So Titanfall is up for pre-order at Origin.com, and I’m already hearing complaints that it’s a $60 multiplayer-only game. Thinking about it really brings to light how people perceive the value of a full packaged game.
When the first Left 4 Dead came out I bought it at full price, but was almost never able to organize a game with my friends. Eventually I resolved to play thorough basically the whole game offline which really diminished my experience. I ended up waiting until Left 4 Dead 2 was about $30 before buying that game, and still haven’t gotten a whole lot of playtime with it.
Some people see single player as the default mode of a full packaged game, others see multiplayer as this. The basic value issue at hand is a multiplayer game is ultimately controlled by internet connections, the availability of friends, and the life of the player base. A lot of people, myself included, just feel strange paying $60 for a game you may not be able to play at all one day.
From Respawn Entertainmetn’s view, I can understand if they just wanted to make a multiplayer game without tacking on singleplayer. People complain all the time about tacked-on multiplayer. Developers should just focus on the mode they care about.
The issue is probably that practically every packaged console game is trying to look like the handful of massive shooters that actually manage to do both singleplayer and multiplayer well. Rare games like Halo and Call of Duty that manage to offer a great deal of high-quality content of multiple modes feel like an over-delivery of value. Every game can’t be that though.
The multiplayer-only game might also seem perfectly fine to the guy who’ll buy Battlefield or Call of Duty, only play the multiplayer, and get 600+ hours out of the game. Even if the servers do turn off one day that’s still a good value proposition for $60. One might still want to consider the option of free-to-play however. Console gamers might not be ready for a free-to-play shooter, but gamse like Planetside 2 are already going to bring this to consoles. The value proposition of multiplayer is probably going to change next-gen because of things like this.
Singleplayer however has the advantage that you’ll always be able to play it whenever want — the only requirements being one player, the software, and the hardware.
I just don’t like the idea of paying full price for a game, knowing that one day I might not be able to play it because I can’t find others willing to play it, I have a crappy internet connection, or one day I can’t access the service the game is running on.
- A Steam code for Dark Messiah Might & Magic for $2.50. http://www.gamersgate.com/DD-MESSIAH/dark-messiah-might-and-magic I did a blog on it a while back. I think there’s a demo on Steam or somewhere.
- I think my Game Boy Color is running the same pair of batteries as when I bought it… in 1999. Don’t know how that’s possible.
- Suda 51 and Katsuhiro Otomo collab! http://t.co/npqLTF7Osz
- Looks like Dropbox wants to be a third party iCloud for games. http://t.co/CTfwwGL45p
- Nerf Vulcan Sentry Gun. http://t.co/ugenqjdPrP What’s next? Nerf drones?