Over the following years, single-player games declined in the triple-A space, mainly consisting of token campaign modes bolted onto multiplayer-focused titles.
Then some sort of cultural shift happened. Horizon Zero Dawn came out, and people loved it. It gave confidence, especially to PlayStation, to really push some single-player only titles: God of War, Spider-Man, even the Witcher III. Things have been riding high for more than 12 months for Single-Play.
I think that if the resurgence of single-player games has proven anything, it’s that they’re always going to be needed. Online-based multiplayer games can be as engaging as you like, but they have no permanence at all. A good story can be retold again and again, but those matches will eventually end. Once the servers are dropped, your multiplayer game becomes worthless.
That isn’t to say that multiplayer games cannot be fun, but they need balance. Every major studio cannot be focused on producing the same thing. This is part of the reason that Star Wars Jedi Fallen Order has been so highly anticipated. For the longest time, the only Star Wars games we’ve seen are crappy mobile skinner-boxes or micro-transaction shooters with token campaigns.
Fallen Order seems to be getting a decent amount of positive press. It’s a great sign that when gamers eventually got what they asked for, it turned out to be decent and hopefully successful. In the future, more games companies would be wise to invest in a single-player title that’ll be talked about for years rather than a shallow multiplayer ‘experience’ which will be forgotten about once the servers shut down.