At the moment, the gaming sphere seems to be headed in a Multiplayer dominated direction. Many games seem like they want to be the next big Multiplayer experience, but on the whole, are just unable to compete with a few of the biggest titles out. Whilst this is sad to see, we can envision a future where only a small number of games have the entire Multiplayer domain, this isn’t detrimental, but is actually good for gaming as a whole.
At the moment, it seems like there are only a few Multiplayer games that have a significant Multiplayer standing which is taking up the majority of the gaming Multiplayer space. Without doing too much research, you could easily guess that these titles are: Call of Duty (FPS), League of Legends (MOBA), World of Warcraft (MMORPG), Star Craft II (RTS) and FIFA (Sports). Behind them are some rather great games that have a significant playerbase, like Battlefield 3, DOTA 2 and others.
What’s interesting is that other games seem to want to compete in this domain and come up with some really great ideas to try and compete, for instance, Rise of the Triad has a solid Deathmatch Multiplayer experience marred by a lack of players and there was recently a Multiplayer game that utilised a unique code generating system (that I’m having a hard time finding a news article on) to bring more players into the game.
But, whilst it may seem sad, I don’t think that these games will be sustainable for too long. Games built for Multiplayer must always have a Multiplayer audience, but players seem to only really stick to one or two games and a flood of Multiplayer games will only hurt developers. However, if that same energy went into creating a strong Single Player component, then things might be a little different for those titles. Take a look at Rise of the Triad for example, whilst the Multiplayer is strong and fun, it also has an incredibly fun and well developed Single Player experience to carry itself on.
And really that’s the shift that we predict will be happening in the industry as developers start to realise how difficult a battle they will be having in order to compete in the Multiplayer space. Really, strong Singleplayer experiences have already begun to crop up. Look at the Tomb Raider reboot, look at the independently developed Dust: An Elysian Tale, the upcoming Watch_Dogs and many others that have been released this year. If this trend was to continue, we’d easily be seeing some of the greatest quality Singleplayer games in gaming history and the industry will be better off for it.
Not only that, some companies will put a lot of effort into competing in the Multiplayer space and this will lead to more polished, creative and engaging experiences that players will not be able to ignore. Moreso, what could begin as a niche title could grow into one of the largest and most played games today because of the direction that it has taken over its competitors, much like what League of Legends did in the MOBA scene.
The gaming industry sorely needs to get out of this Multiplayer drench that it’s currently in. Developers need to shift their focus on providing a solid Singleplayer component if they want to get the audiences attention. Doing this will create an opening for a solid Multiplayer experience that is different to move into the forefront. This is something the we believe everyone can agree on.