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Submitted by ChaosKnight 704d ago | opinion piece

What's Worse: No Single-Player or Bad Single-Player?

Hardcore Gamer: Single-player content is usually at its best when multiplayer modes aren’t there to distract, hence why games like Bioshock and Metro 2033 are such amazing games, and the same works the other way around. Single-player can be just as much a non-essential for multiplayer-focused games as multiplayer can be for single-player focused games. (BioShock: Infinite, Call of Duty: Ghosts, PC, PS3, PS4, TitanFall, Xbox 360, Xbox One)

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mhunterjr  +   704d ago
Tacking on single player is just as detrimental to a game as tacking on a unnecessary multiplayer component.

But for some reason, gamers tend to bitch disproportionately when inherently multiplayer games don't have a single player component.
GrizzliS1987  +   704d ago
how about charging 60 for multiplayer only? *hint at the pic ^
mhunterjr  +   704d ago
That's my point. I don't get why charging $60 for a multiplayer only game is so bad, when charging $60 for a single player only game is ok.

I wouldn't mind paying $60 for a multiplayer game, if the multiplayer is good enough to warrant it. Most of the time, I spend the lions share of my time in a games multiplayer mode, sometimes I don't touch a games single player at all.

If you look at a game like battlefield 4... The single player component added absolutely nothing to the value of the overall package. In fact, if they had scrapped it all together and focused that time and effort on the multiplayer, it probably would have had half the issues at launch.

If the fans of a particular game spend 90% of their time in MP, how is it a good investment to spend 50% of the budget on SP?
#1.1.1 (Edited 704d ago ) | Agree(29) | Disagree(9) | Report
glenn1979  +   704d ago
I think they will ad a single player ,I cant remember where I read it
admiralvic  +   704d ago
"That's my point. I don't get why charging $60 for a multiplayer only game is so bad, when charging $60 for a single player only game is ok. "

Because Multiplayer is something that can't be controlled and can only be sustained for so long. For a multiplayer game to work, you need a large enough community (day 1 or so sales) to be there at the start. From that point forward, the game will continue to gain people until it finally and ultimately starts losing players. This makes them a ticking time bomb, where as a game like BioShock, which is 100% single player, has as much value today as it did at launch.

In addition to that, a lot of MP games favor people that have been around a while. Back in the day, games like Halo 2 use to give you an arbitrary "skill" number. Based off your win/loss average, you would either gain levels or lose levels and whatever number you could sustain was your level. This system worked, because it made the game feel "balanced". You were fighting people that should be on par with you, so the matches shouldn't be too easy or too hard to ever win. Modern games do things that favor those who've been around a while.

CoD / BF / Killzone unlock perks, abilities, skills and more that make you better equipped. A lot of games will give you better equipment or at least more options the more you play, which makes starting later less enjoyable. Take Uncharted 3 for instance. If you started today, there are going to be people who have better guns, skills, perks and know the game better than you could probably believe. This means you will die, a lot. The more you die, the less fun the game is and this discourages people from investing the time.

You also have the Socom 4 / MAG difference. Socom 4 wasn't the best game, but it had a decent single player. When the servers go down next month, the game will lose some value, but it will still have plenty to do. When MAG loses its sever on the same day, the game disc becomes a coaster. There is nothing left to do on MAG and Sony effectively rendered the game you paid up to $60 dollars for useless. Some people want to avoid this, since you can go back and play 99% of games released up to the 7th generation, it seems like an unwanted trade off.
Pandamobile  +   704d ago
Different types of games use different business models.

Single player games are products. Multi player games are services.
mhunterjr  +   704d ago
@admiralvic the counter argument to that is that multiplayer IS the more sustainable of the two. I could spend $60 on bioshock at launch, and experience EVERYTHING it has to offer in 10-20 hours. In contrast, I could spend hundreds of hours in competitive halo matches before I grow tired of it. So which one is it that offers more value in the long term? How many people actually replay linear single player games. The research has been done. The answer is VERY FEW.

as for MP games favoring those who've been around for a while, that's an issue with flawed game design, not an inherent issue with multiplayer. You're right, halo 2 had it perfect, I'm not sure why the industry leaned towards the COD system. Hopefully, it reverts back.
SilentNegotiator  +   704d ago
"Single player games are products. Multi player games are services"
If that were true, there wouldn't be initial fees (non-subscription) for 90% of non-F2P MMOs.

Unless a MP-only game is BEYOND PACKED with content, $60 doesn't seem incredibly appropriate.
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quaneylfc  +   704d ago
titanfall does have a single player mode, it says in an interview
mikeslemonade  +   704d ago

That's just all very opinionated. The truth is the casual gamers would still buy said game in droves. And casual gamers look for value and playing a multiplayer game for 100+ hours is a better value than a single player game that last 20 hours.

Yes.., the single player game last forever but there's only a small percentage of people that actually finish the game to begin with much less replay the game over again. I remember looking at a game like SoTC. Only 18% of gamers finished the game based on the trophy that says you complete the game.
#1.1.8 (Edited 704d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(5) | Report
edgeofsins  +   704d ago
Single player games have expensive voice actors. Much more is put into detail and getting it right. If you honestly think you can compare the value of games with great single player that lasts 10 hours to an online team deathmatch that lasts 20 minutes then you miss the point entirely.

Multiplayer is just the gameplay, map, and game mode, and hopefully they take some effort to balance it out.

Not only that but Multiplayer games take so much from each other that they have more reference as to how to make the game work out.

I don't think a multiplayer game should be a full $60 if it's just another typical multiplayer objective game. All they have to do is make the gameplay, map, and game modes. They don't have to make dozens of maps and as big of maps as a singeplayer game that they refine as much and spend so much time to make sure it works correctly and the player can get through it and that the cutscenes are fully realized.
hazardman  +   704d ago

You made some good points!

I wouldnt mind paying $60 for either or but thats me. As long as the game is being supported with new content it shouldnt matter.

On topic tho, I cant stand a bad single player game. Gaming takes valuable time. Time I could put to better use than gaming. So the single player has to be good or great for me to invest $$ and time!
P_Bomb  +   704d ago
@mhunter/mikes lemonade
Maybe not everyone finished sotc, but I'd wager even fewer stick through the MP of most games like bioshock2, crysis2, deadspace2, or even games like twisted metal and starhawk for that proverbial hundred hours of implied value.

MP value is just as subjective. Fact is you can usually go through every online map in any game in one sitting. Team deathmatch is always the most populated mode it seems, objectives be damned. Then the inevitable DLC maps segregate the community even more. That is if games like GTA5 don't erase your online character first, or outright break like Battlefield.

Too many games out there for that kind of paid beta dedication. Haven't prestiged in call of duty since 2008. I don't feel I'm missing anything.
#1.1.11 (Edited 704d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(1) | Report
mhunterjr  +   703d ago

That's because developers should not shoehorn multiplayer OR single player into franchises that don't need them, that's my point.

I'm not saying multiplayer is better than single player. I'm saying some games don't need, and are actually hindered by having both.
#1.1.12 (Edited 703d ago ) | Agree(0) | Disagree(0) | Report
awi5951  +   703d ago
Battlefield has been a huge success without multiplayer. And Unreal tournament and unreal 2004, and Quake where huge hits on pc with no single player.
claudionmc  +   703d ago
Something important to add: you can play singleplayer games ALWAYS... however, multiplayer servers will shut down/change in some point. That's why singleplayer games worth the money, and multiplayer games depreciate to zero value
awi5951  +   703d ago

Thats not true on pc with games that have a open platform. Games that let you buy or rent your own servers or play P2p dont shut down after the offical servers close because as long as someone wants to play the game you can.
LordMaim  +   703d ago
@mhunterjr: Because a multiplayer experience is largely dependent on the quality/quantity/presence of other players at the time you want to play, while a single player game can be experienced whenever someone wants and the experience would always be there.
H0RSE  +   703d ago
Typically, MP games have much higher replayability, due it not just being a start and a finish, like single player. Instead, everything is happening in real time, and no 2 games are the same. Aside from how much content is packed into the MP, this aspect alone can warrant a $60 price tag. As for the concern of not having enough players among the community to sustain the game, I don't think I've ever witnessed this. The game would need to be pretty bad for this to happen, considering there are games over 10 yrs. old still be played online. Hell, you can find games for DOOM MP on PC...

One of the easy ways to address this concern, is to add bots, either to fill in the gaps where real players aren't present, or make an option for actual botmatches. I know a bunch of people who don't like playing online, but enjoy playing bot matches.
ProjectSeoul  +   703d ago
They are not doing single player because they know players won't play it. If you talk to CoD players and BF players. Majority of them will tell you that they did not player single player. Why waste money and resources on something that players won't play, and instead putting all that into something players will play. Besides majority of people are paying the $60 for the multiplayer.
Eonjay  +   703d ago
As bad as it is, it is still completely outdone by Single Player Always on DRM. That is definitely a bridge too far.
Pandamobile  +   704d ago
For some reason, people still think that a game isn't a "full package" when it doesn't have single player, coop and competitive multiplayer.

Not every game translates well into different genres, and making single player games can take a lot more manpower to make than a strictly multiplayer game.

Titan Fall is a good example of that. Respawn Entertainment only has around 75 employees. Multiplayer is obviously the focus for them, as lots of single player games tend to fall on the low end of the sales spectrum. Doing a full-fledged single player campaign for Titan Fall would require Respawn to nearly double their production budget for minimal return on investment.
colonel179  +   704d ago
I think it would be great if they start selling both modes separately if you don't want either of them.

Depending on which is dominant, they could sell the dominant mode at $40 and the other mode at $20. Or if you want both $60. It would be good value.

I usually almost never play multiplayer, so it would be great for me, and I know a lot of people that don't even touch single player, so for them too.
Jubez187  +   704d ago
Exactly. A bad single player is nothing other than something that took away from the multiplayer. I've bought Bad Company 2, Killzone 3, Battlefield 3, most CoDs, and Future Soldier...I never played a moment of SP. It actually seems archaic to me to play and care about SP (I know some of the games I mentioned actually had good SP's).
Canthar  +   704d ago
I personally only play single player these days for various reasons so I don't care for multi-player. It irritates me when multi is tacked on just to be able to say a game has it. For a multiplayer focused game it's the same thing with single player. Most players just want a basic tutorial and into multi they go.

There is a lot to be said when games just focus on what they want to be and stop trying to be everything to everyone.
theXtReMe1  +   703d ago
I totally agree with you. I am single player only and cringe when games either tack single player on or go at it half heartedly and end up with 3 hours of repetitive gameplay. It used to be that single player was the focus, multiplayer was the additional bonus... Now it seems to have switched to make multiplyer the main component and single player, the add-on.

Thankfully, games like The Witcher, Bioshock and GTA exist. Without them, single player gamers would be in line for extinction.
staticdash22  +   704d ago
Charging 60 bucks for team deathmatch and capture the flag?

Mikefizzled  +   704d ago
I paid full price for Bad Company 2 and it only had Rush, Conquest and Deathmatch. I didn't play the single player and I had a brilliant time. More gamemodes is not equal to more fun. See Call of Duty for reference.
pyramidshead  +   704d ago
My thoughts exactly. I hope when Titanfall finally releases it's £20 and no more, why exactly would it be any more than that?

Half a game is half a game. At least with Destiny you're getting a considerable amount of content for what you'll eventually pay for, if it turns out to be £20 then that's an absolute steal.
Pandamobile  +   704d ago
Value is relative. I'd much rather spend $60 on a multiplayer game than $60 on a single player game.

Thankfully, I don't pay $60 for any games these days.
sinjonezp  +   704d ago
To me its all relative to content. If that 60 dollar multiplayer game has enough content to keep me going, i do not see an issue. If titanfall has a truck load of guns, loadouts, and possible titan customization similar to other mech games, i would be sold. While we have all accept that multiplayer is considered a feature, and is a part of a full.fledge game, their are plausible opportunities if the game offers significant content. We spend 5-8 hours (guesstimate) on.single player modes and then spend.hundreds on.the multiplayer side. Could.we see a new modle where multiplayer is the main part of the game and single player is the added feature. I think as gamers we all enjoy a good story and fps experience. Sometimes we want to just play solo and not.have to worry about internent connections, lag, people cheating, etc,etc. However, the if the content is valuable, and the feature sets is plentiful, then i couldnt.complaim about that price. I think if it is multi only, they could.move more units at a 40 dollar price tag. Imo.
SG1_dapunisherX  +   704d ago
gotta go with bad single player
jocomat9  +   704d ago
id say no single that way they focus more on multiplayer.
Gabenbrah  +   704d ago
In Titanfall's case, I don't see the point of a campaign... It would only hinder the multiplayer experience which is the where everyone will be spending most of their time on. Just this year, CoD Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and KZSF all have terrible campaigns IMO and I would of honestly preferred if they had cut it out and focused on the MP instead, especially in Battlefield's case where it's completely broken and maybe if the developers only focused on the MP, the game would of been working.

And if you're buy Battlefield, CoD or Titanfall for it's SP, rethink your life.
#5 (Edited 704d ago ) | Agree(5) | Disagree(14) | Report | Reply
sigfredod  +   704d ago
For me is worse no SP on a game because even the most horrible SP can appeal some players, while no SP at all leave a big portion of the market out
Pandamobile  +   704d ago
Not really. If you were excited for Titan Fall only to find out that it doesn't have a single player campaign, that's your problem, not theirs. It'll most likely sell well regardless.
Hicken  +   704d ago
I... don't think you even understand the comment you responded to.

Some people don't like multiplayer, so even if it's a multiplayer-centric game like Call of Duty, they may buy and play it for the singleplayer. Even if a lot of people don't like it, some people will, and in any case that's more content that adds value to your game.

And, as sig says, it's tapping into that market of people that want singleplayer experiences.

If there's NO singleplayer, then people who prefer such games won't buy it, thus leaving out a number of gamers. That's money left on the table, so to speak, and I can't imagine developers- and, more importantly, publishers- being happy with doing that.

Additionally, as Oh_Yeah says below, there's also the added bonus of having something to do if, for whatever reason, your internet is unavailable, or the servers go do. The game isn't a complete waste in these cases, because even though it might suck, you can still play it.

That was one of the problems I had with MAG: I thought the game was great, loved the massive battles and all. But sometimes, I didn't want to be bothered with online. But I couldn't play it at all if it wasn't online, which made it useless to me in those times.

Anyway, Titan Fall is likely to sell well, but it'd obviously sell better if it also appealed to those who wanted singleplayer included.

Can't see how that's hard to understand.
Pandamobile  +   704d ago
My comment talking about Titan Fall more than anything.

I've seen people get excited for Titan Fall, and then lose interest in it when they find out that it's a multiplayer game.

The notion that every AAA game needs both multiplayer and single player to be considered a full package is dumb. We've had 100% multiplayer games forever. Gamers know that, publishers know that, everyone knows that. When a multiplayer game gets greenlit into production, as a developer, you're no longer required to consider people that only buy single player games. They are not your market.

I really doubt the lack of single player in Titan Fall will affect sales in any meaningful way.
#6.1.2 (Edited 704d ago ) | Agree(1) | Disagree(2) | Report
Oh_Yeah  +   704d ago
No single player is worse...what if you don't have internet/ it goes down..then that game is useless. I wouldn't want someone not being able to experience a game just because you have to be connected to the Internet, see back in my day...there was no online multiplayer, games offered something called co op or local multiplayer, which is getting scarcer and scarcer by the gen and it really is ashame. I think most games provided it fits, should have local multi and internet multi, as well as a full fledged 6+ hour campaign. Seeing as games are 60 bucks, I don't feel I'm asking for too much.
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AceBlazer13  +   704d ago
For 60 dollars a single player would be nice.What happens if the community dies out? Your left with a shell of a game.
CalebZachary8411  +   704d ago
I really only play SP now a days, so SP. But I mean, for shooters it has to be MP.
DeletedAcc  +   704d ago
Bad one
Tyborg  +   704d ago
When it all boils down to a developers budget for a game, I would have to say that having a bad single player campaign would be worse than no single player at all, because if it ends up being a bad single player experience then that means they could have used the funds from that single player mode to make the multiplayer mode that much more awesome. Very few companies out there have had a perfect blend of both single player and multiplayer with their games, in fact the only company I can think of that did have that perfect blend of both was Bungie, and they are going more toward the multiplayer focused route with Destiny.
nigelp520  +   704d ago
All I know I want future Multiplayer Only games to feature Bots
P_Bomb  +   704d ago
This. MAG for example could live on with bots. I always hated waiting for those 256 player matches to queue up anyways.

The fact all 3 Resistance games are going offline next year despite their 8 million install base, makes me uneasy about investing too much time online in general. That's a lot of progress to lose overnight.
SLUG  +   703d ago
yes i had mag i no what you mean ai should be in all fps games thats why i got a xbox one for titanfall ai in the game
nigelp520  +   703d ago
Yes i love MAG. If it had bots be one of my favorite games of all time
ivan510  +   704d ago
A bad single player. If the games multiplayer focused and the single player is just a side thought, might as well not even include it and spend more time making the multiplayer better.
pyramidshead  +   704d ago
Depends on the game but bad single all the way. Let's say my internet goes down for a week because of 'reasons' I can at least play the sh1tty single player to take my mind of things. A product you can't use because of WIFI sounds atrocious, especially if I've paid £60 for it.
DigitalRaptor  +   704d ago
We take a game like Warhawk which is online-only. That was reasonably priced both on the store and as a physical product.

That is how it should be done, but of course Microsoft is not at all reasonable. Paying $60 for a game that is online multiplayer-only IS atrocious, and should be condemned.
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Ricdog  +   704d ago
BF2 and Counter Strike are online games only and were full priced. There value is much greater than plenty single player only games.
DualWielding  +   704d ago
I don't like multiplayer but wouldn't hold it against a developer if they decide to release a multiplayer only game, they just need to put a sticker sayign the game is multiplayer only and can't be played offline..... whoever wants to buy knows what they're gettting, lots of people don't care about single player the same way I don't care about multiplayer
r2oB  +   704d ago
If they expect $60 for a MP only game, it better have a ton of content at launch (maps, weapons, attachments, etc). Either that, or no season passes where future DLC is free. Its absurd to pay $60 for 8 small maps and then have to shell out $15 per DLC for 4 more maps and no weapons.
Ricdog  +   704d ago
BF2 was full priced and had no single player shit, well worth the price.

TRUE BF fans would gladly pay $60, if not more, for a real return to the old BF formula of games (aka no single player).
first1NFANTRY  +   704d ago
I say sp only games should be priced at $30. Multi only games at $20. This way everyone is happy and will ignore the shortcomings. I'll be damned if I ever buy a $60 sp or multi game.
Gooch_suplex_Hold  +   704d ago
Bad single player.
ziggurcat  +   704d ago
What about no multiplayer? Because that's what I'd prefer.
Suspect1  +   704d ago
Even if the SP is bad people who dont have PS+ or XBL can still play the game or Best of all KILLZONE OFFLINE BOTS!!
Asuka  +   704d ago
i miss how battlefield used to be multiplayer only. honestly it doesn't need a singleplayer. missing those bf1942/bf2/bf2142 days
Tdmd  +   704d ago
What's worse: To be shot in the right knee or in the left knee?
Jubez187  +   704d ago
It's also the same thing the other way around. Why was there multiplayer in Tomb Raider and Far Cry 3? All it did was hinder the SP, no one actually played those games online. I think most MPs die (as far as shooters) in less than 6 months. CoD and BF will always be the console standard. And the fact that they do it with little to no organized competitive system (see: Killzone 2) is beyond me, but they keep people playing.

EDIT: +5 points to me for completing a 3-comment JRPG avatar chain.
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Ricdog  +   704d ago
Battlefield 2 had no single player (while, except for maps when you could play against bots). And BF2 is EASILY the best BF game of all time. It didn't need no shitty single player.

Counter Strike is another game online only game that is still going strong and was well worth the money. I couldn't imagine Valve even bothering writing a dumb single player mode when we all know the awesomeness is online.

Counter Strike and Battlefield 2 are both great examples of games that were full priced and were well worth the money. Heck even up to this day they still retain their value.

The fact that they didn't have no shitty single player meant that they got excellent reviews and weren't "hampered" by the lack of a dumb single player.
ikk47  +   704d ago
yeah right, $$ for only online features? spare me
BongSmack  +   704d ago
That's a hard question to answer. If you don't get to experience something it's easy to say "I would have preferred this game had a single player campaign". And if you have an awful experience with something it's easy to say "Why did they bother making this it sucks and almost everyone who plays this plays it for the multiplayer anyway".

-I didn't read the article at all, just the headline, so if the point I just tried to make isn't in line with what the article was saying, then :P too bad.
steve30x  +   704d ago
If a game doesn't have single player I dont buy it because its extremely rare that I play online.
urwifeminder  +   703d ago
Been on enough quests to last a lifetime die single player lol cant remember the last single player game I finished.
SLUG  +   703d ago
this is what the xbox one can do be the best console out there ps4 cant do this at all yeah its a powerful console but thats it we have titanfall with ai and 64 players online mode and open worlds what as the ps4 has a powerful console with very little games lol
infectedaztec  +   703d ago
Star wars battlefront 2 was one of my favorite games and I didn't care for the campaign. Same with battlefield 3. I did like bf4s campaign though
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