Gibeau: “I still passionately believe in single-player games”

Wednesday, 5 September 2012 23:55 GMT By Brenna Hillier

EA Labels boss Frank Gibeau has clarified earlier comments about not green lighting single-player games, re-establishing the publisher’s support for the solo experience.

Speaking at a Cloud Gaming USA Conference Q&A, Gibeau had said that in recent times he had “not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience”. In a follow-up interview with Kotaku, the executive said he didn’t mean that a game has to have multiplayer components to be financed by EA – but it does not to have some connectivity plan in place.

“You can have a very deep single-player game but it has to have an ongoing content plan for keeping customers engaged beyond what’s on the initial disc. I’m not saying deathmatch must come to Mirror’s Edge,” he said.

“What I’m saying is if you’re going do it, do it with an open-world game that’s a connected experience where you can actually see other players, you can co-operate, you can compete and it can be social. Everything that we do, we see the telemetry coming in telling us that’s the best way to build our business and that’s the best way to build these experiences and be differentiated from others.”

Although he said games now need to be socially connected, Gibeau noted that The Simks, Sim City, Mass Effect and FIFA can all be played in single-player modes and players can opt out of their social side if they so choose.

“I still passionately believe in single-player games and think we should build them. What I was trying to suggest with my comments was that we move our company from being a packaged goods, fire-and-forget business to a digital business that has a service component to it,” he said.

“That should not be misunderstood as the death of single-player games, or single-player experiences or telling stories. Narrative is what separates good games from bad games. Or great from good, even.”