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Prince of Persia producer: Harrison’s wrong about single-player games

Friday, 30th May 2008 15:13 GMT By Patrick Garratt

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Prince of Persia producer Ben Mattes reckons Atari head Phil Harrison’s got it wrong when he says unconnected, single-player games are on the way out. Well he would, wouldn’t he.

“I read that, and I don’t totally agree,” Mattes told Eurogamer. “I know where he’s coming from – I certainly see a lot of the industry moving in the direction of more community, more multiplayer, that sort of stuff.

“But in my opinion, there are things you can do in a carefully crafted single-player game – experiences you can create, emotions you can elicit and magnitudes of engaging the player – that you’re not going to reproduce in the uncontrolled environment of multiplayer.

“For some time yet, there’s going to be a market of people who say, ‘You know what, pander to me. Suck me into your world and just make me believe. I don’t want to be distracted by griefers and high scores, and dealing with the stuff not everybody loves about multiplayer games.’ I do think there is still a significant market there.”

Good interview there, from Ubidays yesterday. Have a read.

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6 Comments

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  1. Robo_1

    Totally agree. I think it’s great that multiplayer experiences are growing more mature and feature rich, but a single player game is always going to be able to provide it’s own unique experiences.

    I don’t like the idea of constantly having to rely on a “community” to play a game, sometimes I just want to shut off the world and shoot aliens, without my actions being relied on by anyone else.

    #1 6 years ago
  2. Blerk

    I’m starting to like Ubisoft again. :-)

    #2 6 years ago
  3. G1GAHURTZ

    The problem is that there’s a load more money to be made in the future multiplayer experience.

    New maps, game items, skins, subscriptions, microtransactions, etc, etc.

    Developers can tell who’s playing their game, what modes they choose, how they play, what times, etc.

    These sort of things are very difficult to do with single player games.

    I think that it might not be a case of what gamers want, but more a case of what developers and publishers are prepared to come up with in order to compete in a cut-throat industry.

    #3 6 years ago
  4. Dr.Haggard

    Well said that man.

    Personally I’d had my fill of multiplayer by the late 90s after years of Doom and Quake et al. Things have progressed a lot since those days of course, but even now I still prefer a straight deathmatch to anything else, and even then it’s just a bit of fun as a temporary distraction from single player games.

    Co-op is another matter and is obviously a huge draw for a lot of people, but I’ve never really enjoyed it that much. I just want to lose myself in a game world and progress at my own pace, as Robo_1 said above “without my actions being relied on by anyone else.”

    #4 6 years ago
  5. Blerk

    But equally, story-driven games are particularly difficult to expand into multi-player experiences.

    There’s plenty of room in the industry for both models – especially when you consider that half the ‘extra money’ things you listed can equally apply to a single-player game.

    The death of single-player gaming has been greatly exaggerated.

    #5 6 years ago
  6. Michael

    Think about Grand Theft Auto 4 for a second.

    Sure its has a fun multiplayer mode, but imagine if that’s all GTA IV was? What kind of game would it be if it wasn’t a single player game at its core? Sure the multplayer is great, but its not like the game *needed* it to be such a huge success.

    The moral of the story?

    Harrison really knows how to talk crap sometimes.

    #6 6 years ago