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Xbox boss Response on Single-Player Games - Economics Are "Complicated"

Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Xbox boss Response on Single-Player Games - Economics Are "Complicated"

it sounds like publishers are trying to find a way to add micro-transactions to single player. that’s kind of sad.

i hope that games in the future are worth the time and aren’t just worth the money.



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Nautilus said:
Oh please.What a load of bullshit.So how games like P 5 and Nier Automata can be already successful with 1 million unit sold

(because these companies NEED to have microtransactions and the only way is through a multiplayer mode)

Ironically, you've mentioned two single-player only games that did monetize their in-game content. Nier:Automata sells a DLC with three costumes and a battle with a Square-Enix executive for 14 bucks, and also allows you to single-handely purchase trophies with real money. Persona 5 sells several costume packs with soundtracks added to them, and also gives you the choice to purchase (and otherwise unattainable) boosted Personas to make the game exponentially easier.



I wonder how Sony is making God of War, Days Gone, Spider-Man, Detroit Become Human, The Last of Us 2, Death Stranding. These are all single player titles (some might have a multiplayer component, but it's not the focus) with cutting edge graphical fidelity and no doubt huge budgets.



This is the same tired narrative a lot of publishers trot out when they try to justify things like lootboxes and microtransactions in single-player games and shoving pointless online elements into said games. Calling the costs of making games too high is just poor handling of the development process is bullshit, since we've seen examples of how single-player games with moderate budgets can be very successful in the current market place.

We don't even have to very far back to find an excellent example of this: Hellblade: Senua's Sacrifice, a game made with a modest budget looked great and achieved great success in the market, despite not being one of the so called AAA games.

The real reason the economics of single player games are "complicated" is because there's more POTENTIAL profit to be made in online games and with microtransactions. So of course they want to make all the profit, not just do well enough. If the publisher can't justify making single-player games because they are supposedly too expensive, then that's entirely their fault for trying to make nothing but big budget blockbusters and cultivating a landscape where every game has to look amazing to get mainstream attention.



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He's not completely wrong. If you are going to make a state of the art single player game, like Horizon: Zero Dawn, Zelda: Breath of the Wild, Quantum Break or FFXV, you are reliant on very good sales to make your money back. In that regard, the ever improving graphics is a boot on single player game development, and will continue to be, until we can reduce the amount of people it takes to make a state of the art video game.

But not all games need huge budgets - Nintendo is a master at making single player games with relatively low budgets, and Microsoft's own Ori is another example.



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It´s sad that maybe those of us who prefer single player games might be becoming dinosaurs, but I think the "death" of single player games is melodramatic... thing is, with a few exceptions, they´ll start being more common in the indie and AA spaces, while most 'AAA 3rd parties' keep chasing that online multiplayer, GaaS, loot box filled open world high.

Thank god Sony and Nintendo still have a big focus on them.



GaaS multiplayer based experiences are just as risky or possibly even more so than singleplayer experiences. Consumers are becoming more weary and infuriated with each passing "AAA" title that incorporates loot boxes and microtransactions due to their egrigieous nature. It'll become even worse because not only must that title actually be decent (very few exceptions apply) it must be sustained with a large remaining dev team and ample cash flow to support it.

Look at Evolve, Battleborn, Lawbreakers. Flop, dead, 10 people playing.



Bandorr said:

Wow this whole thing reeks.
Sony has no problem releasing a ton of Single-player games... but Microsoft has problem funding them?

"Gamers want higher fidelity and they want higher resolution graphics." I'm surprised they didn't throw in "oh and did you see our X1X - it does just that".

edit: Also guess that means we will never see Quantum break 2.  That had to be super expensive with those factors actors.

Microsoft has a sad attitude in my opinion. I only play good singleplayer-games :) And games that have an incredible singleplayer inclusive a great multiplayer / online mode like Uncharted, Metal Gear Solid 3/4 and The Last of Us.

Nautilus said:
Oh please.What a load of bullshit.So how games like P 5 and Nier Automata can be already successful with 1 million unit sold?

Its simply a matter of budgeting your game right.Western studios either blow out of the proportion their budget in the development part or in the marketing.Or they just plain dosent know how to manage a project.

But being honest, the REAL reason why western studios are walking away from at the very least, single player focused games is because they cant charge extra with them, either by microtransactions or lootboxes.Its simply easier to make a multiplayer game and be done with it, then implementing a multiplayer in one game that already has a strong single player content(because these companies NEED to have microtransactions and the only way is through a multiplayer mode)

Its sad really.It also shows why MS is losing the war.

good singleplayer(&story)-games are very successful in the last years/months. Persona 5 was delivered over 1.8 million times. the new ip Horizon Zero Dawn sells in the life 6-7 million times. Bloodborne, Dark Souls 3, FF15 and many other titles have amazing sales figures. Uncharted 4 has ca 10 million units, i think. Even japanese games like Ni-Oh and Nier Automata well over a million.

Radek said:
Funny that much poorer Sony can release games like Uncharted, Horizon Zero Dawn, God Of War, Spiderman, Detroit Being Human, Day's Gone, The Last of Us 2 and more...
NawaiNey said:
I wonder how Sony is making God of War, Days Gone, Spider-Man, Detroit Become Human, The Last of Us 2, Death Stranding. These are all single player titles (some might have a multiplayer component, but it's not the focus) with cutting edge graphical fidelity and no doubt huge budgets.

One of the big reasons why many players do not want a xbox. And many nintendo-fans prefer a PS4, the reason is simple: The PS4 has a lot of singleplayer and multiplayer/online-games. The Xbox One does not -.- Added to this is the great support for japanese-games, jrpgs and anime-games on PS4. And what does Microsoft do ? Microsoft has delete games like "Scalebound", that makes the player angry.

My conclusion/thoughts: The next few years are very hard for Microsoft because they simply offer too few games for the players. And interesting is .. the new xbox one .. has for the people no meaning. Many PS4 exclusive games look better graphically than all xbox one-exclusives. (God of War, Last of Us 2, Death Stranding, Horizon Zero Dawn, Spiderman ect..)! MS has no desire, everything without love (in the last 4-5 years). Hard words, I know. But many people think so - even me.



Open World-Survival-Game for PlayStation 4, "Days Gone" in april :)

Games on a console are always risky, but a good service based game can make up for 10 failed game projects. In the industry there are "whales" that will buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of microtransactions.



Wright said:
Veknoid_Outcast said:

Does Microsoft realize you can make a single-player game with a modest budget and without cinematic pretensions?

They're the owners of Ori, which makes it all the more confusing that they're unable to realize it.

Exactly. + they helped several smaller, single-player focused games in the past as well like Sunset Overdrive and Re-core. Neither was a huge breakout, but I doubt anyone lost money on those.