For a while now, people in suits who carry clipboards – and seem to have no real passion for games – have insisted that single player gaming is dead, and that all games need some sort of online multiplayer to perform well at retail. It’s because of these people that we got needlessly shoehorned in to sublime single-player experiences, like in Dead Space 2, The Darkness and even Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect.
I think Skyrim’s performance at retail shows just the opposite.
The RPG, according to analysts, is expected to generate more than $450 million in global retail sales from a launch stock of 7 million units. More than half that stock was sold within the games first two days at retail says Bethesda, who says it’s been receiving "large reorders" from "major retailers" in North America, Europe and Australia.
Bethesda’s Todd Howard said of the game: "Without a doubt, this has been our most ambitious project ever. After over three years of development, we’re finally excited to get it into everyone’s hands."
And it has not a single trace of multiplayer. In fact, it’s set the Steam record for concurrent players, easily besting multiplayer focused games like Modern Warfare 3 and Battlefield 3. Can publishers finally realise that people are more than happy to keep playing single player games if they’re good, and if you’re spending even a single staff member on tacked on multiplayer, you’re decreasing the chances of your game actually being worthwhile. Bethesda’s own Pete Hine’s said it best in interview earlier this year.
“If you’re doing it just to check a box or because every other publisher says you’ve got to have multiplayer, then just drop it, don’t bother, it’s a waste of time, a giant distraction and it’ll make for a worse overall game.”
“We want the best game possible. If that’s a singleplayer game that’s 15 to 20 hours, then make that! Don’t waste your time on features that don’t make the game better.”
While we’re on the subject of horrible things publishers have insisted on, do any of YOU recall having to input an included code to unlock some dungeon that second hand purchasers would have to pay money for? Yeah, me neither.