EA Games Boss: Single Player Only Games are "Finished" - what does it mean for Bioware?
EA Games Label Boss-man Frank Gibeau has been talking to industry website Develop, and has told them that he thinks the single player experience alone is, to quote, "finished".
Answering a question on if studios care if an element such as social networking features are forced on a game's developer by the larger EA bosse, Gibeau said "They’re very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out. I think that model is finished."
There's been a bit of an outcry on twitter already from fans of one particular EA-owned studio - Bioware - who made the highest scoring game on RPG Site this year. Mass Effect 2, that game, is an entirely single-player experience - exactly the kind of game that is part of the business model that Gibeau sees as being dead in the water.
But what will this mean for Bioware? In an interview with MTV Multiplayer on the 31st March 2009, Bioware's CEO Ray Muzyka said "multiplayer is something that, at a broad level, BioWare is interested in exploring in our games in the future." Co-founder and Vice President Greg Zeschuk went a little deeper, saying "Yeah, [multiplayer] has to be central to the game to make sense. I think you see examples of games that have thrown in multiplayer modes that don't make any sense and then you see games that are built from the ground up as co-op experiences. Like "Left 4 Dead," for example. Single-player is fun but after you play it in co-op, it's like super fun. And I think that's the thing: when we do the multiplayer stuff we'll do it as a foundation of the game. It's not worth it to throw it on after the fact."
That should undo some worries - if Bioware are to include multiplayer experiences, let's hope Muzyka gets his way and ensures that it is pivotal to the game. A Mass Effect multiplayer spin-off title is something that excites us here at RPG Site - but Mass Effect 3 with tacked on multiplayer or social networking features does nothing for us. Fingers crossed.