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Reader Comments (6)

Posted: Feb 5th 2008 1:29PM (Unverified) said

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Its multiplayer games in general, more and more games offer some kind of mp, some games even go as far as to offer a single player campaign that can be played in co-op mode. Just the friend, co-op or mp factor makes the experience better imo.
Add to that an expansive world with tons of content in different flavors and you have something that decreases the appeal of single player games. Even The Witcher as great as it is, it doesnt have that replayability factor other mp games have.

Posted: Feb 5th 2008 1:39PM (Unverified) said

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I think they are two different experiences. There is something to be said for enjoying an adventure with other people, but I still love playing single-player games to experience the indivdual story. It's like seeing a movie with a group of friends versus reading a book by yourself.

Posted: Feb 5th 2008 2:11PM (Unverified) said

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I think single player games are safe for now simply because most MMORPGs are actually quite boring to many people. Like Mike said there is a certain feeling of immersion when playing single player that many don't get out of MMORPGs.

Plus the fact that to get to any of the fun stuff you have to go kill rats and stuff in a field for 5 hours before you can get to any of the fun stuff!

Some of the best games I've played had one of 3 things: an epic movie feel, an interesting multiplayer option or customizeability (if that's a word) through different mods that others have made (see Homeworld).

Also, not everyone's into magic and wizards and stuff...which seems to be the theme through most MMOs. There are plenty of subjects that the single player industry has down that MMOs can't even touch yet.

That is, until there's an MMO of Grand Theft Auto!

Posted: Feb 5th 2008 4:13PM Desco said

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Yes 'cause in a world where Halo rules the roost, Bioshock and Grand Theft Auto will never sell well again.

This is exactly like the argument that "reality tv" is killing the sitcom. In fact, MMOs are a lot like reality shows-- hoards of people doing the same remedial task in hopes of getting recognition or fame, but with little real captivating story or entertainment value, and every year there's another batch of them that maybe 1 out of 10 will "hit". But unlike reality shows, MMOs are not cheap to produce. Earlier this decade, people got tired of reality shows, which made the way for the increase of popularity for the episodic dramas (Lost, 24, Heroes). Reality show viewership has dropped off a bit as people get tired of the same stuff being rehashed with nothing new. While there may have been a bit of a comeback of reality tv, especially in light of the writers strike, no one's claiming it's gonna kill sitcoms anymore.

And to expand on Mike's point, similarly, those with an interest in movie theaters claimed that home movies would ruin the movie theater business, and repeated the claim again when DVDs and home theaters became available. Movie theaters may have taken a hit because of those things, but have not gone away. Some theaters found ways to cope by expanding their offering-- a theater near me took out all the seats and put in tables with big comfy office chairs, and serve dinner and drinks while the movie is playing.

MMOs and single-player games are always going to wax and wane in popularity. Due to their many-heroes-no-civilians style gaming, MMOs will not be able to have the captivating stories that are present in single player games. But single player games can't deliver the social network experience that MMOs do... They may have to figure out how to expand their offering to compete with the MMO, but they're not going away.

Posted: Feb 5th 2008 4:17PM (Unverified) said

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MMOs still haven't been able to replicate the Chosen One factor. In a single-player game, your actions as the player significantly alter the game world. In the classic JRPGs you go from being a slightly petulant pre-pubescent boy from a backwoods village to a legendary hero using the power of a small god to reshape the world.

MMOs, because by definition they have to accommodate hundreds or thousands of players in the same realm, don't allow that. Ultimately your actions have little or no effect on the game world. At worst you're one of thousands of representatives of your race and class, not significantly different in any way from the other gnome warlocks or iksar warriors who populate the game world. You'll never be a Frodo or an Aragorn or a Gandalf. At best you're a Faramir - the pinnacle of MMO achievement is to lead an endgame raid guild but only a tiny minority of players will ever see that. But even if you get that far, what happens when the instance is over? You're still taking orders from stationary NPCs. You'll never become King or even Steward; cities will never be built in your honor or fall from your neglect; if you fail to cast the ring into the fires of Mordor... well, that's okay, you can always just do it tomorrow. Sauron's perfectly happy to stand around in his instance doing nothing until the raid arrives.

Posted: Feb 5th 2008 4:17PM (Unverified) said

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I think the real threat from MMOs stems from the massive time investment required to the exclusion of other games. Personally, when I get into a MMO, whatever free time I have for gaming gets devoted completely to it. I think of it as the amount of time I spend on some single player game that has no "permanent" reward and that I'll forget in a week could've been spent on the progression of "my" character to get that next milestone that I've been working toward for weeks or months.

But, it's like the poster above said, most people find MMOs boring. Even considering the 10 million subscribers to WoW, that's not even a dent in the total gaming populace. I don't think single player games have anything to worry about until a MMO is released that draws in closer to 100 million subscribers.

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