With the prominence of multiplayer experiences showcased at E3 2018, including traditionally single-player studios like Bethesda Softworks and BioWare opting for online-focused experiences for their next games, there is again worry in the industry about the viability of single-player games.
One of the biggest games of the fall, Red Dead Redemption 2, is positioned to become a major multiplayer destination but like the first game, it will also offer a deep single-player campaign. Speaking to GameBeat this week, Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick discussed the importance of Red Dead Redemption 2’s single-player offering, stating that he still sees value in games that offer strong stories and characters, and that he’s not buying the narrative that these types of experiences are dying off.
“Historically, in entertainment, people take positions like that, but there are also people saying that it won’t work if it’s not a free-to-play battle royale,” said Zelnick. “People really are saying that, and not even tongue-in-cheek. I don’t buy that. Single-player, in my opinion, is not dead, not even close. Companies that feel like they’ll just avoid the hard work of building a story and characters and go right to where the money is in multiplayer, I don’t think that’s going to work. I’d be surprised.”
In response to the fact that his company has made millions off of the success of Grand Theft Auto 5’s multiplayer mode, Zelnick said he attributes much of the success of Grand Theft Auto Online to the fact that developer Rockstar North initially pitched the game to players on the strength of its campaign, which helped motivate them to try multiplayer.
“I think that’s what happened with Grand Theft Auto Online,” said Zelnick. “We certainly feel like there’s no evidence that people don’t want a single-player, because they’re still playing Grand Theft Auto 5.”
Red Dead Redemption 2 will be released for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on October 26.