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Single-Player Games Are Not Dead But The Economics Are "Complicated," Xbox Boss Says

Xbox boss Shannon Loftis, who heads up Xbox Publishing for first-party games, believes single-player-only games aren't dead but they do have questions to face around their economic viability. Speaking to GameSpot today, Loftis said the demand by gamers for higher quality experiences comes with a price tag. While storytelling is still of paramount importance, the economics of single-player-only titles is "complicated" in today's industry due to the dramatic and constant evolution of the game market.

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FallenAngel1984359d ago

Nothing complicated about consistency delivering single player games Microsoft. Your competitors Sony and Nintendo do it all the time.

UltraNova359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Who can dissagree really...oh wait!

freshslicepizza359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Andrew House stepped down, guess who is replacing him? The online guy. Sony is looking to become more profitable and to do that expect more games as a service.

Michael Pachter said Sony does not make that much profit. So if the leader in sales is not making much money then there is a problem with the current standard.

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

Go to the 9:24 mark of that video.

The industry is changing, games costs a heck of a lot of money and they are all looking at ways to generate more profit. Uncharted for example started off single player only, then they added online, they also added microtranactions to it. You are going to see a continuation of this trend, a move to keeping gamers enabled longer.

ShadowWolf712359d ago

I love how good ol' moldy can't resist leaping to massive conclusions to try to defend the company whose console he doesn't own.

Again.

ThatGuyDart359d ago

@moldybread

Yoshida is president of Sony's worldwide studios and has been for an very long time. As long as he is there it doesn't really matter who is at the top because he has a great amount of influence from his stellar track record. The guy replacing House (cant think of his name) will continue to let Shu run Sony's studios as is.

Also, Uncharted is your example of Sony moving towards GaaS? Really??? Multiplayer was added to Uncharted because why not? And even when Naughty Dog did add it what part of the game was still the main focus? Single player.

freshslicepizza359d ago

@ThatGuyDart20m ago
"Also, Uncharted is your example of Sony moving towards GaaS? Really??? Multiplayer was added to Uncharted because why not? And even when Naughty Dog did add it what part of the game was still the main focus? Single player."

Which totally relates to this,

Shannon Loftis,
"I do love the idea of building a community around the experience of these games."

Microsoft did not say they are against single player games and are not going to be making them but that economics are complicated. Meaning those standalone single player games have changed.

Skull521359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

No reason to, single player games are weak. Games with tons of constantly updated content is where it is at and Microsoft dominates that. Now with the most powerful console ever we are going to see premium gaming experiences on console, years ahead of the 4K curb

morganfell359d ago

"...Microsoft dominates that."

With what?

Unspoken359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Even if PS is going that route I can't agree with MS giving single player the shaft and prioritizing micro transaction in favor of content. You want to monetize your game, make sure there is a full game underneath without the need to pay for grind.

CD Projekt Red appear to have a good model.

Ceaser9857361359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

moldy
"Michael Pachter said Sony does not make that much profit"
All of a sudden Pachter is to be believed ya!!
Didnt Sony makes news few months back regarding the huge profit it earning and the gaming division particularly helped Sony ..

Let me help you

https://www.cnbc.com/2016/0...

Another bright spot for Sony is the gaming division which saw operating income rise 84.3 percent to 88.7 billion yen. In January, the company said that PS4 sales had topped 35 million and in its earnings release, it said an increase in software and hardware sales of the console helped offset the decrease in PlayStation 3 sales.

SPREADLOVE

"I think Andrew House is stepping down after delivering a lackluster PS4 Pro and he is leaving a sinking ship. So Sony conveniently replaced him with an online guy. Sony doesn't have the same infrastructure and skill as MS in cloud endeavors so this will be interesting."

Are you for real?? DELIVERING A lackluster PS4 PRO?? lmao!! Sinking ship did you say?? OMG! i can imagine whats gonna happen with Xbox division post XBOX X release... They are already shutting down studios lol!!

"Sony doesn't have the same infrastructure and skill as MS in cloud endeavors so this will be interesting.""
Ya MS being an IT firm has the upper hand but than why isn't XBOX bringing in anything for MS..

Eonjay359d ago

If Sony can afford to do it, Microsoft should have more first party games than everyone. Her statement that they can't make good single player games because of money is inconsistent with reality. I think they are putting unrealistic conditions of success on a project before they even bother. How can you spend money on creating a whole new console, but then say its too expensive to make games?

Christopher359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

***Andrew House stepped down, guess who is replacing him? The online guy. Sony is looking to become more profitable and to do that expect more games as a service. ***

Seriously, moldy? Nothing has changed, GTS isn't microtransactions at all and it's ripe for it, and Sony has been doing microtransactions in other MP games. This is even the guy who got rid of online passes and has never tried to force MP into every game. You seem to think that having a position managing one area means that's all he will be in a new position that is aimed at working with all divisions as one. Being an Admin of N4G doesn't mean if I Admin elsewhere I would try to change it to a gaming site or implement the exact same rules. Different jobs call for different roles and goals.

Perhaps it's completely unintentional, but it sure does seem like your bias is shining through when you make these claims from nothing.

Rude-ro359d ago

@moldy
But I thought that is why gtsport is trash is because of the smaller off line portion.
Which is it?

darthv72359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Between the two, there is more $$ to be made from MP than SP thanks mostly to the fees from being a paid member to play multiplayer games. with that said... it is unwise to omit single player games from the platform. I hope they pay close attention to the numbers of 360 and (now) og xbox games when it comes to seeing how many hours and people are installing those games. And many of which are SP based (like ninja gaiden black for example).

If they see that there is an increased interest in those SP games then they have to act on that by incorporating SP games in the current situation. To ignore that is just crazy. No matter what the suits think in the board room, there IS a market for SP games even in the era of online multiplayer.

freshslicepizza359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Christopher, funny you brought up GT Sport, a game totally designed to push Playstation Plus memberships. Which of course is another way to generate revenue since offline there really isn't much there.

Again you see this push for online integration much more in AAA games. They are doing everything they can to devalue the used market. Naughty Dog brought in online passes in the past too. Developers are looking for ways to generate more revenue with developing costs going out of control in such a competitive marketplace.

Wintersun616359d ago

Moldy

"Naughty Dog brought in online passes in the past too."

As did pretty much every other dev which released a game with any kind of online capabilities between 2010-2013 on playstation, back when PS+ wasn't required for online play. What is your point?

tehpees3358d ago

@moldybread

You are talking like they can't make profit. They can. Their budgets getting out of control is their problem. That is not an excuse to justify micro-transactions. I honestly can't believe that any game that sells 1 million wouldn't have been profitable in some kind of way.

bouzebbal358d ago

they justify thing in such a WTF way..
I can sense they are preparing for xbox future as online service only, where single player only game aren't as relevant as multiplayer.
no matter what, they are full of it.
most anticipated games are 99% of the time SP only games.
This year the most anticipated SP games were Zelda and Horizon.
Next year God of Wat TLoU 2...

+ Show (15) more repliesLast reply 358d ago
lelo2play359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Agree. Consoles that sell the most are the ones that have more exclusives and more single player games.

Oh Microsoft! With that line of thinking, you'll always continue third...

freshslicepizza359d ago

The WiiU had lots of exclusives, where did they finish?

HotMoltenLava359d ago

Third in sales but not profit. In the end profit is what it is about no matter which way you slice it.

fiveby9359d ago

@HotMoltenLava Can you cite a source on profitability? From what I read Xbox is not always profitable for MS. Here's one article of many I found,

https://nowloading.co/p/xbo...

And as I suspected I read recently that the X1X will be sold at a loss or break even per unit.

https://www.vg247.com/2017/...

I seriously don't think many consider MS the bastion of creativity for games. They appear to take the line that EA is pushing, games as a service, filled with tons of MT systems to bleed consumers dry. Creativity does not appear to be n1st or second for MS.

Christopher359d ago

***The WiiU had lots of exclusives, where did they finish?***

Let's ignore all their other consoles, including the Switch and the retro consoles that get sold out very quickly and focus on SP games almost entirely with some of the highest rated exclusives let alone in the first year for any console release.

freshslicepizza359d ago

@Christopher,

Ever since the N64 Nintendo had steadily declined into irrelevance. Was the Wii the best system? Nintendo has
some of the most popular exclusives out there but they struggle because guess what? Consumers want more than just that.

LandoCalrissiano359d ago

Is that why h1z1, pubg, fortnite, csgo, destiny and overwatch are the biggest games in the world right now?

JackBNimble359d ago

Moldy.... The master grasper, you're not even grasping at straw, nothing but thin air.

Christopher359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

***Nintendo has
some of the most popular exclusives out there but they struggle because guess what? Consumers want more than just that.***

Wait... what? You do realize that based on gaming divisions alone that Nintendo is the most powerful player in the industry, right?

zerocarnage359d ago

That isn't true there has been consoles in past generations that have been on top yet didn't have as many exclusives or more sp games than there competition.

Just because it has happened this generation doesn't mean that it will continue for the next or other generations.

Blind fanboy comments are ridiculous and consoles do not need exclusives to sell.

Answer me a question, when you buy a game what do you think of first??? The fact it appeals to you or the fact it's exclusive??? I bet it's the first and that exclusives doesn't even enter anyone's head because all a person things about when buying a game is that the game there buying is going to pull them in, keep them occupied, that it looks ace. Graphics, gameplay, features, content, genre all come way ahead of this exclusive bull craps you fanboys keep trying to turf out like it's gospel truth yet it's not.

How many exclusives on yeh beloved ps4 do you have exactly and how many third party's? I bet the third party's everyone has on there Sony consoles as well as any other take up most of there library compared to first party's. Not only that compared to third party's only a small fraction of firsts truly ever make it big like thirds, it's risky business.

And does it really matter what console has first or thirds so long as people are happy, I mean I certainly do not sit there and think man my Xbox needs more exclusives why because there are hundreds of thirds to play that I can wait and be patient, sure it'd be nice but it isn't hell on earth for people if the exclusive tag isn't beside a game or if one console has more exclusives than the one I own.

No one up until Scorpio announcement even talked exclusives which is funny, I mean first two years of both ms and Sony consoles this gen neither had any exclusives, so I don't know why you bunch of idjiots keep going on about it like a broken record since Scorpios announcement, before it was power from Sony fanboys.

I tell you on the forums this generation Sony fanboys I must admit have been the worst they've ever been and while there have been some ms fanboys being morons , generally it seems they sent as interested in running around in the continuous loop as you psfanboys . I certainly think you lot need to chill it's like your going off as if Sony can't drop the ball when they clearly can and can't be touched when nothing is untouchable.

Some words for you there's only one place you can go when on top and that is down, it's just a matter of when that's all. Congrats to Sony by all means but if ms wanted to they have enough money to dominate the console market and take them all off the board but no point, wouldn't be good for business if no competition was about. Either way I don't see why people hate or any of the developers, enjoy them all, they all bring something different to the table, it would be damn boring if they all had the same approach and while there are some things they could learn from each other it certainly does not hurt to keep doing there own thing, they all Making money period and they don't really care about us in general anyway just what money our pockets can turf out and yes all the developers are like it from console to games devs.

freshslicepizza359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

@Christopher
"Wait... what? You do realize that based on gaming divisions alone that Nintendo is the most powerful player in the industry, right?"

I didn't know that Nintendo only made consoles and that 12 million Wii U units sold meant they were the most powerful. I learn something new every day. Face it Christopher, the industry has and will continue to change. It is becoming less and less common to find a standalone AAA game that is solely a single player experience. Microsoft is not driving the trend, they are merely adapting to it. To them it is more about revenue which is likely why they shyed away after Ryse, Sunset Overdrive and Quantum Break failed to bring in big sales.

This is not to say I like this direction. In fact I support Sony and Nintendo more for taking more risks but facts are facts, publishers are releasing less games because games are taking longer to make and are now making more money because they have engaged the players longer.

You want some real data? Here you go,

http://www.gdcvault.com/pla...

Its long but very in-depth.

rainslacker359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

"It is becoming less and less common to find a standalone AAA game that is solely a single player experience. "

Is it? Considering more games are being released every year compared to gens prior, and the vast majority of those games actually are SP experiences.

It's a very common misconception that MP games somehow make up the bulk of releases, or that MP resides in a lot of SP focused games. It is patently false, and if you actually tally up the numbers, you'd find that SP games still dominate the releases.

There are indeed more MP games nowadays, but when you really look at it closely, you'd notice that most actually fail, and it's a relatively small percentage which do extremely well.

It's those that do extremely well that cause companies to chase after this notion that there is more money in MP. Same way everyone chased after that FPS money last gen because of COD success. For the successful games, it's absolutely true that they make tons of money. But it takes time and persistence to find a game that actually strikes the right chord with the consumer to actually become successful.

In no way is SP dying. The chance that a SP game can succeed or fail is about the same as it is with MP, and there are a lot of factors involved in what brings that success or failure. The difference is that MP games don't require as much investment to get to market, and can often rely on spending money on resources after the game releases if it does well and they're already making money on it. Sp game cost more up front to produce, and if they fail, there is really no going back to recoup resources, so the complications involved with SP games are more along the lines of the company doesn't want to take as many risks. A successful SP game can however still make quite a sizable return on investment.

Why o why358d ago

Moldy Doth protest too much

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 358d ago
TheKingKratos359d ago

I'm not shocked that this is coming from Microsoft,I wish they would just leave gaming alone
To me Single player games are the sole reason to play games in first place, I have no interest in Mutiplayer whatsoever.

TankCrossing359d ago

Mmm they should definitely leave gaming alone ASAP because you don't like multiplayer games. I don't want to imagine the devastating consequences to the environment if ever the World stopped revolving round you.

TheKingKratos359d ago

So you like that they don't invest in Single player games and act like multiplayer is the real deal ?

Black0ut359d ago

Gamer I understand your point but saying for them to leave is pretty childish... could have done without that part tbqh.

TankCrossing359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

I like single player games and I like multiplayer games. I don't think Microsoft are really delivering on either front at the moment.

I don't personally care for Nintendo games, but you won't see me say anything like "I wish Nintendo would just leave gaming alone". I don't even get mad at the people that like playing those. It literally doesn't upset me at all.

TejasTV359d ago

Same here. It’s the exact reason I traded my Xbox one in for a PS4. I’m not really interested in multiplayer. I’ll never have enough time to commit to being good or playing with friends on a consistent basis. With single player I can play as little or as much as I have time for and I won’t be left behind because I haven’t played in a few days.

Jinger359d ago

They have single player games tho, and great multiplayer as well. No reason a game can't have both and Microsoft for the most part delivers that

TheKingKratos359d ago

@Black0ut
TBH yeah you are right
I should have said my point better than this.i apologize

Elda359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Agreed! I do have 3 games that have multiplayer co-op which I do enjoy like The Division,Overwatch & Destiny 2 but majority of my library are arcade indies,rpgs & exclusives along with multi plats & they are single player games. Competitive multiplayer I care nothing about.There's nothing like playing a single player game with a great story along with great gameplay though I wish they would implement much more local co-op in some of these games so you can play with a friend.

EverydayGuy359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

I know, I play games to get away from everyone else.

Yohshida359d ago

Thats cool and you should do whatever you feel good with, but most people I game with dont even buy games that dont have a good Multiplayer. I for one dedicated 90% of my gaming time to MP titles. Heck, I started Gaming on PC 15. Years ago because of Online Multiplayer. If you dont like those games, cool, you can still play your sp games. Just dont act like Microsoft leaving gaming would be good for the industry. You are delusional if you think that. Some people just dont like playing alone, for me is gaming with friends the only real way to play a game

81BX359d ago

Did you read the article?

zerocarnage359d ago

The majority of gamers want multiplayer, games devs are creating the need here that is where the money is and that is what ms are on about.

Shame on you really for trying to turn an honest opinion as to what most gamers out there are saying into some hate towards ms, what a surprise from the fanboys.

I think Sony were wrong on the crossplay and some of there business decisions but that doesn't mean I think they should leave gaming alone. All the console devs have done wonders for this industry and without the top developers doing what they do, this industry wouldn't be as advanced as it is now.

Some of you are so blind at times and disrespectful that whether your a fanboy or hater doing it, rather than any of the console devs being out of the business I think it's more deserving that you bunch who continuously hate shouldn't be gaming because what have you contributed apart from towards sales like everyone else, absoloutly nothing. When you can all do what these devs do then I guess you'd all have the rite to criticize.

Seems as though the people/gamers who started from the beginning of time on gameing understand and respect more what each and every dev out there does, seems like those who started late and the later they start just didn't learn to appreciate the industry to it's fullest and certainly not respect it properly. It certainly is easy to criticize when sitting behind a screen without even thinking you fanboys and haters are not doing much either to move this industry forward or doing anything towards the development or future improvements of the gaming industry..

Tobse358d ago

So should everyone make the same games? I love ms for their mp focus, thats where I play online while I play the sp games on my ps4. If you dont like mp games, dont buy a Xbox, if you are into mp, its the best console you can go with.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 358d ago
TankCrossing359d ago

I think she's still having nightmares about Ryse.

HotMoltenLava359d ago

I like Ryse. Not the greatest game but no where near as bad as people made it out to be.

359d ago Replies(3)
UCForce359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

@moldybread Yes, Uncharted series have MP, but it wasn't ND primarily focused. The guy who replaced Andrew House have been working closely with House. So he will do the same just like House did. So yeah, you are so far behind.

343_Guilty_Spark359d ago

Do you know the economics behind those games? I’m curious since you are
So financially saavy.

UCForce359d ago

I know video game is getting expensive, but getting rid of SP games that you killing gaming culture and lost balance.

343_Guilty_Spark359d ago

@UCForce

Where did the say they were getting rid of single player?

HotMoltenLava359d ago

It's amazing how everyone is a financial expert and has the business knowledge to tell Microsoft what they should do. The did not become a multi billion dollar company by listening to a bunch armchair Devs and armchair business majors like the people on N4G.

343_Guilty_Spark359d ago

@HotMoltenLava

For all we know Sony could be selling a lot of consoles but making very little net profit on the console itself or in house video games. That is why they bumped up PSN subscription prices, created Vue, and still charge out the wazoo for PS now. They need other ways to monetize.

UCForce359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

Well, let's just say that MS losing a lot of faith on SP games.

trooper_359d ago

What's economical about wanting good games? Do you want to keep playing the same three franchises over and over again?

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 359d ago
Bigpappy359d ago

He is getting this info from a lot of 3rd party I am sure. But there is obviously a lot more money to be made from multi-player.

359d ago
Relientk77359d ago

Sony and Nintendo have been doing it successfully for decades, yet Microsoft says it's complicated lol

Aenea359d ago

It's all about profits, who knew...

trooper_359d ago

What the heck is so difficult about delivering good games?

It's not rocket science...

UCForce359d ago (Edited 359d ago )

@spreadlove The "online" guy who replaced House. He has been work closely with House for decade. So he will have the same tactics. Sony don't replace people lightly.

Xerneas359d ago

@UCForce

"Sure, but MS focus way too on MP and coop. Single Player games are almost non existent in MS First Party Studios."

Don't even comment on stuff you know absolutely nothing about. I only play SP games on Xbox One.

Just saying next time before you accuse me about reckless, unprofessional commenting.

UCForce359d ago

@Xerneas Well, you are still unprofessional and reckless unless you have to reconsider your attitude twice. I know MS tried to say SP isn't dead but they losing a lot of faith on it. You are too far behind. I remember MS made an excuse why they brought back backward compatibility because the old games have SP focus than their current games.

gangsta_red359d ago

Do people not realize that Microsoft games can be played as a single player game with the option of co-op and multiplayer?

Some of these comments make it seem that people are rushing the gates into your game unannounced.

UCForce359d ago

Sure, but MS focus way too on MP and coop. Single Player games are almost non existent in MS First Party Studios.

gangsta_red359d ago

@UCforce

"...but MS focus way too on MP and coop."

Could you give examples?

"Single Player games are almost non existent in MS First Party Studios"

With the exception of Sea Of Thieves which is actually tailored for online mp, every MS first party game has a single player campaign with the option for either co op or a separate mp game function.

PlayableGamez-359d ago

I would say just look at CD Projekt Red.

LandoCalrissiano359d ago

They delivered quantum break (one of my favorites) and everyone shit on it.

KickSpinFilter359d ago

Wow I think that's the most up-votes...ever.