December 13, 2010
EA Shying Away From Single Player
According to EA Games label president Frank Gibeau says the company’s new business model, which includes shying away from single-player games. This will be sad news indeed for those of us who do not enjoy the multi-player model.
“We’re very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay — be it cooperative or multiplayer or online services — as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you’re out,” Gibeau said. “I think that model is finished. Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at.” says Frank.
This comes on a tail of the announcement that EA will be cutting it’s release lineup by 50%.
“I firmly believe that the way the products we have are going, they need to be connected online,” Gibeau said.
“We’re going to try out new price-points, and we’re going to try free-to-play models within my group -– things like we did with Battlefield 1943, which was a $10 XBLA game that did extremely well,” he says.
If you read what has been said I don’t think it necessarily means that EA will stop producing Single-Player titles. It most likely means that they will not be producing Single-Player only titles. This does, however, bring up some interesting questions. What will EA do with it’s currently popular Single-Player IP’s such as Mass Effect and Dragon Age: Origins. Both of those franchises are incredibly popular and the games are driven on excellent story telling.
It’s fairly clear to me that this is simply a business move. By reducing or completely removing the Single-Player component from their games it removes a lot of the development costs. You then cut out scripts, voice actors, cutscene artists, story lines and many other things that go into developing a game and you cut a good number of development costs out of the equation. Furthermore, if you cut out Single-Player, it makes it far easier to prevent piracy as you can’t get online without having an authentic version. I suspect this is most likely the case.
There are several games already out that don’t feature a Single-Player component such as Sins of a Solar Empire.
I personally think this comes down to greed. They want more money and if they can cut a good portion of development costs out of the equation they will ultimately make more money off of the $60 price tag that gets attached to new releases. What do you guys think? Good riddance or a tragedy in the works?