Do All Games Require Multiplayer For Big Sales Numbers?
While I maintain that certain video games will never need multiplayer, it seems like most developers are treating the option as...well, not an option.
There are rumors that God of War III will feature multiplayer. Now, my first question was- How?! But after convincing myself that Sony Santa Monica would be able to deliver an interesting multiplayer experience, the next question arose and it's much more important- Why?
Maybe it has to do with sales. Maybe it's the fact that the biggest title in the world - Call of Duty - is only #1 because of multiplayer. Or maybe it's because the competition - EA's Battlefield series - also relies heavily on the multiplayer "option," as many shooters tend to do. If that's the case, maybe this is only a genre thing; it's why God of War would never actually need multiplayer. But would it sell better?
And another question- are Xbox 360 owners more into multiplayer gaming than PS3 owners, as one platform's exclusives (with the exception of Alan Wake) definitely seem to push more in the multiplatform direction? Think about it: Heavy Rain, God of War III, inFamous and inFamous 2, and even the Uncharted franchise is all about the single-player campaign. Naughty Dog can crow about the multiplayer all they want; we know the truth of the matter. Most gamers will be focused on the solo adventure.
Above all else, the question remains- "If a product doesn't contain a multiplayer feature, does that hurt its sales potential?" Obviously, there are always other determining factors (including whether or not the multiplayer is any good), but eventually, we may be hard-pressed to find a great game that remains great entirely on the strength of its single-player effort.
9/27/2011 9:15:09 PM Ben Dutka