Dishonored dev: single-player games still have an audience

Monday, 25th March 2013 22:12 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Dishonored co-director Harvey Smith thinks there’s plenty of room for all kinds of games, despite the oft-expressed belief that multiplayer shooters are the only game in town.

“What people say each cycle is, ‘Fill-in-the-blank is the new thing,’” Smith told GamesIndustry.

“If you’re old enough, you remember when it was live-action video games. At another point it was MMOs. At another it was social games. At another it was multiplayer shooters.

“None of those things are bad; they’re all great. But what the reality seems to be is we keep adding types of games and finding new player groups for those. The market seems to be expanding.”

The Arkane boss said that just because a new audience opens for a new genre doesn’t mean other kinds of games won’t succeed.

It seems like our attention focuses on the new thing, but in reality, there are still plenty of people that like a particular kind of game,” he said.

“Every time someone announces the death of the single-player game, something like The Sims or BioShock Infinite comes along and does different things well. So far we haven’t capped out.

“It’s not like DOTA fans are buying DOTA and not playing Skyrim, or buying Dishonored and therefore not buying Madden. I think there’s a bunch of different audience types and we haven’t even hit the limit yet.”

Elsewhere in the article Smith discusses feedback from fans wanting or deriding multiplayer, and publisher pressure to include multiplayer features.

Arkane’s last game, Dishonored, is purely single-player – and just about perfect, I reckon. Bethesda seemed pretty pleased with its sales, which would seem to prove Smith’s point.



  1. o0die

    I for one, hate most of the multiplayer games. Singleplayer still gives the best experience, easily! And I do feel the same, there is still a HUGE market for singleplayer games, just look at the succes of Torment (which is obviously thé best game ever made…) on kickstarter. You don’t get to 3mil without there being a fanbase for good singleplayer games!

    #1 2 years ago
  2. Mineral4r7s

    Did developers really believe that people only play one kind of game?

    #2 2 years ago
  3. _LarZen_

    I cant talk for everyone else but the day single player games are gone is the day I find a new hobby.

    #3 2 years ago
  4. Sanwiches

    Of course it does! It’s just not always 500000000000000 gamers all at once goddamn it.

    At least some are not blinded by money in their faces. YET.

    #4 2 years ago
  5. Jet Black

    There always will be a huge market for single player games, I just hate when multiplayer is unnecessarily shoehorned into single player games like Uncharted, Tomb Raider.

    #5 2 years ago
  6. Moonwalker1982

    Fucking hell there still is an audience for this, jesus. I for one still highly prefer singleplayer games over multiplayer and that will never change. For so many reasons, one being that i am much more calm and enjoying it when i’m playing a singleplayer. I suck at multiplayer games and i die a lot and thus i also shout and curse a lot and that’s not exactly enjoying a game. Singleplayer experiences are just much more fun. If singleplayer experiences ever go away…i’ll quit gaming.

    #6 2 years ago
  7. nollie4545

    Whilst I can agree with the sentiment that some games do not need a MP mode, I would not discourage devs from trying it out. Tomb raider MP is a nice idea, at least they tried. You can’t go saying MP is a waste of time always because you never know what game and formula might be spectacularly good.

    #7 2 years ago
  8. Dark

    @ 3 , 6 .. I agree!

    #8 2 years ago
  9. zinc

    If people still read books, there’s still a market for single-player.

    #9 2 years ago
  10. salarta

    The fact of the matter is that relying entirely on a popular model is stupid, because it’s always at best leaving your company in second or lower, and at worst making your company look cheap and entirely lacking in unique value and substance. New games are the path to greatness; they may technically be a gamble, but that gamble is why Mario, Guitar Hero, Call of Duty, etc all became big sellers. Sticking exclusively to popular models also puts the whole industry at risk, because eventually people get tired of the exact same experience every single time and may give up on video games entirely.

    #10 2 years ago
  11. Beta

    The day there’s no room for a single player game is the day I leave gaming. The only multiplayer game I have ever loved is Journey and that’s because of the simplicity. No lobbies, no chat, no usernames until the end of the game.

    Gaming is all about escapism for me (much the same as when I read a book) and I can’t possibly escape from the real world for a while and enjoy a good story if I’ve got some child in my ear shouting profanities involving my Mother or if the game is constantly pushing social crap and micro transactions my way.

    I’m fairly confident that multiplayer will never excite me.

    #11 2 years ago
  12. Vice

    Fuck any and all the kinds of multiplayer. Single player games are real gaming and real fun, not grinding for gear for months, while proving to be “worthy” to be taken to a good guild or even a pug. Nor are shooters with everyone looking same, racing for “who gets better weapon — wins”. As above poster as soon as single player games are dead, I’m leaving gaming also. I can find myself enough other hobbies if I’ll have to…

    #12 2 years ago
  13. OwnedWhenStoned

    I know I’m going to sound like an old fart here, but the multiplayer audience has changed – and not for the better. I used to spend alot of my gaming time online – BF2, Unreal Tournament, COD 3 etc – but now I don’t.

    Way too many cheaters, griefers and general asshats to make it enjoyable.

    And there seems to be no moderation at all.

    At least when you had private servers (remember them?) you occasionally had a moderator on at the time to try and keep the game running smoothly.

    #13 2 years ago

Comments are now closed on this article.