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.

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mhunterjr1581d 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.

GrizzliS19871581d ago

how about charging 60 for multiplayer only? *hint at the pic ^

mhunterjr1581d ago (Edited 1581d 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?

glenn19791581d ago

I think they will ad a single player ,I cant remember where I read it

admiralvic1581d 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.

Pandamobile1581d ago

Different types of games use different business models.

Single player games are products. Multi player games are services.

mhunterjr1581d 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.

SilentNegotiator1581d ago (Edited 1581d 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.

quaneylfc1581d ago

titanfall does have a single player mode, it says in an interview

mikeslemonade1581d ago (Edited 1581d 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.

edgeofsins1581d 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.

hazardman1581d 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_Bomb1581d ago (Edited 1581d 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.

mhunterjr1581d ago (Edited 1581d 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.

awi59511581d 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.

claudionmc1581d 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

awi59511580d 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.

LordMaim1580d 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.

H0RSE1580d 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.

ProjectSeoul1580d 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.

Eonjay1580d ago

As bad as it is, it is still completely outdone by Single Player Always on DRM. That is definitely a bridge too far.

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Pandamobile1581d 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.

colonel1791581d 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.

Jubez1871581d 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).

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Canthar1581d 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.

theXtReMe11580d 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.

staticdash221581d ago

Charging 60 bucks for team deathmatch and capture the flag?


Mikefizzled1581d 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.

pyramidshead1581d 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.

Pandamobile1581d 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.

sinjonezp1581d 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_dapunisherX1581d ago

gotta go with bad single player

jocomat91581d ago

id say no single that way they focus more on multiplayer.

Gabenbrah1581d ago (Edited 1581d 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.

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