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EA Exec Won't Green Light Any Single Player-Only Games 274

Posted by Soulskill
from the leveraging-synergies-like-a-champ dept.
An anonymous reader sends this quote from Geek.com: "Frank Gibeau, the president of EA Labels, has shown that business truly does come before gameplay with comments he made as part of a preview document for the CloudGamingUSA event happening on September 11-12 in San Francisco. Gibeau is very proud of the fact he has never green lit a single project that consisted solely of a single-player experience. He insists that every game EA publishes has an online component to it. His reason for doing this? Apparently EA has 'evolved with consumers (PDF)' suggesting he thinks this is what consumers want in every game. ... Forcing online into every game makes little sense. While it works for a Battlefield, Medal of Honor, Fifa or Need for Speed title, there's just as many games that don't need it to succeed, or even work for online play. A good example of this would be the forthcoming SimCity, which has upset fans of the series because it will require an constant Internet connection to play. That isn't a DRM measure, it's due to the tight integration of multiplayer and how all players impact each others games."
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EA Exec Won't Green Light Any Single Player-Only Games

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  • by markdavis (642305) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:28PM (#41240519)

    Bingo. It probably is just an excuse to make more money.

    Personally, I can't stand ANY multiplayer games. Not sure exactly why, I guess I prefer to compete against fixed challenges and at my own pace. I am probably in the minority, but I certainly can't be alone.

  • Re:Such a Shame (Score:4, Interesting)

    by zlives (2009072) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:33PM (#41240585)

    DA2 was my limit.
    that's why I for one fund things like Wasteland2

  • by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:34PM (#41240601)

    He isn't saying that they're shoehorning multiplayer into every game. He's saying that every game should include an online component of some sort, as he says right here [kotaku.com]. They're not saying that games should all have multiplayer involved. They're saying that they should involve the internet in some way. There is nothing wrong with this. For example, take optional high score challenges in Mirror's Edge. The Sim City example, where online is required, is a bad example because that's just one game and the game was designed to be multiplayer-centric from the start. There are many, many single player games, like Mass Effect, that don't require the multiplayer or online functionality whatsoever. This is just FUD. EA isn't the best company around, sure, but including online features in single player games is definitely possible and it can't always be a bad thing depending on how it's implemented.

    Mass Effect is a great example. Thanks for bringing it up. When the series began, Bioware wasn't part of EA and there was no online component. EA's Mass Effect 3, on the other hand, requires players to either pvp or play an awful iPhone game to improve the effectiveness of their forces and unlock the most positive ending. This is the sort of shoehorning EA demands.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:35PM (#41240627)

    For me it is that the players online are usually casual who play every so often or hyper skilled and know every intricacy and trick in the book. Therefore, the online difficulty is super easy or super hard. That is not a fun environment to play with. It is like playing chess against someone who just learned the rules or a grandmaster and not knowing who is whom ahead of time.

  • Rural Gamers (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Nexion (1064) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:45PM (#41240737)

    I miss solo games. I purchased Diablo once I finally had a high speed internet connection (because dealing with logging in over satellite would have sucked). Yup, PAID for it. No desire to go multiplayer and my inability to play it up at the ranch prevented my initial purchase. Sad too... there isn't much to do in places where your best option for internet is satellite. Seems like the area, while sparsely populated, should be a great market for game studios. Downloading a multi gigabyte torrent is unthinkable over satellite. Thing is... it would require game makers take the time to publish DVDs that don't have a hundred outstanding bug fixes that would require a multi gigabyte download. So, no games for you rural world! Fear of piracy and complacency in QA pretty much make studios incapable of serving you.

    I do so love my apartment in the city. A shorter commute and the joy of broadband.

  • by dltaylor (7510) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @06:55PM (#41240841)

    I really like that the industry no longer wants to sell me games; I've saved hundreds of dollars not buying must-be-connected-to-the-internet games, and a couple of thousand not upgrading my PC to run them.

    The difference has gone into an exploration of finer Scotch and Irish whiskies that would otherwise have been out-of-budget.

  • by Your.Master (1088569) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @07:35PM (#41241303)

    An MP component forces certain design decisions though, which aren't always appropriate to a single-player game and are frustrating to encounter over and over, especially in certain genres. That, or you end up with two games, somewhat related but optimized very differently, packaged together in one box where most consumers are really only after one or the other playstyle.

    Multiplayer components to sim type games can be awful burdens.
    Multiplayer for sports/racing/fighting games is pretty much expected.
    Multiplayer for RTS or FPS is also a given, though it tends to enforce play-balance decisions. Blizzard steps much farther away from play-balance with the single player game, which is interesting but also frustrating when I'm waiting for my single-player SC2 experience because they need to endlessly rebalance the multiplayer (and I have played some original Starcraft multiplayer and enjoyed it, but it's not my main thing). Though I recognize that maybe SC2 wouldn't exist at all if not for the giant pot of gold that is SC2 multiplayer.
    Multiplayer for adventure games is almost uniformly stupid. I say almost because sometimes they find unique ways of being stupid.
    RPGs are so profoundly different with a multiplayer component that you typically hear of MMORPGs as their own genre with little crossover. Most RPGs I encounter that have both single and multiplayer are really action games with minor RPG components. You could probably do Fallout as a straight shooter if you pull out VATS, so there's the potential there, but it's not really the same game at all and it would make a shitty shooter. Neverwinter Nights being an interesting sort of exception.

    Blanket statements like that make it less likely that I'd get an EA game other than maybe an RTS. II don't like most of the genres that have multiplayer as a given anyway.

  • by WSOGMM (1460481) on Thursday September 06, 2012 @12:04AM (#41243423)

    There is abslolutely no reward or interest in fighting against/being beaten by anonymous opponents which have otherwise no personal connection to the player. I love quake, command and conquer, etcetera, but only in the same way as I love chess, and I would never even contemplate playing chess against someone I had never met in person, because that would be boring; a soulless challenge, so pointless that I may as well play against a computer.

    I very much disagree. I like having a consistently large player pool with which to compare my play. Many of the people you play in online games have already gotten good enough to beat or compete with the best computer opponents. Facing a human player, in my experience, provides a new and unique challenge, even if you can't see their face.

    There are also often large gaps in skill between friends that play games. The discrepancies between friends gets taken away when you play against a large player pool. Who cares if you're best at a game between 4 people? How about in the top 1% of 500,000 people?

    I love to play with my friends, but I love it even more when we can play against an anonymous online multiplayer base. In CoD, for example, we can work together as a team and find a position together against incoming forces. It makes it even more real. Almost like real war.

    I'm not sure what makes your challenges inspring and meaningful, and what makes mine soulless and pointless, but I have more fun with online multiplayer games than with games that don't connect. When I'm home alone late at night, and the house is dead silent - lonely even - there's something eerie about playing bots -- add the online part, and suddenly it fills the house with *just a little* more presence.

    Some people become obsessed with online games, and perhaps I can see why it would be a diversion, but I am willing to bet that the vast majority of people are only interested in playing games against the people in their own existing social circle, and could not give a damn about massively multiplayer, always online bullshit - and that to lump every gamer in that crowd would be a disastrous folly.

    Be careful where you lump every gamer. There's a reason why many of these games actually have a

    vast majority

    and why EA is willing to bet on it.

If a camel is a horse designed by a committee, then a consensus forecast is a camel's behind. -- Edgar R. Fiedler

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