Titanfall Dev Against Mandatory Always-Online Games
Community manager Abbie Heppe believes that always-online play shouldn’t be forced on players.
Though Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall will be an online experience – the kind where you have to have an internet connection and experience multiplayer – community manager Abbie Heppe believes there’s still enough room for traditional single-player shooters.
Speaking to XB1, Heppe explains that Respawn’s goal was always to go for an online-only multiplayer shooter. “The plan was always online for us, so it was an easy answer for us when people say ‘well how do you feel about that’ – well we were always an online-only multiplayer game anyway. It doesn’t have the same impact on us as necessarily would have on somebody else.
“It’s such a weird one, I think about the way I play games now, even when I’m playing single players game I’m ‘always online’. I’m always seeing that this person popped up on my friends list, it’s this very social and online even when I’m playing by myself. Unless you turn off all notifications and ignore the world.
“Even when I play on my phone I’m always online. I travel so much I tend to play a ton on mobile devices. It very much is [always online] even when you’re not playing a multiplayer game, because we’ve made the social experience so much of what gaming is now. I get very frustrated when online features aren’t up to speed, I think it’s really just expected.”
Heppe also believes that always-online play shouldn’t be made compulsory for players. “We have the easy bullet dodge. ‘we’re an online only game’. But I do think there is room for the a single player experience, and for stuff that isn’t necessarily online. I think you’re going to see more of [multiplayer].
“Even when they’re a single player game, [developers] want to have a multiplayer component, which is sort of silly because I think developers should do what they are best at, and I hate the idea of somebody being forced into adding something into their game that they don’t want to do. I think there is a lot the future generation is going to be able to do in terms of matchmaking, in terms of connecting gamers that’s going to make that social experience not feel forced.”
Considering that this was the Xbox One’s stance several months ago with its 24 hour, online authentication process, it’s interesting to see Respawn now criticize a mandatory, always-online approach for games. We’ll see how it pans out when Titanfall releases on Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC on March 11th 2014 in North America and March 13th 2014 in Europe.