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EA did it again! - How much do we need single player?

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#1
I know when @P4-630 did for that Linus video I was against it.
No, we do not make threads here to discus youtube videos. Thus I am not here to discus gameranx, but more to why EA disappointing us again and how very very much we actually love and need strong single players games (linear maybe). But when you been gaming for as long as I have, linear says nothing. While good story, dialog, graphics and the general feeling all together does. Linear versus what I just mentioned just disappears, we being left with a strong memory that we played and enjoyed that particular game.

Where do we stand? How much do we need these single player quality adventures? Bellow is gameranx words, still i think they make sense and much more should be said.

I would like to invite the community here to this dialog. "games as art" - I am all about that. And never a multiplayer will do that (PUBG is so much, however definitely not art)

 
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#2
EA/publishers are only concerned with whats hot/popular/trends.

PUBG/battleroyale gameplay is the latest thing to be copied.

A single player game which is art. Alice madness returns.
 

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#3
The majority of my gaming is done solo. I play PoE, and out of the couple hundred hours I've played since I started again late last year, I'll say less than 5 of those hours with other players. Full-blown MMOs like WoW and Black Desert are there for a specific, multiplayer (in the name, ya know) environment. FPSs like Insurgency and PUBG also have a specific niche they serve. But when you get to the CoDs and even Elite Dangerous, I want a solo environment to trawl thru.
 

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#4
Good topic. I agree, that when a company like EA tells us we don’t want single player games, what they mean is, they don’t want to make them, because they don’t make them enough money.

This is why I have been gradually playing more and more Indie studio made single player games. The story, and the adventure experience is why I most enjoy playing. I want to escape just like I would escape into a great book or movie. The whole point is participating in a narrative that is not our own lives.

If single player games were not what we as players want, Ninja Theory would not have spent 3 years living on Ramen noodles and implementing clever ideas to make the story and effects better without a lot of expensive tech. The result was a well-known success. Which means, yeah, it made lots of money from Hellblade.

If single player was not what we wanted, then The Witcher 3 would never have happened. It ended up being a monster success and one of the most highly ranked games ever. Skyrim would never have seen the light of day either, or become one of the best selling PC games ever.

I could go on, but you get the idea. It’s obvious we as players need some kind of voice to tell the big studios what we want...someone to make them listen. The Indie studios know it, consistently giving me fun, story driven single player games.

Gameranx is right: EA and some others are wrong about what we want. They should be honest, and say it is about what THEY want.

I love strong, story driven single player games!!
 
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#5
EA is in the business of making money. If having no single player still makes (nearly as much) money, it isn't EA that is wrong. At this point you'd need to blame the players, but blame them for what? If people like multiplayer-only games, are they "wrong"? No, they aren't. They just like things you may appreciate less.

Art is very much in the eye of the beholder, so what is art to one person, is not art to another. Is EVE Online's persistent universe, going for 15 years, a piece of art? It has been recognized as such, and yet it is a multiplayer experience, and could not be replicated without the multiplayer aspect. Furthermore, it is far from the most popular game out there. I think you would agree that The Witcher series games are definitely art, but I am sure others will disagree, and no one in that discussion will be wrong.

Linear vs. Open-World vs. Procedural all have their attraction: Linear games place a lot of control at the hands of developers, and allow them to develop very intricate plots and story lines. Books are linear, and yet people love books, so linear games are definitely worthwhile to some. Open-World games can be linear, or not, or linear to a degree (main story) while allowing for additional exploration. These elements can both add to the immersion (if done well), or break it (if done poorly). Procedural games, with heavy randomization, can be great. RimWorld, with its randomized storytelling and difficulty ramp might well be a hallmark of this. No Man's Sky, on the other hand? Well, we know how this ended.

I guess my point overall is that the market is chiefly driven by fleeting demand, but as many games that buck the current trends show, there is a demand for nearly any kind of game, both linear, and not, both singleplayer only, and multiplayer only, and in any combination in between. EA's stance is irrelevant, because there is no monopoly on games, and indy and crowd-funded games are everywhere, in every genre imaginable, and other publishers gladly take up what EA abandons (Paradox comes to mind).
 

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#7
EA is in the business of making money. If having no single player still makes (nearly as much) money, it isn't EA that is wrong. At this point you'd need to blame the players, but blame them for what? If people like multiplayer-only games, are they "wrong"? No, they aren't. They just like things you may appreciate less.

Art is very much in the eye of the beholder, so what is art to one person, is not art to another. Is EVE Online's persistent universe, going for 15 years, a piece of art? It has been recognized as such, and yet it is a multiplayer experience, and could not be replicated without the multiplayer aspect. Furthermore, it is far from the most popular game out there. I think you would agree that The Witcher series games are definitely art, but I am sure others will disagree, and no one in that discussion will be wrong.

Linear vs. Open-World vs. Procedural all have their attraction: Linear games place a lot of control at the hands of developers, and allow them to develop very intricate plots and story lines. Books are linear, and yet people love books, so linear games are definitely worthwhile to some. Open-World games can be linear, or not, or linear to a degree (main story) while allowing for additional exploration. These elements can both add to the immersion (if done well), or break it (if done poorly). Procedural games, with heavy randomization, can be great. RimWorld, with its randomized storytelling and difficulty ramp might well be a hallmark of this. No Man's Sky, on the other hand? Well, we know how this ended.

I guess my point overall is that the market is chiefly driven by fleeting demand, but as many games that buck the current trends show, there is a demand for nearly any kind of game, both linear, and not, both singleplayer only, and multiplayer only, and in any combination in between. EA's stance is irrelevant, because there is no monopoly on games, and indy and crowd-funded games are everywhere, in every genre imaginable, and other publishers gladly take up what EA abandons (Paradox comes to mind).
Well said and I agree!
 

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#8
How can EA sit there and say Single player isnt worth their effort when games like Skyrim, Fallout and The Witcher (as well as plenty more) exist???

By EAs Logic, if they cant make a tonne of money off microtransactions and not have it run on a 'Games-as-a-service' model then its a game not worth wasting effort on.
 
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#9
That's the target demographic. I knew people that haven't played anything other than League of Legends or Counter-Strike for years , these kinds of people are in a majority whether we like it or not and games will be targeted at them. Hell even I spent a few years a long time ago playing World of Warcraft exclusively and I am all for single player experiences.

The entertainment industry always adheres to the masses first and more of often than not they can be easily satisfied with cheap simple products.
 
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#10
I'm not disappointed in EA. I just don't bother to really pay attention or give them any business. Most games I've purchased from them the past couple years have been a disappointment. That's over. Better ways to spend my money.
 
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#12
IMO. EA is trash, ive avoided them since they boned BF3, & the whole trend of $60 for 40% of a game, then releasing "dlc" incrementally @ $30+ each to complete the game ,became par for the course in the multiplayer world. It bothers me that the generation of millennial gamers with less time gaming than titles I've forgotten, get to dictate (with their dollars and their parents dollars), how the gaming market progresses. Sadly the simple fact is, the original gamer generation is getting older and we don't have the time to play as much as we used to, and therefore our dollars don't have the might they used to have. When I purchase a game, I want to own that game in it's entirety, I don't like having to purchase $30 DLC's every few months , for ALL the game. Of course you can look at it as an added content, kind of like a bonus, but that's often not what it is ,because all that's added is skins, textures, maps ,etc. it seems as though the DLC style game model is unavoidable, but I do agree a strong singleplayer is a must. For this exact reason ,I love and support FromSoft. Theyre games have extremely strong single player experiences, with optional multiplayer aspects blended in. I just hope this year's E3 turns out to be a good one ,because FromSoft is one of the few remaining strong SP developers. For example, I started Dark souls 3 a few weeks back, and it (unless your a dedicated greasy nerd who 24/7 Binge-games) takes a Long time to fully progress the story. As a (semi) responsible adult, i can only play for a hour or two every few days or so, and that makes a great, enjoable game experience for me, that i genuinely look forward to each day i may have the time to commit to playing.

gaming is for anyone who want to game, so for that fact, i expect growth, and change to reflect the many different types of gamers, but imo, the pay for all your game model is crap. The type of DLC model that I approve of ,can be observed perfectly if you look at the way fromsofr expansions work. You don't get a couple weapons or skins, or another map. You get a weeks worth of gameplay (depending on how you play) added to the game. for that reason, I look at their DLC as a bonus, and not base game content ,because you can actually finish the game without the expansion content, it's simply an added cherry on top
 
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#13
I don't think its entirely the kids' fault, the developers have cashed in on games that make the most money for them, and that is online games with purchasable worthless cosmetic DLC, loot crates, and worst case, pay 2 win. I find few modern games worth my time.
 

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#14
I don't think its entirely the kids' fault, the developers have cashed in on games that make the most money for them,
Its called Predatory behaviour.

Im sure part of the issue is because EA has become so much about making money rather than selling great experiences that it has sold its soul to shareholders and investors.

Its about making money ontop of more money on top of more money because all the money in the world isnt enough right??

I recently heard that when EA hosted a meeting for their investors where they talk about where their money is going and EA's plans to make more money etc etc etc Battlefront 2 was probably mentioned once if at all before they moved onto other topics. Battlefront 2 was a complete non issue for them as they still made enough money back off it to not even care... Theres even been talk that all the developers have been moved away from working on content for Battlefront 2 and they havent been told when they can go back to it and rumor has it that its only 2 people currently working on the game and they are out of depth with the workload as well as the type of work they need to go through. Its like having a guy who can only write stories pick up the slack as an artist or animator for a big project. He either knows little to nothing about either subject but still has to do the best he can. All the DLC and extra content that was announced for Battlefront 2 is in limbo and EA couldnt care less.


I look at a company like Valve... They used to make games, they made some great games, Iconic games, but they are more than happy sitting back on their early success and of course the success of STEAM which keeps the money rolling in. Im sure Valve also has its own group of investors. but apart from steam's early refunds policy I cant say that ive seen them show any potentially insidious behaviour.

COmpared to EA, Valve are making a tonne of money but they havent let it go to their heads.

Ive been told that the people who invest in EA arent even gamers and will most likely never touch the final product when it is completed. All they care about is the ROI and making silly suggestions about how the game should be and EA panders towards them because they just gave them a tonne of money.

Valve may very well be quite greedy, but at least they keep it in check. EA on the other hand flaunt it like they won gold at the olympics -- their gold medal representing their "sense of pride and accomplishment" for having gotten away with the loot box scandal and anti-consumer practices.


I am very much on the bench regarding BF:V --- I love Battlefield but at the same time I dont want to reward them for being the assholes they are.



-------

For the record. even though Valve said they were cracking down on CS:GO gambling websites after the scandal involving 2 youtubers. There are still loads out there that exist..... So Valve arent so clean either when it comes to dirty practises
 
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#15
EA is in the business of making money. If having no single player still makes (nearly as much) money, it isn't EA that is wrong. At this point you'd need to blame the players, but blame them for what?
I've been saying it for a while now, but the blame has to go to players as well. MP games are much easier to milk for microtransactions. And the majority of MP players don't mind the cosmetic skins that make CS/R6 Siege look like games taking place within a circus. "Its only cosmetic". Yeah, shitty cosmetics are bad. That alone is a disservice to gamers. Telling publishers and developers that it is okay and that they can milk a game dry with microtransactions is the other down side. This trickles down to moving away from SP games, because it is harder to milk them with 100s of small paid pieces of content.

COmpared to EA, Valve are making a tonne of money but they havent let it go to their heads.
Of course they have. Newell is still fairly nice and doesn't want to nickle and dime people over the service, but he is clearly only interested in making games that can be milked for microtransactions. He has gone on record saying Valve will never make a standalone SP only game ever again, ect. Look at Valve's recent titles. DOTA, CS:GO. All games based around microtransactions. Expect any future Valve game to be based on the same business model.

The only reason they are "better" than EA is because Newell privately owns the company and still has some personal pride in it. He won't greenlight and rush projects to meet yearly quotas, but when he does get around to something it is the same crap we get from Ubi and Blizzard.
 
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#16
Of course they have. Newell is still fairly nice and doesn't want to nickle and dime people over the service, but he is clearly only interested in making games that can be milked for microtransactions. He has gone on record saying Valve will never make a standalone SP only game ever again, ect. Look at Valve's recent titles. DOTA, CS:GO. All games based around microtransactions. Expect any future Valve game to be based on the same business model.

The only reason they are "better" than EA is because Newell privately owns the company and still has some personal pride in it. He won't greenlight and rush projects to meet yearly quotas, but when he does get around to something it is the same crap we get from Ubi and Blizzard.

true, true. I guess you got me there. I suppose the reason why Newell never hit the headlines until those two youtubers got too greedy was because the star wars brand is much bigger than CS:GO in terms of popularity.
 

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#17
People largely buy Mass Effect and Dragon Age for single player content. Dragon Age 4 is apparently in early development so Electronic Arts at large isn't abandoning single player content. Games like Battlefield...the $60 asking price is ridiculous for the amount of single player content included. People that buy those kinds of games are buying it for the multiplayer, not the single player. The single player is just icing on the cake for them. If EA wants to axe single player campaign in these kinds of games, I don't really care because I don't buy them in the first place because I loathe multiplayer. If EA wants to axe Dragon Age and Mass Effect single player, then I have an issue because single player is their brand.

What I don't get is why Electronic Arts is paying Lucas for rights to Star Wars when they could be making Battlefield Mass Effect. They own that IP, it's popular, and cannon gives them a lot of flexibility in terms of how the game is played.


To the video: "linear" game. He's talking narratively linear like Battlefield 3's campaign and he's absolutely right. If you look at any modern single-player only game that's a commercial success today, they're all branching...some more than others. If they don't branch, like Watch_Dogs, they're open world so there's a lot of side content to ingest stretching the main plot out. This goes right back to my original point above: 10 hour, $60 single player games don't sell anymore. The value proposition isn't there except for the tiny population of die hard fans. At the same time, purely linear and long games wear out their welcome. Gamers don't like the feeling of a chasing a carrot on a treadmill. They want the end in sight and have a reasonable means to meet that goal. A lot of games extend the plot by making a clear goal and, as the player approaches it, kicks it away from the player using narrative means. Mass Effect 3 did that to great effect. The thing is, story designers can only do that so many times before the player gets frustrated. The player really wants that carrot and every time the story designs it, you're going to lose the focus of some of the player base.

So...yeah, I disagree with the premise of the video in the OP. I think the author of that video misinterpreted what the CEO meant about "linear." Linear story + linear gameplay isn't something EA can really sell anymore without a huge multiplayer component. In their focus testing, people probably approached the game thinking it would be like KOTOR or TOR only to discover it was like Force Unleashed. The players likely ran into a situation in the game where they wanted to do something the game didn't let the players do (e.g. subdue a person instead of kill them). The game didn't allow that. So now EA has a problem. They have a game that's probably 2/3s done and no one wants to play it because the game is too restrictive in how they let players play it. They would have to rewrite huge swaths of the game and create/control exponentially more narrative chaos. The engine likely wasn't up to it, the writers likely couldn't work it in, and EA didn't want to pay the millions of dollars it would cost to realize it versus the millions they already spent. EA, naturally, killed it. I wouldn't be surprised, at all, if the work that was done ends up as a campaign in a future Star Wars Battlefield-based game but getting their dev cost out of the game in its current state and original goal state wasn't feasible.


Keep in mind that the Star Wars brand is teetering now because of EA superimposing the lootbox fiasco on it. Also keep in mind that the Star Wars films are performing terribly in Asia. EA can't count on the Star Wars brand to sell a lot of these games.
 
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#18
What I don't get is why Electronic Arts is paying Lucas for rights to Star Wars when they could be making Battlefield Mass Effect. The own that IP, it's popular, and cannon gives them a lot of flexibility in terms of how the game is played.
Its Disney -- Disney owns the star wars franchise.

Again its about brand popularity. Im not saying that Mass Effect doesnt have its own cult following. But Star Wars transcends that massively.
 
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#19
EA/publishers are only concerned with whats hot/popular/trends.

PUBG/battleroyale gameplay is the latest thing to be copied.

A single player game which is art. Alice madness returns.
That said the only thing you can do is stop frigging buying their crap, keep hearing people bitching about the company and how sad they are about them closing so many studio's but still buy their crap.

I have not got a EA game since ME3, well unless you want to included the free one they gave away some time ago.

Burned to many times, even if DA4 came out i would wait a month at the least just to see how good it is. As one thing for sure people who play SP games don't trust EA and that is only their own fault.
 
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#20
Again its about brand popularity. Im not saying that Mass Effect doesnt have its own cult following. But Star Wars transcends that massively.
Star Wars is declining globally, Mass Effect was growing (until Bioware Montreal f****d up Andromeda).

Dragon Age is about the only big single-player brand EA hasn't ruined. Probably why they're working on it.
 

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#21
Star Wars is declining globally, Mass Effect was growing (until Bioware Montreal f****d up Andromeda).

Dragon Age is about the only single-player brand EA hasn't ruined.
I thought the rumor was that if Anthem flopped that EA would shutdown Bioware???
 

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#22
Wouldn't surprise me. Austin is working on TOR which is getting long in the tooth. Edmonton is working on Anthem which is very high risk for EA. When Anthem is done, Austin will probably be retasked to maintaining Anthem while Edmonton goes into full production for DA4. If Anthem is a market failure, I could easily see EA pulling the plug on Bioware entirely (closing Austin first and Edmonton shortly thereafter).

I hate to say it, but I can't see Anthem being the fantastic success EA needs it to be. The game costs a fortune and these kinds of games really aren't that popular anymore (market is rife with Destiny clones already). DA4 could easily never happen.

EA Motive Studios was actually working with Visceral Studios on this unannounced Star Wars game. Motive Studios includes what used to be Bioware Montreal. It's entirely possible that the Star Wars game could still be under development at Motive. The reason why they nixed Visceral is because refocusing the game meant a lot of idle developers. If Anthem fails, Bioware Edmonton could be merged into Motive to go into full production on the Star Wars title.
 
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#23
I would never buy a game that didn't have a solid SP experience. Period. Of course now I run linux so I can't buy any games, they don't give a cr*p about us for gamers, so guess I don't really give a dam....
 

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#24
Star Wars is declining globally, Mass Effect was growing (until Bioware Montreal f****d up Andromeda).

Dragon Age is about the only big single-player brand EA hasn't ruined. Probably why they're working on it.
O please DA 2 was not all that good and 3 was a improvement (( kinda ) over 2 but came no were near as good as the 1st one.
 

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