Randy Pitchford Says Developers Are Too Focused On Multiplayer
Randy Pitchford, CEO of Gearbox, has gone on record to say what most people have been thinking lately. And that is that developers are too focused on multiplayer. He may be right but is that really such a bad thing? Doesn’t a game need some solid multiplayer to boost the replayability factor? Personally, once I go through a single player campaign once, I have very little desire to go through it again. Isn’t it the multiplayer that keeps discs spinning in our consoles?
Pitchford said the following about the issue:
“Let’s forget about what the actual promise of a game is and whether it’s suited to a narrative or competitive experience. Take that off the table for a minute and just think about the concept-free feature list: campaign, co-op, how many players? How many guns? How long is the campaign? When you boil it down to that, you take the ability to make good decisions out of the picture. And the reason they do it is because they notice that the biggest blockbusters offer a little bit for every kind of consumer. You have people that want co-op and competitive, and players who want to immerse themselves in deep fiction. But the concept has to speak to that automatically; it can’t be forced. That’s the problem.
Look at Dead Space 2. It’s ceiling-limited; it’ll never do 20 million units. The best imaginable is a peak of four or five million units if everything works perfectly in your favour. So the bean counters go: ‘How do I get a higher ceiling?’ And they look at games that have multiplayer. They’re wrong, of course. What they should do instead is say that they’re comfortable with the ceiling, and get as close to the ceiling as possible. Put in whatever investment’s required to focus it on what the promise is all about.”
Like I said, he may be right but is it a bad thing? Of course some game’s try to include multiplayer when they really aren’t suited for online play. But still, isn’t something better than nothing? Not every game is going to have a Call of Duty-esque multiplayer component but I’d still rather something than nothing at all. Even if it doesn’t last very long, any form of multiplayer will keep the disc in your console for at least a bit of time after the campaign is done, don’t you think?