Multiplayer-Only Games Are No Different Than Singleplayer-Only Games

 

Don’t you hate it when an awesome game gets announced, but then details come out saying it’s singleplayer only? What a bunch of bullshit. It’s 2016 and developers are still making games that don’t have multiplayer?!

Why is it that you never hear anything like that? Why is it that multiplayer-only games constantly get criticized for not having a singleplayer, yet singleplayer-only games rarely get criticized for not have multiplayer?

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Rainbow Six Siege, a fantastic multiplayer-only shooter that is constantly criticized for its lack of a singleplayer campaign.

The first reason of course is tradition. Console gamers have come to expect a singleplayer campaign since the release of the SNES in the early 90’s. Whereas what constitutes multiplayer by today’s standard didn’t kick off until the early 2000’s with the PlayStation 2 and Xbox. The problem is, over twenty years later the mentality hasn’t changed. Games such as Rainbow Six Siege, Titanfall, Evolve, and others received unfair criticism over their lack of a true singleplayer campaign. And this isn’t just from your average gamer talking shit on the internet. Major outlets feel the same way. Kotaku wrote a piece in November of 2015 titled Multiplayer Only Games Shouldn’t Cost $60.

Yet where is the article proclaiming singleplayer only games shouldn’t cost $60? Bioshock Infinite, a great game, had around an eleven hour campaign. While a game like Titanfall can be played for easily hundreds of hours given enough player interest. So by what standard do we dismiss multiplayer-only games?

Is it by length? Surely not. Is it by amount of content? Possibly, but singleplayer games tend to pad their amount of content with tacked on co-op, horde, collectibles, and other tactics. In the same way, multiplayer games have multiple modes, maps, classes, and weapon variety. If you get bored with a multiplayer game after ten hours, I find it hard to believe the opportunity to find all collectibles will keep you entertained either. So then what is the true cause? What is it about multiplayer-only games that gets some gamers so riled up?

bioshock
Bioshock Infinite, a fantastic singleplayer-only game that received practically no criticism over its lack of multiplayer.

It seems to be nothing more than familiarity. Gamers have come to expect a singleplayer campaign in every game they see. Even games like Call of Duty, where the hardcore fan base rarely touch the campaign let alone complete it, wouldn’t dare exclude the campaign. Maybe it’s just a stigma that only time can erase. Where others would argue Tomb Raider doesn’t need multiplayer, I would argue Titanfall 2 doesn’t need singleplayer. One thing however is true: developers need to do a better job at producing out-of-the-box content for multiplayer-only games. If a game such as Evolve (a multiplayer-only game) has less content than Call of Duty Advanced Warfare (which includes a campaign and multiplayer), the developer has failed that title. No game that only includes one form of gameplay should have less than another that includes both. That goes for multiplayer and singleplayer games alike.

With that said, the best outcome for gamers is a combination of both singleplayer and multiplayer. But the mentality that a singleplayer-only game is perfectly fine yet a multiplayer-only game is somehow a lesser product is absurd. And the only way for that to change, is to change the way we think about games.

What is your take on the subject? Do you hate multiplayer? Do you think every game should have both a singleplayer campaign and multiplayer component? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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7 thoughts on “Multiplayer-Only Games Are No Different Than Singleplayer-Only Games

  1. I just prefer single player to multiplayer, simple as that for me lol. The reason I was excited for Rainbow was because of the Single Player of previous entries. So when they announced no campaign I was upset.

    But I think that’s all it comes down to, personal preference. I like a story, no matter how weak, in my game. Attaching a story to MP is pretty damn hard. Look at Titanfall’s Campaign mode… anyone know the story?

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    1. Yeah I get that. But I also prefer Shooters to Racing games but that doesn’t mean I give shit to Forza 6 for being a racing game instead of a shooter. There’s a difference between personal preference and outright putting a game down for not having a singleplayer campaign. I’m more talking about perception. If you expect a game to have singleplayer, you should also expect a game to have multiplayer.

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      1. I don’t expect it to have single unless they tell me it is. I always HOPE that it does though. I’m not huge on MP in general so I don’t hope for that.

        That’s something a lot of vocal people online like to do though. Expect and demand.

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      2. I don’t put down online on multiplayers,I just refuse to play them.
        To me,you are relying on others to fill in the online only game play.
        so you get stuck with a group of A holes your experience is ruined.

        I’ve given up on playing games online. The anti social psychopaths took over, its just not worth the aggravation.
        That might explain why, a lot of lobbies for these games are ghost towns, a few months after release. Titanfall Evolve R6 are dead. I tried Titanfall was ok but the other people ruined it so I stopped playing. Never again.

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      3. It’s definitely not for everyone. But at the same time, most singleplayer games are dead a few months later. Most people don’t keep going back to a singleplayer game unless there is new DLC.

        But I agree with your point. Multiplayer is much more fun when you have friends on your team.

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  2. Why is it absurd to think Mob Play is a lesser product? It is. It’s like hanging out in the arcade at the mall. I’ve tried a few games and absolutely can not stand them.
    I don’t want to hang around online with people I couldn’t stand in the real world, it just diminishes the game play experience. I don’t facebook/twitter/snapchat either for the same reason. I just see PC games as a solo break in my day and I don’t wish to share it with strangers.

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