reader discussion

Is Multiplayer A Requirement For New Games?

by Phil Kollar on Jul 14, 2010 at 12:30 PM

With the growth of online multiplayer as a major force on consoles this generation, we've seen a new issue pop up in the industry: Are developers required to put a multiplayer mode in their games?

Obviously developers don't need to do anything, but more and more often it seems like superfluous multiplayer is being added into a game where single-player is the clear focus. We saw this earlier in this generation with games like Condemned 2, and this year we've seen it in such titles as BioShock 2 and Singularity. You could even point to titles such as Grand Theft Auto IV and Red Dead Redemption. Rockstar was perfectly happy keeping its open-world games as solo experiences last generation, but this time around the developer feels the need to put in extensive online support as well.

I'm not saying these unexpected multiplayer additions always suck, but sometimes they seem like an afterthought. And other times, they surprise us and genuinely extend the life of shorter single-player games.

So what's your take? Are you more inclined to buy a game if it has a multiplayer mode of some sort, even if single-player is still the main course? Do you think that adding multiplayer ends up making publishers more money? Or could the resources spent on those modes be better put toward adding content to a single-player experience? Let us know in the comments.