Pitchford: Multiplayer features should not be forced into games

Tuesday, 5 April 2011 17:57 GMT By John Callaham

Some games are well suited for multiplayer and some are not, according to Gearbox Software head man Randy Pitchford; and those that aren’t shouldn’t have online options forced upon them by publishers.

Speaking to Edge Pitchford said: “You have people that want co-op and competitive, and players who want to immerse themselves in deep fiction. But the concept has to speak to that automatically; it can’t be forced. That’s the problem.”

Pitchford called out the Dead Space series as an example of a single-player game experience that got an unnecessary multiplayer mode.

“It’s ceiling-limited; it’ll never do 20 million units,” he said. “The best imaginable is a peak of 4-5 million units if everything works perfectly in your favour. So the bean counters go: ‘How do I get a higher ceiling?’ And they look at games that have multiplayer.”

Pitchford said that kind  of attitude from game publishers doesn’t work, adding that those companies should become “comfortable with the ceiling, and get as close to the ceiling as possible. Put in whatever investment’s required to focus it on what the promise is all about.”

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