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Gogogic CEO believes single-player games need to offer something “very appealing” otherwise, they’re “gimmicks”

Friday, 26th October 2012 21:52 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Gogogic CEO Jonas Antonsson believes single-player games need to offer the player something “very appealing” otherwise, single-payer games become nothing more than “gimmicks” in a multiplayer world.

Speaking with A List Daily, Antonsson, who heads up the independent games studio based out of Reykjavik, Iceland, believes games are meant to be played with others, and were designed as such from the onset.

“The single player mechanic is a gimmick – games are meant to be played with others and it doesn’t matter if it’s in-person or online,” he said. “The first games were designed as multiplayer experiences, but when computer and console games became a thing there was a need to construct an antagonist and/or a protagonist for commercial purposes,” he continued. You couldn’t depend on people coming together to have a synchronous experience over a game. That would have simply stifled sales. And since there was no reasonable way to connect people in other ways – the arcade was the only serious attempt – it became an industry need to project the game as the other player.

“Playing a game is a multiplayer activity and can easily be seen as such when you watch young toddlers play by themselves. They invent someone to play with, someone that they talk to and interact with.

“But now we can connect people in and around a game through real time PvP and PvE mechanics and the need for pure single-player games had gone down. We have multiple plots and stories and build the meta-experience for the entire audience. The premise for making games has changed – reverted back to building multiplayer experiences that are true to the game form.”

Antonsson said this doesn’t mean there isn’t room for “great single-player titles,” citing DayZ, Dark Souls and other “games that make you sweat and curse every couple of minutes.”

“It means that those titles have to be very appealing and cater well to the hardcore audience,” Antonsson said. “So games that drive you crazy can be excellent because they are well designed, not because that’s what games are supposed to do or how they should always work.”

Thanks, GI International.

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29 Comments

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  1. hitnrun

    …what?

    EDIT: Does anyone else’s logical faculties translate “something very appealing” to mean, basically, a gimmick? Because that would be ironic.

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Clupula

    I don’t think I could disagree with this guy more.

    #2 2 years ago
  3. OlderGamer

    Instead of gimmick he should have used the word Niche.

    I believe the weak internet experience has held a lot of markets back from fully embracing OMP. No, not everything has to be a FPS CoD experience, there are lot of MP focused games that are out there. And to an extent I agree with the stance, sp games are fading.

    But they are not a gimmick, they just aren’t as popular(or lucrative) as they once were. Companies now want us to buy maps packs, DLC “expansions”, or pay to play via microtransactions. A self contained single player experience doesn’t have the same opertunites to sell post purchase goodies the same way a CoD, EA Sports games, or even a f2p game does.

    #3 2 years ago
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    #4 2 years ago
  5. Clupula

    @3 – I disagree. There are MANY opportunities for single player DLC. They’re just not as easy to create. Disgaea 3 & 4 EACH have about $60 worth of extra characters and DLC chapters and costumes and other modes to sell as DLC. This gen’s two Fallout games put out how much DLC? What were the big deals for GTA IV’s DLC? No one cared about the multiplayer aspects of those.

    Companies can still get the extra money they want from single player experiences.

    Personally, I dislike multiplayer for the most part, unless it’s in fighting games. I’m having a good time with Resident Evil 6′s co-op and before that Borderlands, but those games are the exception, not the rule for me. Yes, there are millions of people who buy the COD games just for the multiplayer, but there are also millions who don’t, who are really a great untapped market at the moment.

    It’s just that if you want people to keep paying money for single player content, you’ve got to be more creative about it than just making a map pack and letting everybody play in that.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Lord Gremlin

    The most dumb and ridiculous statement I’ve heard this year. There’s a huge demographic that just don’t touches multiplayer and hates when it’s in the game.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. OrbitMonkey

    .It’s a valid point, some of the oldest games in the world are PvP… But it’s also a core part of human nature to invent stories for our games.

    When I watch kids play (in a totally none pedo way) I see them inventing characters & storylines, not rules & keeping score.

    Humans love stories more than competition, so guys can keep trying to push the PvP nature, theirs defo a market for it, but theirs always going to be a big market for SP
    Gimmick not necessary, just a good story. Or the freedom to create our own.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Beta

    “A multiplayer world” What a depressing statement.

    I Never play multiplayer games and I’m perfectly happy Mr Antonsson. The only multiplayer game I’ve ever enjoyed is Journey and I hate it when perfectly decent SP games have a multiplayer mode tacked on. Words can’t express how much I disagree with this man.

    #8 2 years ago
  9. Old MacDonald

    Not having to play with other people is very appealing.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. _LarZen_

    Strange….for me multiplayer in most games is the gimmick…

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Da Man

    Humans love stories more than competition
    That’s one of the biggest bs I’ve read in a while. Even more so when applied to computer entertainment. You confuse humans with deprived people who ‘d rather play versus pattern based AI.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. OrbitMonkey

    ^ Your free to disagree, though labelling people who do enjoy SP videogames as deprived isn’t very nice is it?

    #12 2 years ago
  13. OlderGamer

    I stand behind what I said. Tho Cupula has some good points. Bethesdia makes some of the strongest SP experiences(and best selling) of this gen. They also infuse some compeling and strong DLC opertunities. In a sense you could say they are a great templet for other companies to follow.

    But I still say that market is shrinking. Which is why I say Niche. SP is becoming less of a focus and I think will indeed be a Niche demographic. I don’t think it will go anywhere. But I think OMP will continue to eclispe SP going forward.

    But calling sp a gimmick is just plan insulting.

    #13 2 years ago
  14. OrbitMonkey

    To say the SP market is drying up, is just buying into dev hype tho. “Nobody buys SP anymore!”

    Oh, that’s why Skyrim & Minecraft are doing so well. That’s why GTA 5 is getting folks excited, the MP!

    CoD 4, a fan favorite, in no small part to its story, Halo , another fave, apparently has a great story… No, has no impact at all!

    Team Fortress, a very long running MP only shooter… With a huge amount of character back story & comedy vids out by valve…

    Just sayin, story matters.

    #14 2 years ago
  15. OlderGamer

    Minecraft is a multiplayer game, with zero story.

    And I am not advocating that SP is dying or will be gone all together. But if you think that Devs are pushing MP, you have to ask yourself why? Why would they do that? And in truth Devs alone don’t determine where the market goes, consumers do.

    #15 2 years ago
  16. viralshag

    I actually agree with him. I think he could have worded it better though.

    #16 2 years ago
  17. UuBuU

    I’m more of an online gamer, but I love a wide variety single-player games as well for a more casual gaming experience.

    What I think gaming needs are more games that are either exclusively single-player or exclusively multiplayer; not both. Single player only feels like a “gimmick” to me when it’s tacked onto a game which should really only be multiplayer. Likewise, multiplayer only becomes a gimmick when it’s tacked onto a game where single-player should be the main focus.

    #17 2 years ago
  18. Dragon246

    Mp sells more dlc.
    Mp sells online passes.
    Mp stops used sales (to an extent)
    So mp is definitely the future.
    I don’t like this future.
    SP will always remain my preferred way for video games. Although I can understand where the dev is coming from and why people like mp.

    #18 2 years ago
  19. OrbitMonkey

    huh, I thought Minecraft was SP, but you could swop & share maps online? Didn’t realize it had a MP co-op or PvP? My bad I guess.

    But to your point about consumers pushing for MP… I don’t think they are tbh. Publishers are sure. They’d all like to deliver the next CoD… But that’s the thing. Consumers only need the one online shooter, the one online racer, the one online sportsgame.

    They’ll buy ten or more different SP games throughout the year, but only tie themselves down to one or two MP heavy games.

    #19 2 years ago
  20. TMRNetShark

    HAHAH, Google… XCOM…

    I am done.

    #20 2 years ago
  21. OlderGamer

    I agree with ya Orbit on players needing only one of each genere for Online games. In most cases. Of course that will likely que the guy(s) on this site that own all of the OMP shooters and claim they play them all equaly. But in truth if you prefer BF over CoD, likly you won’t purchase both franchises every year.

    As far as gamers buying SP games in a year over MP ones, that is why the publishers put out DLC and “Season/Online” passes. To make up for what they view as lost revenue. If two gens ago you bought 3 games and put 30 hours into each, they sold you 3 games, but now if you buy one CoD and put 100hours into it, they think that have lost two game sales. So that is why game like CoD(or Madden, or BF) cost 60usd at the store and have 50usd extras to purchase. Your game costs 110usd.

    The samething is true for consoles/platforms. Esp true with Xbox360. Most of its tops sellers are online games. People tend to put more hours into MP online games then sp ones. There for MS doesn’t make as much from liscening fees(that they collect everytime a new game is sold). So again, in MS eyes they lose money. How do they counter that? First they introduced(Mechassult, xbox one) and promoted DLC, and more importantly they charge users a Xbox Live Gold fee to play online.

    But all of that is mute if consumers don’t buy Online MP games. And of course they do. We all vote with our wallets. And millions of folks every year votes for CoD, Halo, BF, EA Sports, Forza, NFS, Etc. Even the sales of some of the more SP focused gems that Sony cranks out like the UC games(which, ofc also have MP tacked on) don’t match the numbers of the other games that focus on MP.

    Like I said consumers control where the market goes. And there is also an economic catilist here too, if I can get 400hours of play out of one game and only 15-30 out of another, which one gives me the most value for my money? Gamers today might not have the same amount of cash to spend as they used to. I know I used to have a 400usd a month game budget a couple gens back. Now I rent, buy arcade/indie games, pounce on Steam sales, and buy only a handfull of new retail games each year. I bet lots of other folks are looking for as many hours as they can get out of their games too.

    #21 2 years ago
  22. OrbitMonkey

    Yeah i’m agreeing with you there OG… But i’m more of the opinion that consumers are being shepherded into the MP in everything, rather than choosing themselves.

    Obviously its for the reasons you state… Its just a shame to think that we’ll need a console kickstarter in the future if we want decent SP :/

    #22 2 years ago
  23. SlayerGT

    Whatever Dishonored does in sales, is what every publisher should expect from their game..and that’s being kind.

    #23 2 years ago
  24. OlderGamer

    You know where I find some of the best SP experiences Orbit? Nintendo (3)DS. Lots of really strong, story focused games that take me back a couple of gens. Sort of retro games with modern sensibilities. I have been playing a friends 3DS and can’t wait to score my own XL version.

    #24 2 years ago
  25. Edo

    Who is this guy again?

    #25 2 years ago
  26. OrbitMonkey

    @24, I just knew you’d bring it round to Ninty! :)

    #26 2 years ago
  27. ududy

    Games are not “meant to be played with others”. That’s just nonsense, a way to define “games” that fits with the speaker’s business. The concept covers a very wide – and growing – variety of activities, some suitable for social play and some not.

    Sometimes you want to go play soccer with your pals, or go drinking with them – it doesn’t mean that you also want them around you when reading a book or tinkering with some hobby.

    #27 2 years ago
  28. Erthazus

    Singleplayer will always exist. As long as there are Valve or Bioshock/System shock creators or Rockstar there will be always a singleplayer stuff.

    Multiplayer is not the future. Multiplayer right now is big because console gamers never experienced it in the past.
    I experienced my first multiplayer in 90s on my PC. This multiplayer shit soon is going to end like it was in the start of 2004s and when consoles started to have decent popularity.

    Next gen will have singleplayer games, multiplayer games, some of the consoles will start to offer MMO games in the end. It’s already started with DC Universe Online, DUST 514 or Dragon Quest.

    #28 2 years ago
  29. Da Man

    I experienced my first multiplayer when I was five, played it via imaginary modem on a non existing internet in Magadan.

    I also bought a Mac in 80s, I swear it cost about as much as a Raduga TV set.

    #29 2 years ago