A lot of the rhetoric in the industry will tell you that single player games are dead, dying out, or becoming increasingly unviable for companies of all size to justify continue investments in them, beyond first party publishers who can justify prestige projects like Zelda or The Last of Us.
However, one industry veteran, at least, does not think so. Speaking to Metro GameCentral, Rebellion CEO Jason Kingsley said that single player games are not dead, and are not going anywhere, noting only that the zeitgeist currently might be dominated by multiplayer titles in large part, but that single player games are still going to stick around.
“I think there are some changes going on in the industry at the top end, and I think all of us – as games players, games consumers, and professionals – we need to look at the direction it’s going in. And we need to give feedback,” he said. “Because I want my games to be enjoyed, consumed, thought about, replayed… I am little concerned about how the sort of aftermarket loot box-y thing is being perceived by our core audience. A lot of people like them, a lot of people pretend not to like them… but you will know, as a journalist, that what people say and what they do is often different. But I also think games are an important cultural component of our society and I think it’s really important that in the game space that we [at Rebellion] occupy, which is single player narrative-based action with some multiplayer components, I don’t want to see those become purely multiplayer. We want people to go on adventures in our games, to have fun…
“Single player is not dead. I think what people are desperately trying to do is work out how to get more money out of people that are willing to give them more money. And I think it’s dominating the news a little bit, but I’m absolutely sure that these people aren’t going to throw away the single player market.”
I think I agree with him- and after all, this year alone, we have had Horizon: Zero Dawn, NieR Automata, Resident Evil 7, Nioh, Persona 5, Super Mario Odyssey, Xenoblade Chronicles 2, Assassin’s Creed Origins, and of course, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild as big name single player games that saw success- I don’t think single player games are about to go away any time soon.