As the years go by, it becomes quite apparent that game developers are pushing more towards the creation of multiplayer games, even if they have to attach it to a single player experience.
You see, it’s all about having a game that players will want to play for a very long time, and to make additional cash outside of the initial cost to purchase.
It has proven to be a worthwhile business venture so far with many game developers finding long-term success in their multiplayer-focused plans. BlueHole, the publisher behind “PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds,” and Epic, the publisher behind “Fortnite,” are prime examples of where things are going.
A lot of players when they tackle these games, they tend to not miss the single player experience due to the overwhelming fun factor these multiplayer experiences bring to the table.
Multiplayer games are easier to make
Game development is a big business, and like every business, money will become an important part of every decision. It’s all about the cost of developing a game, the cost of marketing, and the return a company would likely gain from their investment.
From such a standpoint, single player games will always be a risk, especially to small and upcoming developers. The creation of a single player game, especially if it’s of the Triple-A variety, cannot survive in no capacity if it launches as a failure.
However, it’s always easier to make changes to a multiplayer game if critics and gamers alike do not find it enjoyable. A few changes can transform such games from complete disasters to something worth playing.
Multiplayer games are more profitable
Like it or not, but developers are able to monetize multiplayer games in ways not possible with single-player titles, and that allows them to earn more from a single game over multiple years.
One of the most profitable games in the world is no other than “Crossfire,” a First-Person Shooter (FPS) made in China. In 2013 alone, this game generated a whopping $957 million in free-to-play revenues alone, according to data from SuperData Research.
Microsoft is one of the few game console makers that is preparing its platform for what is to come. Most of the company’s Xbox One and Windows 10 PC games have some form of multiplayer focus, even in their single-player campaign.
The company’s latest titles, “Sea of Thieves” is strictly multiplayer focused, and the upcoming “State of Decay 2,” while a game that is primarily single player-based, has a strong online co-op aspect.
Additionally, the launch of Xbox Game Pass is a clear sign that Microsoft is looking beyond single player and to the future, that is Games as a Service (GaaS).
Worry not, the triple-A single-player experience won’t go away, but they won’t be as prominent in a few years as they are today. It’s all about the money, so don’t be surprised if most developers decide to go as far as adopting the free-to-play model.
After all, it’s working quite well for “Fortnite” and World of Tanks, and even Cliffy B’s newest game, “Radical Heights,” is free-to-play and 100 percent multiplayer focused.