If there’s one thing that’s true about modern-day gaming, it’s that it is often multiplayer-focused, and the head of Microsoft’s Xbox brand knows that. Indeed, Phil Spencer, who led the announcement of Project Scarlett at E3 2019, responded to a tweet expressing concern for single-player games down the road, clarifying that single-player games will be here to stay.
Head of Xbox Phil Spencer has often been very candid about the Xbox brand and the direction of gaming, unafraid of admitting mistakes and criticizing trends. Most recently, his candor led him to tell a gamer on Twitter that single-player gaming is a trend that will stick around for the foreseeable future.
Yes, I can confirm. With the additions to XGS we have a lot of teams that have built strong SP focused games and we want that to continue.
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) August 7, 2019
Boding well for the future of Xbox?
For many, this is almost assuredly a good thing. Gamers have often criticized the state of gaming that includes conventions like loot boxes and bothersome microtransactions in, oftentimes, multiplayer games and pay-to-play schemes. EA is a prime example of a company that has pushed these trends time and again, between titles like the multiplayer-focused Apex Legends, Anthem, and others.
Thus, Phil Spencer’s statement, while likely to be taken with a grain of salt, is a bit enlightening. In the foreseeable future, Xbox owners will be able to acquire titles like the upcoming Gears of War 5, which is set to have its own unique-looking single-player campaign, as well as Halo Infinite, which appears equally intriguing. In short, Spencer’s statements are not totally empty, as there are clearly games in development that, while not devoid of multiplayer components, aren’t necessarily multiplayer-focused, as was the worry put forth by the Twitter to whom Spencer responded.
Where does Sony stand?
In the discourse of the three big gaming companies, the main competition in discussion is usually that between Microsoft’s Xbox brand and Sony’s PlayStation brand. Similar to Microsoft, Sony has a few notable single-player games slated for release in coming months, including the Kojima Productions-developed Death Stranding. Although, the PlayStation does have some games that run cross-platform like Fortnite, which embodies the type of multiplayer content that many hardcore gamers view as toxic to the industry.
Sony has said in the past that it believes there is demand for single-player experiences, so it is likely of the same thought process. While Xbox and PlayStation games are definitively tools of revenue, the companies are nonetheless expressive of dedication to their loyal fans. Ultimately, however, time will show gamers how these companies will distribute their focus.