With the rise of the games-as-a-service model, we’ve seen more and more companies adapt to it in an effort to create games with ongoing ecosystems and economies. With that we’ve seen the emergence of the live service looter shooters and battle royale titles based around an almost exhausting amount of ongoing content. Logic dictates that that spells less than great things in the future for single player titles, especially those that don’t fit the mould of huge open worlds with near endless amount of content the way the likes of Ubisoft’s Far Cry and Assassin’s Creed titles do. But one person who seems to have little worry about it is Remedy Entertainment CEO Tero Virtala. Not only does he think single player games are here to stay, he thinks the next few years are going to be a great time for them- although this does seem to come at a bit of a catch.
Speaking at Reboot Develop Blue, Virtala spoke about what he sees as a positive future for single player titles from companies, like his own, that have the capabilities to work on a AAA level. He says that increased competition coming with the likes of Epic Games’ aggressive expansion in the PC market (something that Remedy has benefited from already) and Google coming into the mass market with their streaming service, Stadia, is going to open a lot of doors to developers, especially coupled with more expansion on the part of Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft into the ever-evolving digital games space.
“The race is on for the Netflix of games,” Virtala said (via GamesIndustry.biz). “We don’t know how it’s going to happen, when it’s going to happen, if it’s going to be subscription services… But the fact is that for the next two to three years, the big boys are going to invest heavily in this.
“And every single person knows that, in the games industry, to sell a new platform you’re going to need unique and exclusive content. With these new platforms and new distribution opportunities, there is a wider reach for our games, and also wider partnership opportunities.”
“When we were discussing with publishers three years ago, many of them were quite doubtful about what would be the [AAA blockbuster] single-player game’s future,” he added. “Now, with the success of many of Sony’s games, the success that Ubisoft has shown, we are seeing that single-player games are stronger now than they have ever been.”
Of course, this comes with a lot of assumptions. Mainly, that the new faces in the market are going to look for single player content as opposed to chasing live service titles. Without a doubt, though, the nature of gaming is changing quite significantly, so we’ll see how it pans out. Remedy’s next title, Control, releases August 27th on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.