Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The End of Single Player Video Games?

Recently the CEO of video game giant Activision made the claim that Call of Duty, the popular shooting franchise, was as significant as the rise of Facebook due to the online multi player it launched and largely popularized. While I won't take the time now to debate the finer points of that particular argument I do think the comment hints at something lurking on the minds of gamers everywhere: is the single player video game a dying breed. Games such as Call of Duty and the Halo series on Xbox are sold primarily for the online experience offered by each title. Although both possess compelling stories, any tale gets old after a few tellings...or playings. Online game play offers a much greater bang for than a game without the ability to play online. Further many of the most prominent titles are now requiring online collaboration in order to unlock all of the achievements offered by a particular game. So is the classic single player game dead?

Not a chance. While online games have and will continue to overtake traditional single player variants players still yearn for compelling stories and incredible game play. Two of the best examples of games that have defied the multi player trend are Batman: Arkham Asylum and Bioshock. I think the competition from multi player games will actually produce better single player options with increased online integration.

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