Forums - Sony Discussion - God of War multiplayer may not "move the needle on sales" says Pachter

GamesIndustry International

God of War: Ascension was officially unveiled last month and one of the surprising additions to the franchise is a new multiplayer mode. It's a pattern we've seen before: single-player games that seemingly have no real need for a multiplayer mode are getting multiplayer modes in what appears to be an effort to boost sales, mitigate the used effect and generally give a title a longer tail.

As industry veteran Richard Browne noted in a recent editorial on used games, "How do I stop churn? I implement multiplayer and attempt to keep my disc with my consumer playing online against their friends. It works wonderfully for Call of Duty - no doubt it can work wonderfully for me. The problem is, at what cost? Countless millions of dollars would be the answer. Let's take a great example, one of my favorite game series released on this generation - Uncharted. What on Earth was the point of taking the completely single player experience of Uncharted 1 and bolting on an entirely new game to Nathan Drake's second adventure?"

The strategy does seem to be working, even if it appears somewhat out of place for a story driven single-player game like BioShock or Uncharted. But what about an action oriented game like God of War?

"It's an interesting move, and something I think gamers will like, but it's odd to see it in a third-person game, and especially odd because it's not a shooter. I think GoW fans will love it, but am not sure it will move the needle on sales," commented Wedbush Securities' Michael Pachter to GamesIndustry International.

Even God of War Game Director Todd Pappy has admitted, according to Destructoid, that Sony Santa Monica is "still figuring out" the multiplayer component. That makes it sound all the more like someone at a high level simply told the development team, "You have to include multiplayer. Figure it out."

That said, there's definitely some precedent for multiplayer having a positive effect.

"EEDAR has run numerous studies on the impact on multiplayer on game sales. We have found that when executed properly, multiplayer does have a positive impact on initial and long-term sales," EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich noted to GamesIndustry International. "The pitfall that is common, however, is for developers to simply tack on a multiplayer component thinking it will be the silver bullet solution to long-term sales and a reduction in used sales."

Ultimately, what matters most is quality, and just like Naughty Dog's efforts to introduce multiplayer to Uncharted, it's likely that the God of War team will produce some highly polished results. "In the case of God of War, we are confident that the Santa Monica Studio recognizes the common pitfalls. As a studio with a great pedigree, I am sure any multiplayer component will be additive to the God of War experience and not simply a tacked on feature," stressed Divnich.

Some would argue that the addition of multiplayer might damage the quality of the single-player main game, due to resources being divided up, but Divnich doesn't see that as a concern any longer.

"If this was two years ago, I would be concerned that the allocation of resources towards a multiplayer component often comes at the cost of the single player experience; however, the industry has matured enough--maybe through its own trial and error--that no feature should ever be tacked on simply because the 'data' suggests it. How that feature is implemented into the core project impacts sales much more than simply having it or not," he said.

What do you think? Will God of War benefit from including multiplayer?

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/articles/2012-05-01-god-of-war-multiplayer-may-not-move-the-needle-on-sales-says-pachter



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God of War will definitely benefit from multiplayer.
Santa Monica won't just tack-on multiplayer. They are extremely talented and they are adding it because they are confident they can do a good job. I think they've earned a little of our trust.

The hack and slash genre doesnt translate too well in multiplayer, yet is having the qtes and gore that many gow fans seems to like. So while i dont think it will gather new sales i dont find it doing less than 2M. Will depend on how interesting the gameplay becomes and if it doesnt get repetitive.

I don't see where is the problem with a multiplayer mode. With GoW 3, people were complaining about the lack of multiplayer, now people complain because the game has it.

Anyway, I'm still waiting to see the single player gameplay.

Deoz said:
The hack and slash genre doesnt translate too well in multiplayer, yet is having the qtes and gore that many gow fans seems to like. So while i dont think it will gather new sales i dont find it doing less than 2M. Will depend on how interesting the gameplay becomes and if it doesnt get repetitive.


Not true at all.  Hack and slash games are great for multiplayer. Hack and slash games are like the spiritual sequel to those awesome side scrolling brawler games that no one makes anymore that we used to play together with our friends at the arcades. 3D just made it too expensive processing wise to create a similar experience. You can't have 4 OMG  High Poly amazing looking characters with all their HD textures and normal maps and bump mapping on the screen at the same time in addition to tons of enemies and physics and AI. Sadly Almost all developers have chosen the spectacle route as opposed to the fun game route.  The only thing better than being a brawling bad ass is being a brawling bad ass with your friends. 



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nitekrawler1285 said:
Deoz said:
The hack and slash genre doesnt translate too well in multiplayer, yet is having the qtes and gore that many gow fans seems to like. So while i dont think it will gather new sales i dont find it doing less than 2M. Will depend on how interesting the gameplay becomes and if it doesnt get repetitive.


Not true at all.  Hack and slash games are great for multiplayer. Hack and slash games are like the spiritual sequel to those awesome side scrolling brawler games that no one makes anymore that we used to play together with our friends at the arcades. 3D just made it too expensive processing wise to create a similar experience. You can't have 4 OMG  High Poly amazing looking characters with all their HD textures and normal maps and bump mapping on the screen at the same time in addition to tons of enemies and physics and AI. Sadly Almost all developers have chosen the spectacle route as opposed to the fun game route.  The only thing better than being a brawling bad ass is being a brawling bad ass with your friends. 

I agree, and that's why I really like Lego games. They are "hack n' slash" (among many other genres) that can do whatever the hell they want, due to the simple graphics they have. Playing them with friends is a blast!



I think the GoW franchise should be over already anyway, but they seem to be doing some vaguely interesting things with it, even if I won't actually play it

Also, what is wrong with Uncharted's MP, it is actually rather good, and has clearly helped sell copies of the games

Deoz said:
The hack and slash genre doesnt translate too well in multiplayer, yet is having the qtes and gore that many gow fans seems to like. So while i dont think it will gather new sales i dont find it doing less than 2M. Will depend on how interesting the gameplay becomes and if it doesnt get repetitive.


how can you say that when i really hasn't been tried (to the best of my knowledge).  i think that is what makes the GoW multiplayer so exciting.  it could turn out like crap, but i could also be amazing and completely new compared to everything else on the market.  i'm excited to learn more at least.

..and the multiplayer doesn't hav eto have qtes you know.  Gears (i think) removed their cover system in the multiplayer.  regardless, just because something is in the single player doesn't mean it is required to transfer into the multplayer.   they'll do whatever they think is best for a fun multiplayer experience.



        

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How can Patcher already claim the multplayer won't increase sales when it's still being figured out a no-one knows how great it'll be by the time the game comes out. If it's brilliant (99% sure it will be) then of course it will help sales because people will recommend the game to their friends to play online together, and those friends will recommend the game to their other friends and so on and so forth.

Even without the multiplayer this game will be a 5m+ seller like GOW3 will be, I think MP will be the thing that pushes God of War: Ascension over 6m. If GOW3 can reach 4.5m in 2 years with no MP, no bundling and no advertising, just imagine how much it can sell with a great MP mode, bundling and good advertisement. If Sony made an effort this could be a 7 million + seller, hopefully the PS4 doesn't release too soon as it could damage GOW:A's legs.


The 25 most acclaimed action-adventure hack 'n' slash games ever!

http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=191509&page=1#

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JustThatGamer said:
How can Patcher already claim the multplayer won't increase sales when it's still being figured out a no-one knows how great it'll be by the time the game comes out. If it's brilliant (99% sure it will be) then of course it will help sales because people will recommend the game to their friends to play online together, and those friends will recommend the game to their other friends and so on and so forth.

Even without the multiplayer this game will be a 5m+ seller like GOW3 will be, I think MP will be the thing that pushes God of War: Ascension over 6m. If GOW3 can reach 4.5m in 2 years with no MP, no bundling and no advertising, just imagine how much it can sell with a great MP mode, bundling and good advertisement. If Sony made an effort this could be a 7 million + seller, hopefully the PS4 doesn't release too soon as it could damage GOW:A's legs.

Cause he's Patcher, nuff said.



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