I'm sure many people would disagree.
Breath of the Wild, Super Mario Odyssey, Horizon: Zero Dawn, God of War, all singleplayer titles released within the last 16 months, and all of them critically acclaimed and heading towards 10m+ units sold.
Multiplayer focussed/only Games can be absolutely massive (pubg, fortnite, overwatch, league of legends). But for every one that attempts it tens of games never reach success.
The past year has shown, that incredible Single Player experiences are still HIGHLY sought after and can achieve dizzying success.
"Singleplayer games > Multiplayer games. End of Story" - just like your statement, this is of zero value.
To be fair the same thing applies to single player games. You can list all the massively hyped and well received ones that sold/will sell 10 million+, but for each of those there’s “tens of games” that don’t reach that success. And it’s not like Microsoft is alone in shifting primary focus to GaaS. Most major publishers are doing/have done the same thing. Just like when it comes to charging for online play, Nintendo and Sony will get there eventually. Sony’s first party output has been very safe this gen imho. The biggest risk they’ve taken so far is Horizon, but its not really a risk if you’re checking all the boxes your typical open world game needs to have. I mean it is basically an Ubisoft game design wise. Days Gone is a zombie game but they’re making it narrative driven, I have no doubts it will be similar to the Uncharted/LoU/GoW/Horizon formula they’re using for all their big games now.
I love Bethesda because they still focus on delivering SP games that appeal to me, but most of them don’t end up selling well, even though they are good games.
Every year shows there’s still a demand for good SP games. People seem to have this idea that Microsoft thinks SP games are dead. When someone posted that God of War had huge sales numbers people started posting Phil Spencer quotes about how SP success is not consistent, as if a SP game having huge sales proves him wrong or something. Questioning the impact of SP games as a whole does not mean zero will ever have big success or that the market is dead. It just means they might shift focus to other areas. It’s where the industry is headed.
Good post, and I mostly agree with what you said. Though I will address the first line. While yes there's many single player games that don't achieve success, I think there's a reason that can allow more Single Player games to achieve large success than multiplayer ones.
Multiplayer games is all about pulling as many users into your grasp as possible, and holding them hostage, keeping them playing your game for as long as possible, instead of going to someone elses. Making them spend as much money on whatever additional content you provide.
Whereas singleplayer games are just fired out into the mix, purchased and played from anywhere to 20-100 hours, then they move on to another title, rather than literally thousands some people spend with multiplayer titles.
The very nature of Multiplayer Games as an ongoing service makes it harder for them to succeed. While Singleplayer games, you really only have to worry about competing titles for the month of their release, multiplayer titles are constantly competing for attention for as long as they exist.
Overwatch is going to be consuming peoples time for years to come, stopping them from spending that time with other games. But GoW for example isn't going to be detracting from other games sales for very long at all.