Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Single Player is Not Dying - Stop Being Dumb

There's been a push-back lately from writers across the internet about the future of video games. Specifically the single player games. Ever since an op-ed appeared on Forbes that AAA single player titles are dying out, dozens of the biggest gaming news sites jumped on board to either agree, semi-agree, or deny that the game mode is on it's deathbed. Some of the articles are click-baity so I'm only linking the ones that hold a purpose to this piece, or are worth the time to read.

If you've read the title on this post, then you clearly know the position of The Geek Spot. To claim that single player games are on the decline, including AAA backed games, is dumb. Plain and simple.

Here are some of the single player games that were released in October, receiving high praise from reviewers and gamers: South Park: The Fractured But Whole, Assassin's Creed: Origins, Super Mario Odyssey (there is a single player and two-player mode), Wolfenstein II: The New Colossus, Fire Emblem Warriors, The Evil Within 2, and Layton’s Mystery Journey: Katrielle and the Millionaires’ Conspiracy. These are just some of the highlights. October was a busy month for game releases. And November is ramping it up even more, with more DLC for Horizon: Zero Dawn, Pok√©mon Ultra Sun/Ultra Moon, and the highly anticipated Nioh.

And the next year is looking even better. Dragon Quest XI is on my list, and it's a franchise that has produced some of the best single player RPG experiences. Even Hearthstone, the card game based on Blizzard content, will be releasing an expansion pack early next year that is a single player dungeon crawl!

Needless to say, the Forbes op-ed is way off the mark. Single player games are doing just fine and thriving. While yes, there has been a push lately to have more multi-player, online content, there is still a strong need for a single player experience. Remember when the reboot of Star Wars: Battlefront was released? Remember the number of articles that appeared blasting EA for the poor choices they made with the game by removing single player? The original Battlefront was released on a system that didn't have online capabilities. It was a game that thrived on the single player experience and made it one of the most played N64 titles, right up there with GoldenEye. What made Battlefront so great was not the action nor the war between the Rebels and the Empire. It was your journey with the main characters. Removing that mode from the reboot was a disservice not only to fans, but to the original game.

Single player games are part of the gaming experience. The climate for them will never change. There will always be a need for single player content. People crave it. Developers keep delivering powerful content for it (The Last of Us is a fantastic example of an incredible, heart-wrenching single player experience that is vastly superior to the questionable multi-player, online mode). So to those who are announcing the death of single player games, stop being dumb. It is here to stay.

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