In spite of the success of games like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Persona 5, NieR Automata, Nioh, Resident Evil 7, and of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (without getting into the guaranteed impending success of the upcoming Wolfenstein 2: The New Colossus, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and Super Mario Odyssey), there are many in the gaming industry who would have you believe that single player games are a thing of the past, and multiplayer titles are the way of the future.
Of course, the success of the games I mentioned above alone is evidence that they are not necessarily right on this front- and it looks like game makers themselves don’t agree with them on this. Take Cory Barlog, the director of the upcoming PS4 God of War. Speaking on Twitter to sound off on the issue, he admitted he loved single player games, even the linear cinematic ones, and that he is saddened when people use the word ‘linear’ as a criticism.
I more or less agree with him- while I think the traditional Uncharted style single player experience may definitely be on the way out (unless it is lower priced like The Lost Legacy was), I feel that open world single player games, or linear single player games allowing for emergence and player participation (like Persona 5, and of course God of War) are still going to continue to do well. They may not do PUBG numbers- but I don’t think they have to to be considered successful.
I love linear single player games. Saddens me when the word linear is considered a bad thing. You can have agency in a linear story game.
— Cory Barlog (@corybarlog) October 18, 2017