Single Player

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?

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