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Gogogic CEO: "Games Are Meant To Be Played With Others"

In some ways, I get his point. In others, you really can't say the single-player mechanic is a "gimmick." ...that just comes out the wrong way.

In a recent [a]listdaily interview with Gogogic CEO Jonas Antonsson, we find that some game designers believe all games should be social, whether they're being played simultaneously with others or not.

Antonsson admits that the hardcore still appreciate the single-player campaign style, but the game really has to be special to capture widespread attention. He also said that all games were initially supposed to be multiplayer, anyway, but they just didn't have the technology to make it happen.

"I also think that it is worth to note that the single player mechanic is a gimmick - games are meant to be played with others and it doesn't matter if it's in-person or online. The first games were designed as multiplayer experiences, but when computer and console games became a thing there was a need to construct an antagonist and/or a protagonist for commercial purposes. You couldn't depend on people coming together to have a synchronous experience over a game. That would have simply stifled sales. And since there was no reasonable way to connect people in other ways - the arcade was the only serious attempt - it became an industry need to project the game as the other player. Playing a game is a multiplayer activity and can easily be seen as such when you watch young toddlers play by themselves. They invent someone to play with, someone that they talk to and interact with."

One note, my friend- It is a much greater artistic challenge to create a magnificent and memorable single-player experience because it requires writing, character development, and things of that nature. Multiplayer may require more technical expertise but that doesn't encompass every aspect of interactive entertainment. Furthermore and to be blunt, to say single-player is a "gimmick" is not only inaccurate at this point in time, it's just downright asinine. Sorry, but that has to be said.

Tags: video games, multiplayer, single player games, gaming industry, gogogic

10/29/2012 9:24:53 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (41 posts)

Clamedeus
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:11:45 PM
Reply

Blagh give me a single player game any day.

Agree with this comment 19 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

firesoul453
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 4:54:37 PM

Although I usually say this!
I still can't image a world without multiplayer but...
I like split screen type multiplayer.

Some of the most fun I have ever had was split screen games on the N64.

Agree with this comment 2 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Knightzane
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:16:53 PM
Reply

I kind of agree, even when your playing alone in Demons souls or dark souls you think "Hey, im not the only one getting my arse handed to me" Its comforting.

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cLoudou
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:19:58 PM
Reply

I'm sorry who are you?

Agree with this comment 19 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:23:29 PM

LOL! This!

Agree with this comment 8 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Jed
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:56:41 PM

Your avatar fits your comment perfectly.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

556pineapple
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:21:17 PM
Reply

He may have a point, folks. I mean, how can we argue with the CEO of the company that brought us classic and memorable games such as "Cake Pop Party," and "Soft Freak Fiesta?"

Agree with this comment 15 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Jawknee
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:24:18 PM

LOL! This too.

Agree with this comment 8 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Underdog15
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:34:56 AM

Lol couple good comments!

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BikerSaint
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:25:24 PM
Reply

Jonas Antonsson needs to take his head out of his a$$ cause MP is the gimmick, not SP.

Hey Antonsson, check your video game history books because if it weren't for all the retro games that were all SP only mode, there would be no MP games or any portions of MP nowadays.

And you'd probably be sweeps the floors of Walmart instead.

Last edited by BikerSaint on 10/29/2012 10:28:03 PM

Agree with this comment 5 up, 1 down Disagree with this comment

Gamer46
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:27:41 PM
Reply

I'll take single player any day over multiplayer but whatever.

Agree with this comment 6 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

Tim Speed24
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 5:31:46 PM

Hear, Hear.....(claps)

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tes37
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:47:40 PM
Reply

Gogogic? I'm not sure how to pronounce it, but it sounds retarded every way I try.

I'll take the single player gimmick myself.

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Jed
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 10:54:39 PM
Reply

I'm guessing this guy didn't have any friends growing up. Or a Nintendo.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:33:08 AM

That would definitely burns him hahaah!!!!

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Oyashiro
Monday, October 29, 2012 @ 11:55:28 PM
Reply

Have I really been playing Solitaire wrong all these years?

Agree with this comment 9 up, 0 down Disagree with this comment

PSTan
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:02:28 AM
Reply

Games aren't "meant" to be a certain way. Developers create what they want, and people play what they want. And everyone has fun.

Crazy idea, huh?

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Clamedeus
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 6:36:15 AM

If I was Jonas Antonsson I would of had you locked up for a crazy idea, and put into a mental institution. Who am I kidding, Jonas Antonsson himself is crazy. ^_^

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Teddie9
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:04:02 AM
Reply

I don't even wanna start. We've heard stuff like this before though....

They way I look at it is that we realistically have many more years of single player gaming to be had and as an individual a gamer can obviously decide specifically on what they wish to play. I've just learned to ignore the general population of gamers these days.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:25:42 AM
Reply

Who what?
Do we know this guy or anything from his company?

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Clamedeus
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 6:37:15 AM

Nope, nothing rings a bell. (at least for me)

Last edited by Clamedeus on 10/30/2012 6:37:35 AM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:36:13 AM
Reply

Yeah! It's social! Games like Final Fantasy should be social and include whole parties that work together under our direction!

Wait... what? That's what he meant right? No? Well... it's the only way he's right...

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jugheadjones
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:39:21 AM
Reply

..and industry insiders are to be seen, not heard. I would agree if he said that, "Games Are Meant To Be Played With Others occasionally". Quite frankly, they will say anything to try to steer public opinion to what their focus is. I don't blame them, but it makes them like politicians.

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SmokeyPSD
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 1:11:45 AM
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If playing a game single player is just a gimmick then bring back split-screen screen support you idiots. So much derp I can't even ?!?

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Lawless SXE
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 3:16:43 AM
Reply

Clown. I can see what he's driving at, though. By definition, a game needs two or more players and winners and losers. He's just applying the literal definition to video gaming and that is where the flaw lies in his argument.

Video games, today, aren't games. They are an entertainment medium in the vein of film and literature. Yeah, you can share both if you so choose, but they are designed to be consumed for your own enjoyment. It's about much more than just being a game now.

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___________
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 3:57:47 AM
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oh hogwash!
some types of games ok but not all.
try having a experience like heavy rain online with others, it just would not work!

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kraygen
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 4:45:33 AM
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If there was only mp and sp didn't exist, I wouldn't be a gamer. I'd have passed the gaming world by.

I enjoy playing mp with my friends and family when they are here, but other than that, I play alone and I like it that way.

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homura
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 4:49:28 AM
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"They invent someone to play with, someone that they talk to and interact with."

He should thank single player campaign games, because if not for those games, some children who doesn't always have a friend will invent an imaginary friend to play with.

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Highlander
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:30:21 PM

Homura, I know this is a bit of a tangent off the topic, but your comment triggered the thoughts. Talking about kids that have difficulties making real friends reminded me of my own son and to some extent my self.


The psychology at work with both single player and multi-player co-op online is interesting stuff. When you take kids who are by nature loners, or who have social skills issues (more common than you think) single player games and multi-player co-op online games offer some interesting possibilities for such people.

One of these days I may have to write a book on this subject. I've seen the positive benefits of gaming in a variety of different ways - including the use of single player games by kids who have difficulties making friends, and the way in which the game characters they play with almost become imaginary friends. For kids with social skills problems empathy is a most challenging skill. However when you take charge of a character in a game, you are forced by the nature of the game to become protective of that character. It helps people who have no ability to empathize to develop those skills. They are forced to feel for the character, to anticipate damage and danger and to act to prevent harm.

There are a whole range of cognitive challenges that video games can - depending on the game - force players to overcome. Effectively games can help people find ways to overcome and cope with some of the challenges they face.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 6:03:07 AM
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God how I hate blanket statements. They are without exceptions worthless, being it "westerners only like FPS", "all games are meant to be played with others", "all mobile games are trash", "gamers on <insert platform here> are idiots", bla bla bla.

That said: If done *right*, both from the developers and the gamers part I believe that he's onto something. It all boils down to the core behind the saying, "every great moment gets better shared with someone" or something along those lines.

... But sometimes, you just wanna be alone. :)

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Jed
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 7:11:52 AM
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So going online and having to put up with immature potty-mouthed idiots that will say anything just to anger you is the way games are supposed to be played? No thank you.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 9:39:33 AM

There's more to online gaming than that. Try playing online with friends instead.

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SirLoin of Beef
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 7:33:52 AM
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I can see his point, to a point. Some of the early games, in my opinion, were multiplayer experiences. Of course, those games were nothing but action. There was no story, no character to get to know, and no overall story to tell. Nowadays games are not just running around and eating dots or shooting rows of aliens who are slowing descending on you. Many games are telling a story and require the player to point the story in a certain direction. Then you have experiences like Heavy Rain which is closer to interactive fiction than it is a game. There is absolutely no way that game would work as a multiplayer experience.

I like playing MP games every now and then, especially over a LAN with friends. They can provide hours of fun. But if I had to choose between a great MP experience and a great SP experience, I'll take the single player experience every time because it means I'm involved in a great story, etc. and not just a great way to run around and shoot my friends with virtual ammunition.

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Dustinwp
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 9:39:13 AM
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This guy is a f**king idiot! The day games are multiplayer only is the day I stop playing them. This guy should keep his head in his a** so we're not subjected to his stinking opinions.

Last edited by Dustinwp on 10/30/2012 9:40:54 AM

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xenris
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 11:29:57 AM
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Multiplayer games are excellent but I know the main reason he wants all games to be multiplayer. Its so they can justify BS DRM methods, and in a way push out content faster. Don't believe me just see how fast they were to pretty much eliminate local co op even in games that were known for it, SSX and the recent need for speed games and there are more but if they really thought it was about people playing together they wouldnt ignore the good old couch co op.

I mean after all what is harder, making some frigging map packs for CoD, or making single player expansion packs which require voice actors, writers and set piece creation?

Its a load of hogwash. I mean I love me some multiplayer but if games like Bioshock, Lone Survivor, Rochard, Limbo, Mini Ninjas, and a dozen other amazing memorable single player games didn't exist this market would be even more flooded with shooters and people would just stick to one.

At least there is variety now. Plus some games dont work as well with 2 or more players, like turn based RPGs, survival horror, etc.

I mean if they want to plug in local co op multiplayer features into every game fine, but when they start sacrificing the quality of the single player to shoe horn a mediocre, derivative multplayer component well thats when we have a problem.

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LowKey
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 11:36:31 AM
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Lol, look at him backpedal. Joanas... You, backpedal any faster and you're gonna end up going through that wall behind you.
http://www.escapistmagazine.com/news/view/120382-Gogogic-CEO-Clarifies-Single-Player-Gimmick-Comment

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Highlander
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:06:51 PM

LOL, yeah, I believe him...not.

He said this in this follow up interview : "As much as I am for increase accessibility, I'm firmly against dumbing down games or using psychological tricks as the only means to get people playing."

He doesn't need to use any psychological tricks, the heart of social gaming is the peer pressure from friends to play and not leave the game.

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Highlander
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:04:18 PM
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Gogogic CEO Jonas Antonsson....who? What? Huh?

Oh, wait, I see it now, former senior developer at Creditinfo Group - an east European credit information firm. What else now, senior developer at Hugur hf. an Icelandic Computer peripherals supplier. Yeah, this guy really has a history in games...what else can I see? Oh, here's a good one, he's a board member of the IGI - Icelandic Gaming Industry (an informal talking shop for Icelandic "gaming professionals").

To be fair GoGogic has been around since 2006 when Jonas Antonsson and others founded it. However he doesn't exactly have a huge pedigree in gaming. His employment information suggests he started working on 2001. His degree was granted in Computer science in 2006, which would suggest he's a child of the early 80's and his first gaming experiences would have come in the late 80's. No offense to him, but I've been playing games longer than he's been alive. Single player games existed before he was capable of opening his eyes.

This is what Gogogic's own description is, I think it is telling when you consider his comments....
"Gogogic is an independent Games Studio based in Reykjavik, Iceland. We create games on different platforms with a priority of developing cross platform gaming experiences. Our games are high-quality and high involvement social and casual games.

Gogogic was created by a group of passionate gamers to build and introduce new and innovative social games on a variety of platforms including social networks, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. The company’s mission is to grow and become an exciting, influential provider of innovative and emerging gaming experiences, while crossing platforms to enhance each release."

"high involvement social and casual games" - translation: micro-transaction driven click-fests.

"platforms including social networks, the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch" - so tell me again why this person's view of single player gaming holds any water what so ever? social networks and i-Fawn devices are his platforms of choice.

Taking all of this into account, and reflecting on his employment and education, I gotta say that he sounds like one of the new wave of gaming entrepreneurs taking advantage of casual gaming to produce cheap flash inspired games that on the DS we used to label as shovel ware. Now the same kinds of game appear on mobile devices and social networking sites and are free or micro-transaction driven. They're no better than they were when we called them shovel ware on the DS, except now they are free. Personally I would consider that such games are probably beneath Shovel ware in the gaming ecosystem, but that's just me.

However, I can't help but wonder why anyone would give an iota of credence to this fellow's opinion of single player gaming as a gimick when he has a vested interest in social/casual gaming that leverages peer pressure in multi-player environments to generate revenue. Want to talk about gimmicks, how about games that use peer pressure to make you spend money?

Given that games like Final Fantasy and Final Fantasy 2 probably predate this guy's ability to walk, I am going to completely discount his opinion as ill-informed and biased by self interest. I'm sorry to indulge in a little critical analysis here, but this dude has attacked the core of my gaming world - single player gaming. So, I feel that a little analysis of the source of criticism is warranted. :)

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, October 30, 2012 @ 12:56:14 PM
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And this is why nobody has ever heard of you Sir.

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ChloeAngelCat
Thursday, November 01, 2012 @ 8:31:04 PM
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Dream on Gogogic
I prefer single player games and the only thing that is a gimmick is you and crazy ideas

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Draguss
Thursday, November 01, 2012 @ 8:44:56 PM
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Who is this person? What's gogogic? I've never even heard of these people.

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