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Maybe Shooters Just Need To Give Up On Campaigns Entirely

Don't mistake me: I love campaigns. In fact, I tend to completely ignore online multiplayer.

But at some point, we should probably acknowledge the reality of the situation: If the biggest shooter franchises in the world completely ditched the campaign, would anyone really care? Would anyone even notice?

Let's face it, nobody is lining up for a midnight launch for a new Call of Duty or Battlefield or whatever so they can rush home and play the single-player quest. That just doesn't happen. Most people I know don't ever touch the campaign; the bigger shooter fan they are, the less they're interested in solo play. Developers are putting a ton of money and resources into creating these campaigns and honestly, nobody even appreciates it.

And all critics ever seem to do is complain about any given shooter campaign. No campaign seems good enough. They're too short or too repetitive or the story isn't any good, etc, etc, etc. All anyone ever does is complain about the campaigns. Why keep wasting millions on a feature the core fan base doesn't care a fig about? Why not put those resources into the multiplayer and give everyone precisely what they desire?

I like my shooter campaigns just fine. But from a market standpoint, I can't understand why they even still exist.

Tags: first person shooters, multiplayer shooters, shooting games

4/20/2015 9:42:42 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (43 posts)


bigrailer19
Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 10:22:29 PM
Reply

Why should we acknowledge anything other than what developers are currently doing? I love the campaigns in FPS games. There's only a few I thought were a waste of time and that list doesn't include any of the top games other than BF3.

Probably the biggest thing is even if most consumers are not playing them some do. I know I wouldn't purchase CoD just for the mp. So they will lose some sales. And furthermore the games price would still probably be $60 so why condone this type of development strategy? Personally it's a terrible idea because in reality it doesn't benefit anyone.

From a resources stand point I don't think taking away from one aspect and putting it somewhere else is what games like CoD and BF need.



Last edited by bigrailer19 on 4/20/2015 10:27:52 PM

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Temjin001
Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 10:23:51 PM
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In CoD's case I think it's all rolled into the marketing of the product. Do you ever see Kevin Spacey in the multiplayer mode of CoD? No. (well maybe I guess I don't really know)
Do you ever see cool Hollywood style cinematics and stuff in the multiplayer? No.

Yet, all the commercials and ads you see, and an exclusive CoD edition of Time magazine (or was it Newsweek?) on news stands showed what? Keven Spacey and hollywood cinematics and drama... and basically no multiplayer.
It's like they want to sell the masses into thinking there's something about CoD that's more than death match and prestige. If these masses don't get into the multiplayer when they take the bait they can at least get Kevin Spacey and drama and not feel they were deceived. "Xbox One Turn On"

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/20/2015 10:29:33 PM

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souljah92
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 7:55:41 AM

I actually loved the story in call of duty 4, i replayed it like 10 times i swear

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Kevin555
Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 10:33:46 PM
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The campaigns are the only reason i even bother to play some of these first person shooters. Remove them entirely and i wouldn't even waste my time with them.

I do enjoy multiplayer, but only for sandbox games or fighters personally.

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Tim Speed24
Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 10:53:33 PM
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No single player mode is why I didn't buy Destiny or Titanfall.

Multiplayer is not my bag, without a decent SP campaign I guess I wouldn't be buying shooters anymore.

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Shauneepeak
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 12:02:24 AM

Destiny absolutely does have a single player campaign it is just crap.

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TrophyHunter
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:27:36 AM

Exactly my thought, I avoid those games where developers just doesn't care about single player campaing.

I don't want to rely on having an internet connection to be able to play my games.

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DIsmael85
Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 11:07:26 PM
Reply

As I can see this is some how in regards to Star Wars Battlefront's lack of a campaign, I will say Star Wars doesn't really need one. It's about the "Wars" part of it anyway. We all know the stories, if anyone has watched the movies, but needing a campaign isn't necessary. They did state you can play missions against bots, which is fine by me. As for other shooters, it all depends on the story. Hardline was abysmal with it's campaign, didn't bother with Multiplayer.

Last edited by DIsmael85 on 4/20/2015 11:07:52 PM

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FAREEZ
Monday, April 20, 2015 @ 11:29:01 PM
Reply

I loved big budget shooter campaign, that's why I rent cod every year so i can play the single player, and I will do the same with black ops 3. I hope the next Titanfall will have single player...

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 12:10:17 AM
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As much as I love campaign.... I have to agree. I was going to comment on why keep campaign, but I got nothing.

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Killa Tequilla
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 12:11:19 AM

And when campaign is gone, we will all want it back.

The circle of gamers.

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FAREEZ
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 12:37:11 AM

Keep the campaign so you can keep the full price...

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TrophyHunter
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:40:05 AM

We can stick with the formula that fits all, create a good campaigns for those who like it, create a good multiplayer for those interested in it; something like Last of Us.

Developers are just to lazy these days...

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smileys_007
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 12:36:28 AM
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I won't buy shooter or fps games anymore if it doesn't have a campaign mode. simple as that..

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 2:02:16 AM
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Tons of people play campaign, and online co-op is one of the biggest draws for lots of titles (Arma, Rainbow Six, Ghost Recon, Halo, etc.).

The few recent titles to forego campaigns this gen were knocked pretty heavily, both critically and in the community, for it. Call of Duty and Battlefield are not the only shooter franchises out there.



Last edited by Bio on 4/21/2015 2:03:22 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:53:13 AM

They're by far and away the most popular and it's entirely because of multiplayer. And online co-op is still multiplayer, not solo.

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 1:13:36 PM

You asked if developers should give up on campaigns, not 'offline single player campaigns'. Co-op campaigns are a big draw for lots of high profile shooters, specifically Halo, which has comparable sales to Battlefield (10-15 million units per game, and Halo does that on one platform compared to 3).

Also, BF3 and MW2 (the last two of either of those franchises that I've played) both also had co-op. More recent versions may or may not have.

Competitive multiplayer is the big draw for Call of Duty, sure, because that's what provides the replay value, but it's not the only part of the experience or even the most important for everyone buying the games. That's why we'll continue to see FPS campaigns in games, and why Titanfall 2 will almost certainly have one after people expressed disappointment in the first installment's lack of anything but competitive multiplayer (despite how freakin' awesome it was).

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 9:21:52 PM

Here's a fact, Bio: Campaigns will begin disappearing from shooters. There's a reason they've been getting shorter, there's a reason there are constant internal arguments about whether or not a campaign should even exist, and there's a reason Titanfall was exceedingly popular without a campaign. The studio's founder even said he was fine with it not having a campaign, and there's zero evidence of Respawn implementing a campaign for the sequel at this point.

Many shooters 10 years from now will not have campaigns. Destiny didn't (not what single-player fans call a campaign, at any rate). Star Wars: Battlefront will not. Even those that claim to have some sort of solo action (like Destiny) don't really have it, and they'll continue to move away from it. The trend is clear. Not sure which year you're living in but I don't really care, either.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 4/21/2015 9:25:30 PM

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:51:59 PM

I live in a world where I don't continually call my opinion fact, thinking it somehow makes it more persuasive.

That's where I live, Ben.

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DIsmael85
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 11:53:08 PM

LOL, you think Titanfall was popular??? That has to be a joke right? That game died so fast. I guarantee next time around there will be a campaign stuffed in Titanfall 2.

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Bio
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 @ 12:50:43 AM

Titanfall sold well enough to warrant a sequel but well below CoD, BF or Halo. It didn't even break 5 million, and you're right DIsmael that the online died off pretty fast. I played the hell out of the game for a few weeks, then my main laptop crapped out on me. By the time I replaced it about 5 weeks later, it could often take 10 minutes just to get into a match.

I'm pretty confident there will be at least some sort of online co-op mode or other campaign-type offering in the next game. Something where people can experience the game without having to worry about leveling up with everyone else.

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Beamboom
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 3:38:32 AM
Reply

Why? To cater to more gamers! Single player gaming is alive and well as it always have been, and while many gamers are primarily multiplayer gamers even more can enjoy both.

Typically in the Internet world those we hear from are those who are found at one of the extremes: Either ONLY play mp or ONLY play sp. But the calm and quiet majority enjoys both.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:55:47 AM

If that were true, Call of Duty absolutely wouldn't have the following it has. It wouldn't have broken the records it did. Those numbers are ENTIRELY due to multiplayer.

The smaller the multiplayer presence for a shooter, the smaller the sales. The campaign is meaningless in relation to sales, unless we're talking about games that aren't strict shooters (i.e., hybrids).

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 1:15:59 PM

Ben, all the people in this comments section saying how important campaigns are to them should at least be some indication that you're again falling into hyperbole. "ENTIRELY due to multiplayer"? Hardly. A big part of it, sure.

You don't need to oversell your point. It has the exact opposite result of what you intend, fwiw.

Last edited by Bio on 4/21/2015 1:16:43 PM

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Underdog15
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 1:25:40 PM

There are games I get specifically for MP and others I get specifically for Campaign.

If my friends and I had to decide between 1 of 2 multiplayer games to play together, we would pick the one that also has a good solo campaign.

I think in most cases nowadays, specifically for shooters, it pays to have both. But it would be silly to think there aren't a lot of people who ignore one of the modes in certain games. I know for a fact there are lots of people who never touch the campaign's in CoD. Similarly, there are lots of people who never touched the multiplayer in games like Assassin's Creed or Uncharted.

Personally, I like both in all those games. I think a large enough number of people probably like both to make a difference in sales. That said, I definitely believe that the MP experience is what drives CoD to ridiculous sales numbers. And the SP campaign is what drives Uncharted's success. So for me, there are parts to both sides of the argument that are correct. I just think there's a much larger analysis to be had.

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 1:37:20 PM

I agree with that, Underdog. Back when I still bought MW games, it was almost solely for the campaign and co-op, whereas I always bought Halo for both campaign and online multiplayer, as Halo's multiplayer just suited my tastes and talents better.

Better to give people the choice than try to dictate which they should prefer, IMO.

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souljah92
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 1:50:46 PM

Call of duty's success and records really are entirely due to the multiplayer, the campaigns had f!@k all to do with it.

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 2:11:15 PM

Actually, Souljah, Call of Duty was around long before online console multiplayer was even a thing, and it built its reputation, and legacy, on kickass campaigns. It wasn't until Modern Warfare that people really got into CoD multiplayer.

The series would still be very popular even if the multiplayer wasn't that great. To say the success of the franchise is due entirely to online is really just ignoring the history of CoD and what made it popular in the first place.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 9:08:05 PM

Bio: No, entirely. The Call of Duty legacy was basically dead as of Call of Duty 3. Nobody would have been surprised to see the series disappear entirely after that, much like Medal of Honor did. CoD is where it is today ENTIRELY BECAUSE OF MULTIPLAYER.

Nobody buys CoD for the campaign. Nobody. And when I say "nobody," I of course mean far too few people to have any impact whatsoever in the big scheme of things. If you honestly think I'm speaking literally, you're just once again being as obtuse as humanly possible. If you hold a survey and ask Call of Duty fans if they'd still buy CoD if it didn't have a campaign, I absolutely guarantee the overwhelming majority would say yes. If you ask them if they'd still buy CoD without the multiplayer, you'd get the exact opposite response. That's just obvious.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 4/21/2015 9:14:35 PM

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Temjin001
Wednesday, April 22, 2015 @ 1:07:18 AM

I was attracted to CoD Modern Warfare because they finally ditched the flipping World War II setting. MW2 made things even better when I could play war in fast food joints and neighborhood streets.

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Cesar_ser_4
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 4:05:52 AM
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My guess is so that big companies don't lose on so much profit by going online only. With online, there really isn't a reason to release a sequel, since developers can update it as they please. Though my logic is flawed as they invest millions into the single player. Either way, just something to consider.

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Snaaaake
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 6:13:17 AM
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Let's not forget about Borderlands, Bioshock and Far Cry.
Those games are fun playing alone.

Campaign will never go away in FPS that's for sure.

Last edited by Snaaaake on 4/21/2015 6:13:27 AM

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bldudas1
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 7:19:19 AM
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For military shooters, maybe. For sci fi shooters, no.

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big6
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:00:12 AM
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I love single player campaigns. I play all of them, BF, COD, Killzone, Destiny, Halo, Resistance, etc...

The only game I didn't care about a campaign for was MAG. It was just plain awesome as is. =)

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TrophyHunter
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:34:04 AM
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I care about single player campaigns even more that I care about multiplayer.

IMHO if developers ditch single players campaigns, we would never be able to enjoy everything that a game really has to offer. For instance, we could just stick to multiplayer using the same gun in every match and we will never taste the rest of the game.

Honestly if it weren't for CoD forcing me to use a sniper rifle in a few missions I would have never used one.

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telly
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 1:53:34 PM
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Man, I would care. Big time.

When Dice revealed there is essentially no campaign for Star Wars Battlefront -- just a few "challenge" maps or something -- I was crushed. I mean, I should have seen it coming, but Star Wars is THE narrative fiction of choice for myself and MANY others around the world. This game is just going to be massive battles between dozens of people set in familiar SW locales? Gross.

It's going to be nearly impossible in that game to just take in and enjoy the amazing work they've done reconstructing a virtual Endor, Hoth, the new Jaaku... and I'm going to be getting blasted to smithereens three dozen times a minute by teenagers instead of taking a long look around the galaxy far, far away.

An awful trend. I hate it.

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Temjin001
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 3:22:26 PM
Reply

This won't even be a question when Splatoon launches on May 29th. It's campaign may revolutionize the way we think about campaigns in shooter-based video games.


=p

Last edited by Temjin001 on 4/21/2015 3:23:00 PM

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Deleted User
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 4:16:20 PM

At the very least, it will be a bit more innovative than The Order 1886. Not that that would be difficult. XD

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 4:38:52 PM

Let's not get started on The Order again. This site has gone almost a week without discussing it; we don't need a relapse now! :P

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 9:23:08 PM

Hey, know what's funny?

There were more headlines for Bloodborne during its launch period than The Order: 1886. In fact, quite a bit more. The Witcher 3 will have about twice as many headlines as The Order by the time The Witcher comes out. And there were a very small handful of headlines with The Order in them in April. I think there were more for freakin' Driveclub.

But see, I can only go by real numbers and stats. Bio doesn't have to because he's omnipotent.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 4/21/2015 9:23:52 PM

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Bio
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 10:54:02 PM

I don't have to because I was just referring to what's become a running joke in the comments section, but whatever.

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slugga_status
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 3:50:16 PM
Reply

I honestly wouldn't touch a game if was only MP. I've always played the campaign...MAG was the only game I felt was worth the money for MP only. It's rare for me not to get into a fps story...Only one I had no interest in was Shadowfall. Which kinda hurt given I've played every KZ

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Draguss
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 @ 5:34:14 PM
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They'd loose some sales. Not a majority, but why would they give them up anyways? If they were games that are actually focused on the multiplayer it would be one thing, but they're just focused on selling as many copies as possible by appealing to as many people as possible. Shooters that actually want to focus on a specific multiplayer experience like Payday 2 or Titanfall or Destiny already don't have a campaign.

When a developer wants to focus on a great multiplayer game they shouldn't have to bother with a campaign, just like not every single player game needs a multiplayer. But the games you're mentioning? They're not focusing on being great, just on having great profits.

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