Are single player linear games going the way of couch Co-Op?

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ScoobaTuba

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Edited By ScoobaTuba

With the news of Visceral getting it's studio closed down and subsequent single player Star Wars game getting canned and EA wanting focus on multiplayer more than single player games due to being able to put micro-transactions in them to keep the player coming back for more. Do you think linear single player games will soon go the way of couch Co-Op? In my personal opinion no matter the monetary gain that you can get from online games which has proven to be huge just look at GTA online as a prime example on how micro-transactions can rake on cash by the motherlode. What we have is an ebb and flow that we are experiencing in the gaming industry as more and more publishers are starting to realize that people really just love playing online games with their friends. I myself will always love a great single player game where I can sit down and enjoy a story and put on a path that the developers wants to go on, but their is a novelty in shooting friends in the face with a shotgun online or grouping up and causing havoc in the streets of Los Santos.

So do you think that linear single games are on the way out or do you believe those games will always be around no matter what? Also what are some of your favorite single player game to come out old or new.

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Justin258

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No, not really. Prey, Uncharted Lost Legacy, and Wolfenstein all came out this year and are all pretty good by most accounts.

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bicycleham

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There's been plenty of single player games coming out, I'm not sure why one studio that was barely making games closing down has anything to do with it.

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kblosnack

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Japan got us covered, Yakuza, Persona, Mario, Zelda and much more

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deactivated-5a00c029ab7c1

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It's really hard to be optimistic about the gaming industry these days but I highly doubt singleplayer linear games are going anywhere. I just hope gaming doesn't go the way of wrestling and rock and roll were we are all talking about the good old days before everything died and went to shit.

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PavlovianHell

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#5  Edited By PavlovianHell

That's up to us.

Publishers are doing everything in their power to market that as the future, so they can increase yoy growth.

Say no, or say goodbye to what you love.

How much we are willing to take as a group is the exact measure they will con us for.

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stryker1121

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God forbid everything gets Destiny-fied. But indie developers will still put out linear SP games. What we'll likely get more of from the big boy studios is "bigger and more badass" open world games of the SoW/AssCreed variety, wherein a player can sink 80 hours and hey how about plunking down a couple of bucks on that armor set? These things go in cycles so I'm hoping the Naughty Dogs and other studios dedicate time to the campaign gamer. I don't give a solitary damn about multiplayer, couch co-op and the like, so the day everything gets thrown into the MP bucket is the day I do something more valuable with my time.

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PavlovianHell

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#10  Edited By PavlovianHell

@stryker1121: Well, no, these things used to go in cycles, the top 4 publishers and their investors spent billions at the beginning of the seventh gen to destroy the thing that kept that cycle going, the mid tier. By raising the entry barrier to competing in the market, the out priced the dangerous competition that would historically disrupt the incumbents with a low budget yet kick ass game in a genre/style no one knew they wanted really bad.

So now that the top publishers control the entire market, and make more money per game than any other time in history.... They STILL need year on year growth on profits to satisfy their insatiable shareholders.

So now evrey game that's of a genre that CANT be completely abused and broken to squeeze every last drop out of any sucker that might play it is turned into one that can, and if it doesn't work, is killed off. That's because being a successful money making game is not enough. If its not the kind of game that can make THE MOST MONEY, it is considered an opportunity cost, because instead of using the time to make that critically acclaimed survival horror game that only sold 4 million for a handsome profit, they could have used it for a service game with lootboxes and whales spending 15,000 dollars on trying to get that armor they wanted.

I told your generation from GAF to half a dozen message boards, over and over and over and over I told you, from horse armor, to dlc, to games as a service to lootboxes.... The second they feel they can make more money using mobile con schemes they would drop the AAAAAAAA business model like a bad habit. Your generation is so entitled, self absorbed, greedy, and inconsiderate of any who may have enjoyed games coming after you... You are the baby boomers of gaming generations... Even now, you won't get off your mentally lazy butts, and try and make excuses so you don't have to leave your comfort zone of complacency. Oh, game A B and C just came out this year and are single player. No @#$%, it doesn't start with everything all at once. It starts with just one, like horse armor, and everyone watches to see if thee worst generation will be stupid and lazy enough to let it root. And then it works its way across the spectrum.

There is a concentrated push inside all of EA now, to get rid of Single player games in favor of multi oriented cash cows, when it succeeds, others will follow the money.

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Jesus_Phish

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There's an unbelievable amount of local co-op and couch co-op games being made now. More of them are even being designed with it in mind instead of just a tacked on player two mode.

Also seriously, one game got cancelled and if you look into it (go read the Kotaku article) it wasn't because of the death knell of single player games. Yesterday saw the release of three massive single player games. Right after Shadow of War (single player) came out. Next week we're getting DLC for Hitman and Horizon (both single player). Nier, Persona, Yakuza, Prey, South Park, Resident Evil, Evil Within, etc etc.

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RonGalaxy

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#12  Edited By RonGalaxy

No. 3 huge single player only games released just yesterday. Even if destiny-likes become a fad, it's not going to last. Remember when everyone was shoehorning in CoDesque mp into their games? Same thing is going to happen to this trend. What isn't going away is microtransactions in singleplayer games. They require minimal effort to implement, and are –pretty much– pure profit. As long as it doesnt affect the game in a meaningful way, I don't have an issue with them.

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Justin258

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@stryker1121: Well, no, these things used to go in cycles, the top 4 publishers and their investors spent billions at the beginning of the seventh gen to destroy the thing that kept that cycle going, the mid tier. By raising the entry barrier to competing in the market, the out priced the dangerous competition that would historically disrupt the incumbents with a low budget yet kick ass game in a genre/style no one knew they wanted really bad.

So now that the top publishers control the entire market, and make more money per game than any other time in history.... They STILL need year on year growth on profits to satisfy their insatiable shareholders.

So now evrey game that's of a genre that CANT be completely abused and broken to squeeze every last drop out of any sucker that might play it is turned into one that can, and if it doesn't work, is killed off. That's because being a successful money making game is not enough. If its not the kind of game that can make THE MOST MONEY, it is considered an opportunity cost, because instead of using the time to make that critically acclaimed survival horror game that only sold 4 million for a handsome profit, they could have used it for a service game with lootboxes and whales spending 15,000 dollars on trying to get that armor they wanted.

I told your generation from GAF to half a dozen message boards, over and over and over and over I told you, from horse armor, to dlc, to games as a service to lootboxes.... The second they feel they can make more money using mobile con schemes they would drop the AAAAAAAA business model like a bad habit. Your generation is so entitled, self absorbed, greedy, and inconsiderate of any who may have enjoyed games coming after you... You are the baby boomers of gaming generations... Even now, you won't get off your mentally lazy butts, and try and make excuses so you don't have to leave your comfort zone of complacency. Oh, game A B and C just came out this year and are single player. No @#$%, it doesn't start with everything all at once. It starts with just one, like horse armor, and everyone watches to see if thee worst generation will be stupid and lazy enough to let it root. And then it works its way across the spectrum.

There is a concentrated push inside all of EA now, to get rid of Single player games in favor of multi oriented cash cows, when it succeeds, others will follow the money.

...except there's a thriving indie scene, several pretty great Kickstarter games, and AAA titles like Witcher 3, Prey, Horizon, Wolfenstein 2, Doom, Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4, Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Persona 5, Dishonored 2, and Final Fantasy XV - all of them are big budget games without microtransactions.

Yes, people, the highest budget, most advertised games are, from this point, going to be things that appeal to the lowest common denominator and which will be full of bullshit like microtransactions. That fucking sucks and I won't pretend like it doesn't disappoint me. But all it takes is the most cursory look underneath that to find some real gems, games of a high quality from many different genres with plenty of content.

Can we please stop with this doom and gloom bullshit?

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ThePanzini

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#14  Edited By ThePanzini

@pavlovianhell said:

I told your generation from GAF to half a dozen message boards, over and over and over and over I told you, from horse armor, to dlc, to games as a service to lootboxes.... The second they feel they can make more money using mobile con schemes they would drop the AAAAAAAA business model like a bad habit. Your generation is so entitled, self absorbed, greedy, and inconsiderate of any who may have enjoyed games coming after you... You are the baby boomers of gaming generations... Even now, you won't get off your mentally lazy butts, and try and make excuses so you don't have to leave your comfort zone of complacency. Oh, game A B and C just came out this year and are single player. No @#$%, it doesn't start with everything all at once. It starts with just one, like horse armor, and everyone watches to see if thee worst generation will be stupid and lazy enough to let it root. And then it works its way across the spectrum.

There is a concentrated push inside all of EA now, to get rid of Single player games in favor of multi oriented cash cows, when it succeeds, others will follow the money.

I'm sorry this is nonsense every developer will tackle/implement loot boxes and microtransactions differently were not creeping ever further into a pit of doom, even within evil EA in Titanfall/Battlefield its purely cosmetic with FIFA having them behind a separate mode and as crappy as the star cards seem in Battlefront your getting free content support and EA has been willing to listen and make changes as they did with PvZ 2.

And for single player it could be argued its more important than ever for EA as Visceral got alot more than time than they prehaps should have and with EA canning an open world title and GAAS title to greenlight Hennig's linear action game.

Battlefront 2 entire maketing push has been around the inclusion of a single player campaign and the same in FIFA/Madden with the journey and BF1 campaign had alot more time and effort compared to any previous entries in the series.

The matter isn't so black & white EA may want all their games to have a recurring revenue steam but every one of their games has a single player component, Bethesda nor anyone else has repeated horse armour.

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cikame

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So far, no, let's wait and see what happens over the next couple of years.

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gunflame88

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It's just the biggest AAA publishers. I've been largely uninterested in what they've been offering for some time anyway.

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PavlovianHell

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#17  Edited By PavlovianHell

@thepanzini: Developers are not a part of the equation. They do what the publisher says, it's their job, to try and make the giant pile of shit they are feeding you, not seem like they are straight up feeding you angiant pile of shit. They have the freedom to try and decide how to best disguise the giant pile of shit, but they have no choice whatsoever, about whether or not they will be forcing a giant pile of shit upon you, that is made at the publisher level.

But hey, let's not stop at your complete misunderstanding of the entire situation.

Let's go ahead and ask your appeal to authority about it.

Developer from Bioware under EA what say you? Manveer Heir come on down, you are the next contestant on 'The truth doesn't matter so we are wasting our time, but let's show it anyways even though the people we are showing it to are clearly arguing in bad faith only as a means to maintain their comfort zone and will ignore and make up anything to meet those ends!'

So, Manveer, In the Visceral Games statement, EA executive vice president Patrick Soderlund said: "It has become clear that to deliver an experience that players will want to come back to and enjoy for a long time to come, we needed to pivot the design. We are shifting the game to be a broader experience that allows for more variety and player agency..."

That sounds exactly like EA is completely shifting their focus to try and make every game a money grubby scam! That can't be true, surely its just one game, it probably wasn't going to be that good anyways!!!

Manveer:It's definitely a thing inside of EA, they are generally pushing for more open-world games. And the reason is you can monetise them better. The words in there that were used are 'have them come back again and again' [not quite but that's the gist - see above]. Why do you care about that at EA? The reason you care about that is because microtransactions: buying card packs in the Mass Effect games, the multiplayer. It's the same reason we added card packs to Mass Effect 3: how do you get people to keep coming back to a thing instead of 'just' playing for 60 to 100 hours?

"The problem is that we've scaled up our budgets to $100m+ and we haven't actually made a space for good linear single-player games that are under that. But why can't we have both? Why does it have to be one or the other? And the reason is that EA and those big publishers in general only care about the highest return on investment. They don't actually care about what the players want, they care about what the players will pay for.

WWWHHHOOOOAAAA!!!!! That was just the very beginning of his long and damning interview, wow the people you are trying to use as deflection just said you are full of crap and its all true!!!! Appealingto thwir authority really didn't work out well for you at all! Maybe that's one of the reasons its considered a logical fallacy? Who knows? Were post truth so it doesn't really matter anyways just make up something else. Man imagine if I had posted the whole thing? I won't because that would make me a crappy person. For anyone who isnt arguing in bad faith, you can see how deep the rabbit hole goes, straight from the mouth of the sacred developer, here:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2017-10-23-manveer-heir-bioware-mass-effect-ea-monetisation

Well okay, ONE MORE, just to address this nonsense:

"The matter isn't so black & white EA may want all their games to have a recurring revenue steam but every one of their games has a single player component, Bethesda nor anyone else has repeated horse armour."

First off, its a garbage single player component, heavily compromised by their scam models, second off, that's how it starts in every example I've provided. Can we get the player to pay for this, even if they don't want it like this? Once you show them the can, they will run for the hills with it. Or as manveer pointed out:

"Ive seen people literally spend $15,000 on Mass Effect multiplayer cards."

Once just one publisher pulls it off, all the others will chase it. This is not new, they have ALWAYS been like this. They just were never allowed to get away with it before.

For the rest of you, go ahead and make up whatever ridiculous nonsense you want to now to try and now undermine the very people you previously thought were your point.

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ThePanzini

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#18  Edited By ThePanzini

@pavlovianhell: What Soderlund ment to say Visceral game was a total mess so we canned it, people spent a boat load of cash on Andromeda MP so, whats the point? Andromeda still had 30-50 hour campaign, Battlefront 2 also has a liner campaign.

EA's games have astronomical budgets that need some form of extra monetization like loot boxes but all their games will have a lengthy single player component and so far in EA's case untouched by microtransactions.

When did EA last make a liner game? How is this a recent trend? EA no doing what they've never really done, making linear games go the way of the dodo.

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Dan_CiTi

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Halo 6 and that game from the Brothers guys are having couch co-op, so nah.

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Ungodly

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#20  Edited By Ungodly

No

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fattony12000111

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Uncharted Lost Legacy, and Wolfenstein all came out this year and are all pretty good by most accounts.

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gogosox82

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#22  Edited By gogosox82

@pavlovianhell said:

@stryker1121: Well, no, these things used to go in cycles, the top 4 publishers and their investors spent billions at the beginning of the seventh gen to destroy the thing that kept that cycle going, the mid tier. By raising the entry barrier to competing in the market, the out priced the dangerous competition that would historically disrupt the incumbents with a low budget yet kick ass game in a genre/style no one knew they wanted really bad.

So now that the top publishers control the entire market, and make more money per game than any other time in history.... They STILL need year on year growth on profits to satisfy their insatiable shareholders.

So now evrey game that's of a genre that CANT be completely abused and broken to squeeze every last drop out of any sucker that might play it is turned into one that can, and if it doesn't work, is killed off. That's because being a successful money making game is not enough. If its not the kind of game that can make THE MOST MONEY, it is considered an opportunity cost, because instead of using the time to make that critically acclaimed survival horror game that only sold 4 million for a handsome profit, they could have used it for a service game with lootboxes and whales spending 15,000 dollars on trying to get that armor they wanted.

I told your generation from GAF to half a dozen message boards, over and over and over and over I told you, from horse armor, to dlc, to games as a service to lootboxes.... The second they feel they can make more money using mobile con schemes they would drop the AAAAAAAA business model like a bad habit. Your generation is so entitled, self absorbed, greedy, and inconsiderate of any who may have enjoyed games coming after you... You are the baby boomers of gaming generations... Even now, you won't get off your mentally lazy butts, and try and make excuses so you don't have to leave your comfort zone of complacency. Oh, game A B and C just came out this year and are single player. No @#$%, it doesn't start with everything all at once. It starts with just one, like horse armor, and everyone watches to see if thee worst generation will be stupid and lazy enough to let it root. And then it works its way across the spectrum.

There is a concentrated push inside all of EA now, to get rid of Single player games in favor of multi oriented cash cows, when it succeeds, others will follow the money.

...except there's a thriving indie scene, several pretty great Kickstarter games, and AAA titles like Witcher 3, Prey, Horizon, Wolfenstein 2, Doom, Ratchet and Clank, Uncharted 4, Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Persona 5, Dishonored 2, and Final Fantasy XV - all of them are big budget games without microtransactions.

Yes, people, the highest budget, most advertised games are, from this point, going to be things that appeal to the lowest common denominator and which will be full of bullshit like microtransactions. That fucking sucks and I won't pretend like it doesn't disappoint me. But all it takes is the most cursory look underneath that to find some real gems, games of a high quality from many different genres with plenty of content.

Can we please stop with this doom and gloom bullshit?

Not doom and gloom but its hard to feel positive about the industy when so many games this fall have lootboxes and MT's out of the ass.

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Justin258

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@gogosox82: My primary point is that, as far as single player games go, there's plenty of great stuff to play from the last few years.

I would like to see some reliable sales data about those single player games, sure. However, I don't see linear single player games going anywhere anytime soon. We might experience a drought of them at some point, but I think the AAA industry would buckle under again if all they made was microtransaction-laden multiplayer games - people would get tired of it and start focusing on games that don't have microtransactions - basically, Nintendo and indie games. Which would be fine with me, really.

I'm actually pretty curious to see what would happen if the AAA side of video games collapsed. What if EA, Activision, 2K, Ubisoft, and others just couldn't handle themselves anymore and they all went under? That doesn't mean "no more games", not these days, when everybody and their mother plays some kind of video game and so many people have so much passion and fond memories for video games. It would mean no more Destiny's, Wolfenstein's, Prey's, what-have-you for at least several years, but again, I'm kind of OK with that kind of game totally drying up for a little while.

Anyway, I'm rambling and not coming to any real conclusion. If you're a single player gamer, don't sweat it, we'll be fine. Maybe there will be a dry spell for a year or two - I'm betting 2018 will feel like one, and frankly I need it to be because there's so much I want to play from this year - but we'll always have some good stuff to play.

This thread is about single player games specifically, so for the record, I'll note that multiplayer games are in dire straits as far as microtransactions go. I can't name any big multiplayer game right now that doesn't have some sort of microtransaction system in it, and most of them are games you have to pay up-front to get into. That's some bullshit. If I were primarily a multiplayer guy, I'd be looking for a different hobby.

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deactivated-5e6e407163fd7

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There's fuckin million couch co-op games coming out all the time. Most are indie, some are AAA. Same thing will happen with story driven games, but I bet to a lesser extent. It's ridiculous the amount of "the sky is falling" discussions there are about this in a year packed full of single player narrative driven games.

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sadsadsad

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#25  Edited By sadsadsad

@dan_citi said:

...that game from the Brothers guys are having couch co-op,

aka the EA Originals game A Way Out.

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billmcneal

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I think single player linear games will still be around.

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GunslingerPanda

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Linear may/may not be on the way out, but single player games are incredibly strong right now. The three best games released this year were single player!

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#28  Edited By Sinusoidal

The wonderful thing about video games these days is that you can get just about any generation of game if you look. Devs are making new games in the style of everything from ZX Spectrum and Atari 2600 to the latest polygon monster requiring a decent PC. One of my favorite games this year looks and plays like an NES game. No need to pine for the good old days when they never ended.

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I may be part of the problem. I 100% don't buy single player AAA games at full price because there's no way I'm paying 50 quid for 6 - 12 hours of game. I will buy said game when it's 10 - 15 quid instead. I will buy multiplayer games at full price occassionaly such as Call of Duty this Friday. I will also occasionally buy RPGs at full price such as Witcher 3 and Pillars of Eternity.

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meteora3255

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I think it's a bit extreme to predict the death of single player games because of one studio closure and game cancellation. As pointed out by others, by most accounts the game's development was troubled both from corporate forces and issues within the development team itself. As we hear industry insiders say all the time: games are always being cancelled at various stages of development, we just don't hear about most of them. In this case EA made an announcement to capitalize on the fervor surrounding the brand (remember this was at the height of Episode 7 hype) and to show fans their commitment to their multi-year Star Wars deal.

Even during the announcement the game was expected to be at least a 2018 release and EA never nailed down a date. That's important to remember; they announced this game at least 3 years before they expected to launch. Mario+Rabbids was officially announced less than 6 months before it released. Far Cry 5 was announced less than a year before it's planned launch as well. If EA decided to keep this game under wraps until closer to launch we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

That being said, the current model is likely unsustainable. Game prices have remained static while development costs have skyrocketed. If you told a team today to build a 12-15 hour AAA single player game using a budget from 2002 they would laugh at you. Unfortunately the solutions are inherently going to be seen as anti-consumer. Publishers could raise the price of game's to more accurately reflect their development costs but consumers would rally against it. They could keep the price the same but release a 6-8 hour game instead, again to better reflect the reality of cost, but consumers would rally against it. Instead they have turned to microtransactions and DLC. These are at least optional.

The bottom line is the AAA single player game isn't dying but it is experiencing growing pains as it tries to adapt to the current realities of big budget game development.