Cliff Bleszinski believes that Japanese developers should follow the example of From Software, and find new ways to create innovative multiplayer modes.
Speaking to Gamasutra, Bleszinski expressed disappointment that Platinum Games' Vanquish didn't include any form of multiplayer. In his opinion, it's an area that few studios can afford to ignore:
"...my advice to Japan is that in a disc-based market right now, you cannot [ignore multiplayer]. I'm not saying tack multiplayer onto every game. But for instance, Shadows of the Damned, that was a wonderfully crazy adventure, the dialogue had me laughing out loud, just even the key-door systems in there; it was a beautifully crazy game with really fun gameplay, but no multiplayer co-op experience in there.
"I'm not saying tack on a versus mode; there's a billion different ways you can do some sort of 'players interacting with other players' mode."
More specifically, Bleszinski singles out From Software's Soul games for their unusual take on multiplayer gaming.
"For instance there's Demon's Souls and Dark Souls. That's ironically one of the most innovative games with what we call "mingle player" that has had those kinds of blending and blurring of single player and multiplayer -- and it came from Japan!
"So clearly some of the developers over there get that, because that game is going to continue to inspire a lot of Western developers to figure ways that you can have connected elements in campaign games, and have more of a blended experience."
PC owners are currently waiting for their version of Dark Souls, due to arrive on August 24 with a hefty dollop of new content. Console fans are still hoping that Namco will provide the latter in the form of DLC, though the publisher is currently implying that won't be the case.