Shadows of the Damned director Massimo Guarini reckons there's still a place for single-player-only games in the current market that places much heavier focus on multiplayer elements than ever before.
In an era when games are expected to have vast multiplayer modes as standard, a single-player-only game can find itself the victim of criticism and disappointing sales - even if the single-player offering is essentially high-quality. Shadows of the Damned and Epic's Bulletstorm (which apparently made no money at all for Epic) are to recent cases in point.
But Guarini, who has left Grasshopper since Shadows of the Damned's release to form his own studio 'Ovosonico', says there's still a place for single-player games. "In my opinion, single-player-only games are nowhere close to being doomed," he told GameSpot.
"The problem rather lies in how they're produced, through which channels are sold, and at which price points. I can't see in any way a single-player experience being less engaging or interesting because of the absence of multiplayer. Instead, I can definitely see how players who pay 60 or 70 bucks for a game can be quite sensitive to the lack of additional features that can justify their investment."
Guarini believes the survival of these games depends on massive changes in the way the modern games business works. "Once again, the business model must evolve. We're still selling at incredibly high price points because we're still operating like we were five years ago, with just higher production costs. Instead of changing our perspectives, we're still struggling to pack games with features, extras, bonuses, achievements, in order to barely justify that price tag, which is given by excessively high development and licensing costs. We must learn our lesson from the huge, epic failure the music industry is still suffering nowadays for not being able to adapt to the digital Revolution," he said.
Can we get an amen?