Monday, February 5th 2018

Square Enix Reaffirms Its Commitment to Single Player Gaming

Single player games may have entered a perceived decline since their heydays, as increasingly long, costly development times have drawn developers towards experiences that are more easily... monetized. This is typically done by cutting experiences into DLC pieces and adding always-on, recurring ways of recouping developer (or publishers') investment. There's no need in beating around the bush - we all know what these experiences look like, in one way, or another. Though it's true that these may not always have the intended effect, as users and the industry as a whole have been recoiling from particularly aggressive renditions of these monetization practices, which in turn, may lead companies to face considerable losses, be these monetary or in the much less liquid good will.

Square Enix is one of the companies that has excelled in the making of first player games, for one. however, for one reason or another, these may not have translated as the successful commercial releases that the company hoped (thinking of you, Deus Ex: Mankind Divided). As a result, the company has reportedly put the Deus Ex franchise on ice, but has recently made some tentative remarks on how they might bring it back. However, Square Enix themselves have put fears into gamers and fans' minds with their renewed interest in games as a service. which, according to Square Enix President & CEO Yosuke Matsuda, may not mean exactly what we've been told it means.
When asked about games as a service, the Square Enix CEO talked about how these can be actual DLC releases that add value to the overall package - much like the company has done with its Episodes for Final Fantasy XV, or the DLC packages it had for Deus Ex: Mankind Divided (which didn't do it as well) or its predecessor, Human Revolution:

"Games as a service has a very wide meaning, it can mean a lot of things! [laughs] Recently people have been discussing loot boxes and people not using that properly, I think that's all linked to this bad perception people have to the words 'games as a service'. But really, the way we're looking at it, what it boils down to is… that idea of keeping people engaged with our games and enjoying them for longer periods of time. That's the way we really look at the problem. The way we use that expression, really… the whole idea, for a single player game particularly, is the idea that you have the game released and you keep adding more content to keep the players engaged and enjoying the game. And that helps to make it more of a full experience, and that brings in more players to the original game. That's the rough approach we take to the idea, and that's why we described games as a service in that sense."
And he also addressed loot boxes, saying that there is certainly a way to implement them, but in a non-intrusive way:

"It is obviously very bad to have loot boxes that get in the way of the player experience, or detract from it in some way. That's clearly not a good thing. You have to really think about what they do to add to the overall gameplay experience, and how they fit in with that and the overall design of the game. I think that's the way we should look at these things."

And finally, the CEO reinforced his company's commitment to single-layer games and good single player experiences, above all, no matter which platform is the target: and talked about how this in itself may be one of the ways to increase return on investment for single player games:

"We will definitely be making more single player games, definitely. I think the environment now, that we have, there's even more platforms, there's even more opportunities to get single player games out to people. So, for example, mobile phone games, we're not just making free-to-play games for that, we're making proper single player games, re-releases of old titles, new titles as well. So mobile phones don't just have to be about that kind of thing. The Switch is another great platform to come out for single player games, so we've got a lot of opportunities and we really do want to continue making single player games".

There's certainly hope and space for single player games and experiences in today's market, and a way for them to be hugely successful commercially: just look at how CD Projekt Red's The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt still managed to be one of the top ten highest grossing games on Steam, nearly three years after its release, and without any new added content for over a year. Add to this the way that Microsoft is looking to subsidize development of single player games through its "Games as a Subscription Service" with Xbox Game Pass, which can add yet another source fo revenue for developers and publishers, and the future isn't quite so dark as it may seem. At least, we all hope it isn't.
Sources: Metro.co.uk, via DSO Gaming
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21 Comments on Square Enix Reaffirms Its Commitment to Single Player Gaming

#1
dorsetknob
"YOUR RMA REQUEST IS CON-REFUSED"
Games as a Service means
you don't buy the game to Own you rent the right to Play it ( at the full game retail price)
It will need an always on internet connection
your end up also paying a suscription to have the game playable

in short summary
Games as a Service means they have the right/obligation to rape/pillage your wallet :)
Posted on Reply
#2
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
dorsetknob
Games as a Service means
you don't buy the game to Own you rent the right to Play it ( at the full game retail price)
It will need an always on internet connection
your end up also paying a suscription to have the game playable

in short summary
Games as a Service means they have the right/obligation to rape/pillage your wallet :)
Boycotts abound lol.

I miss the days where 2-4 can play, akin to Streets of Rage, Halo, Borderlands etc. Or Setup a adhoc mode for console parties or Lan Parties lol
Posted on Reply
#3
Steevo
Featuring Nvidia Shitworks, with poor performance, and poor visuals, if you turn it off you are hacking and will be banned.
Posted on Reply
#5
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Upgrayedd
Deus Ex was trash anyways
:confused::confused::confused: I love how you can take your opinion and pass it off as fact.
Posted on Reply
#6
Upgrayedd
rtwjunkie
:confused::confused::confused: I love how you can take your opinion and pass it off as fact.
I said it was fact? Mad someone doesn't like it? Thanks for the love.
Posted on Reply
#7
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Upgrayedd
I said it was fact? Mad someone doesn't like it? Thanks for the love.
You did. You made a statement, no matter of opinion involved there. If you dont like it that doesnt matter to me at all. You didnt say that, though.
Posted on Reply
#8
Upgrayedd
rtwjunkie
You did. You made a statement, no matter of opinion involved there. If you dont like it that doesnt matter to me at all. You didnt say that, though.
My opinion was that it's trash. I don't see what you're saying. I didn't say what though? That it's my opinion? I have to state that what I'm saying is an opinion before I say it?? We can't figure out facts from opinions by ourselves?
Posted on Reply
#9
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Upgrayedd
My opinion was that it's trash. I don't see what you're saying. I didn't say what though? That it's my opinion? I have to state that what I'm saying is an opinion before I say it?? We can't figure out facts from opinions by ourselves?
I'm pretty sure subsequent versions of Deus X after Invisible War were considerably better because IW dumbed down the skill points/exploration points that made Deus Ex a success.
Posted on Reply
#10
Upgrayedd
eidairaman1
I'm pretty sure subsequent versions of Deus X after Invisible War were considerably better because IW dumbed down the skill points/exploration points that made Deus Ex a success.
I just thought the acting was trash. The animations in the last one were pretty bad, especially in cutscenes. Not engaging at all. It was always kind of a dude-bro game to me.
Posted on Reply
#11
eidairaman1
The Exiled Airman
Upgrayedd
I just thought the acting was trash. The animations in the last one were pretty bad, especially in cutscenes. Not engaging at all. It was always kind of a dude-bro game to me.
Well thanks for clarifying why you didn't like the game lol.
Posted on Reply
#12
Upgrayedd
eidairaman1
Well thanks for clarifying why you didn't like the game lol.
lol no problem
Posted on Reply
#13
Parn
If SE continue to team up with Denuvo, that's a no sale from me.
Posted on Reply
#14
Vya Domus
Upgrayedd
Mad someone doesn't like it?
Upgrayedd
My opinion was that it's trash
Then say : "I think it was trash" rather than "It was trash". Simple.
Posted on Reply
#15
Kaleid
Upgrayedd
Deus Ex was trash anyways
Eh, just replayed Mankind Divided, one of the few games lately that provides freedom and does not assume the player is an idiot.

We need more Deus Ex.

(the microtransactions are super-easy to ignore)
Posted on Reply
#16
lexluthermiester
dorsetknob
Games as a Service means you don't buy the game to Own you rent the right to Play it ( at the full game retail price)
I did this with W.O.W. and will never do it again. I would rather not play games than not own them and be able to play them on my terms. This is a step in the correct and right direction for SE.
Posted on Reply
#17
rtwjunkie
PC Gaming Enthusiast
Unless a game is DRM-free, you don't own it. According to most of the EULA's, what you buy is the right to play, on a rental basis, basically, THEIR game. That right ends when they say it does.

In essence, most games you play (unless for example, buying from GOG), you are playing a game offered as a service (which sucks!)
Posted on Reply
#18
lexluthermiester
rtwjunkie
According to most of the EULA's, what you buy is the right to play, on a rental basis, basically, THEIR game. That right ends when they say it does.
There is a very serious moral and ethical problem with that dynamic.
rtwjunkie
In essence, most games you play (unless for example, buying from GOG), you are playing a game offered as a service.
Which is exactly why I only by games DRM free or in physical format. No company is getting my money unless what is being paid for is owned be this purchaser. This is a growing sentiment the world over.
Posted on Reply
#19
Steevo
lexluthermiester
There is a very serious moral and ethical problem with that dynamic.

Which is exactly why I only by games DRM free or in physical format. No company is getting my money unless what is being paid for is owned be this purchaser. This is a growing sentiment the world over.
Steam, Rockstar, Origin by EA, and others require an internet connection and their servers to still be up and running to access the game.

I know Steam claims they will send you a physical copy if they ever shut down, but not if the game server shuts down.

And since we are on this tangent, game companies should release a "unbeatable" free version, also known as a demo for their game so people won't feel the need to go irate over the games DRM.
Posted on Reply
#20
lexluthermiester
Steevo
Steam, Rockstar, Origin by EA, and others require an internet connection and their servers to still be up and running to access the game.
And that is why I have zero problems with cracking groups.
Posted on Reply
#21
RichF
"Games as a service has a very wide meaning, it can mean a lot of things! [laughs] Recently people have been discussing loot boxes and people not using that properly, I think that's all linked to this bad perception people have to the words 'games as a service'. But really, the way we're looking at it, what it boils down to is… that idea of keeping people engaged with our games and enjoying them for longer periods of time. That's the way we really look at the problem. The way we use that expression, really… the whole idea, for a single player game particularly, is the idea that you have the game released and you keep adding more content to keep the players engaged and enjoying the game. And that helps to make it more of a full experience, and that brings in more players to the original game. That's the rough approach we take to the idea, and that's why we described games as a service in that sense."

Translation: Create a “game” as a content portal and sell as many expansion packs for it as you can. This is the model used by The Sims franchise.


"It is obviously very bad to have loot boxes that get in the way of the player experience, or detract from it in some way. That's clearly not a good thing. You have to really think about what they do to add to the overall gameplay experience, and how they fit in with that and the overall design of the game. I think that's the way we should look at these things."

Translation: Microtransactions should be so psychologically effective that people don’t consider them an overall detraction. Make them a seamless part of the experience.


"We will definitely be making more single player games, definitely. I think the environment now, that we have, there's even more platforms, there's even more opportunities to get single player games out to people. So, for example, mobile phone games, we're not just making free-to-play games for that, we're making proper single player games, re-releases of old titles, new titles as well. So mobile phones don't just have to be about that kind of thing. The Switch is another great platform to come out for single player games, so we've got a lot of opportunities and we really do want to continue making single player games".

Translation: When we think about single-playing gaming we think of casual systems and situations.
Posted on Reply
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