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Will Single Player Games Be Gone By 2014?

Will single player games be gone by 2014? Veteran game consultant Mark Cerny seems to think so. Cerny is saying that most games will not include a single player campaign by 2014.

Will single player games be gone by 2014? Veteran game consultant Mark Cerny seems to think so.

“I believe the traditional single-player game experience will be gone in three years. Right now you sit in your living room and you’re playing a game by yourself – we call it the sp mission or the single-player campaign. In a world with Facebook I just don’t think that’s going to last,” Cerny said in a Eurogamer-organised panel.

Cerny has worked on a number of high profile games like Crash Bandicoot and Ratchet & Clank. He believes that things like ghosts of other players, co-op and player controlled bosses are all signs pointing to the death of single player.

“We’re already seeing the wall starting to crumble a bit,” he said. “I believe three years from now, if you aren’t doing that, you are being criticised in your reviews for your lack of innovation. A game without the presence of other players in it – you go out three or five years, I believe that is unthinkable given how connected we’re becoming.”

I can’t say I totally disagree with Cerny. Unless we’re talking about a game like Fallout 3 or L.A. Noire, how much time do players really spend in single player? For MOST games, it’s the same. I’ll spend my eight hours going through the recycled levels and then spend the rest of my time online, never returning to single player.

Listen, while some games do offer fantastic single player experiences, the fact of the matter is, that unless the game is single player only, it likely won’t have a campaign that is worth returning to.

Case in point, Call of Duty: Black Ops. As fun and exciting as that campaign was, would I ever play it again? No, why would I? I don’t care about Achievements or Trophies or collectibles of any sorts, so why would I go back and play levels I’ve already played. I’d rather spend my time in the dynamic, and ever changing multiplayer arena.

Even in games where you can start a “New Game +” or where you can go back through and the enemies are a bit different and whatnot, it’s still essentially the same experience. Is it not?

What are your thoughts on this? Will single player games be gone by 2014, and if so, does it matter?

About the author

Matt Joseph

Matt Joseph is the co-founder, owner and Editor in Chief of We Got This Covered. He currently attends the University of Western Ontario and is studying at the Richard Ivey School of Business. He works on We Got This Covered in his spare time and enjoys writing for the site.