Xbox’s head of publishing, Shannon Loftis, believes that single-player games aren’t dead or dying, but asserts that there are many questions surrounding how viable they are from an economic point of view. Loftis said that the costs of development will ‘spook’ developers from making single-player experiences, but she believes that they will continue to exist.
In an interview with GameSpot, Loftis spoke about the importance of single-player games, and how the demand for higher quality experiences comes with an ever-increasing price tag for developers.
This has been a bit of a hot topic lately, and follows the closure of EA studio Visceral Games, which was working on a single-player Star Wars project. Since the demise of Visceral, many other industry figures have spoken out about the cost associated with single-player games and the direction that publishers are taking.
Loftis spoke on the topic saying that, ‘I don’t think it’s dead per se, I do think the economics of taking a single-player game and telling a very high fidelity multi-hour story get a little more complicated.’
Former BioWare Montreal developer, Manveer Heir, had claimed recently that EA is probably moving towards more open-world games because it can ‘monetise them better’.
Zach Wilson, who previously worked at Visceral Games, recently spoke out about why Dead Space 2 was seen as a failure, but he’s still of the opinion that single-player experiences will continue, saying that, ‘the assertion that single-player linear games are going to disappear is totally absurd. EA might not be the company that carries that torch, but there are so many groups out there that are passionate about this kind of game.’
Loftis does feel that single-player games will continue to exist, however, and she said that, ‘I don’t think that there is ever going to be a time when there aren’t single-player, story-based games, I do love the idea of building a community around the experience of these games.’