Epic Games’ Cliff Bleszinski, creator of Gears of War, says Japanese games shouldn’t be ignoring multiplayer, citing games like Vanquish as an example for how lacking multiplayer can hurt their sales and reception.
“My advice to Japan is that in a disc-based market right now, you cannot [ignore multiplayer],” he said while speaking with Gamasutra.
However, he doesn’t think they should go ahead and put a multiplayer component game into every game, even if it doesn’t fit. “I’m not saying tack multiplayer onto every game,” he said.
He then went on to cite examples. He said about Grasshopper’s Shadows of the Damned- “It was a beautifully crazy game with really fun gameplay, but no multiplayer co-op experience in there.
I’m not saying tack on versus; there’s a billion different ways you can do some sort of ‘players interacting with other players.'”
“And if you’re going to make a third-person shooter… the fact that Vanquish didn’t have a multiplayer suite was a crime,” he said about Vanquish. “That IP, it was pretty good as far as being Western, but the gameplay was great, the vibe… and I’ve often said on record that if Gears is the kind of Wild, Wild West coal train chugging along, that Vanquish is the Japanese bullet train, with style and everything.
“And there is absolutely no reason I shouldn’t have been zipping around, doing the mega slides, diving up in the air in an arena with other players.”
He then talked about how From Software innovatively implemented multiplayer in Dark Souls, saying that it might “inspire a lot of Western developers to figure ways that you can have connected elements in campaign games, and have more of a blended experience.”