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Multiplayer as default mode will increase in popularity, says Jade Raymond

Monday, 5th August 2013 10:55 GMT By Dave Cook

Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond has discussed the intimidating nature of creating a new, innovative multiplayer experience going into next-gen, and has predicted that multiplayer as a game’s default mode will likely increase in popularity as the industry marches on.

Speaking with Digital Spy, Raymond suggested that innovation on next-gen formats could give rise to narrative-heavy multiplayer modes with more NPCs on screen at one time.

She explained, “Let’s say a game where instead of having crowds where there are a hundred of them, what if there are 1,000 in the street, and you really feel that, and they’re acting intelligently. To me, it’s all about the gameplay experience and how there’s stuff we’re doing in terms of investment and performance that isn’t just about cinematics and cutscenes.

“It’s how that performance that makes sense and enriches the experience in a multiplayer context, where you’re not even watching a cinematic, but it’s performance of your character and the other characters being played by people, right?

“If you think of it now, for example, you could be playing multiplayer games and you could be like, ‘Oh crap, what’s going on? Let’s go hide there!’ or whatever you’re saying, and your character is just still walking on or whatever.”

Raymond added that multiplayer, as a default mode is going to increase in popularity” down the line, but cautioned that in order for this to work online play needs to cater to all skill levels, not just the hardcore regulars.

She concluded, “I think the key is how do we make those games appeal to a broader audience. I think a lot of them are intimidating to people, unless you’re an amazing first-person shooter player, you probably don’t want to go online for most of those games and even try them.

“Maybe that’s not something that a lot of people are thinking about, but to me, if all these games are online now by default or that’s the primary mode, then how do we make sure they’re still enjoyable for different people?”

How indeed. Let us know how you think this issue could be tackled below.

Thanks OXM.

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26 Comments

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  1. Ekona

    I couldn’t think of anything that would turn me away from gaming quicker than if MP was the default status for games. It already is for most FPS games which is why I no longer play that particular genre (shame, as I used to adore anything and everything FPS), but if that started creeping in to all others…

    *shudder*

    #1 8 months ago
  2. Krisgebis

    @1: So why not just play that games that have a great singleplayer experience (regardless if they are “mainly” multiplayer games or not?

    #2 8 months ago
  3. Ekona

    @2: That’s exactly what I do, but all the big names (looking straight at CoD) no longer offer decent SP gaming as all the budget is spent developing the MP side of things, as that’s all the masses care about. Nowt wrong with that, but I won’t spend £40 on a game that’s had 4 hours of work put into it by the work experience boy and lasts a fraction over 17 mins. ;)

    The last great set of FPS games that are mainly SP over MP is the Bioshock series, and I’ve yet to play the most recent one.

    #3 8 months ago
  4. cw5th

    I’m thinking that they(Ubisoft, EA, etc.) are trying to force us into this hybrid SP/MP stuff to make the majority into MP fans.

    All the SP Fans won’t sell their game as fast because the’re hooked into the MP formula.

    I think they do this willingly and really don’t care about what their audience wants.

    The Crew, The Devision, etc. are testgames and just like Kinect they’ll try to force MP.

    I just hope that it’ll bomb like Kinect AAA Coregmes.

    #4 8 months ago
  5. redwood

    @4 MP is here to stay, as for AAA MP experience, well not much can be said and a lot many games have to be made before deciding whether people like MP as much to buy it in so many different flavors.

    I mean what’s the overlap between COD MP fans and pretty much the rest of gaming? Can these new titles take away a piece of the pie from the The MP juggernauts such as COD , LOL and WOW.. dunno. but rest assured MP is only gonna grow in the short term future.

    #5 8 months ago
  6. viralshag

    MP gaming is the future. There’s still a place for a good SP story sure but I think some gamers are just bored with it. I know I am.

    I just want to see more co-op going forward. More games like Payday 2 (which is actually pretty good) and ME3 MP. I think games like Destiny, The Division and other MMOs on the consoles are only going to push this idea of more MP forward even more.

    #6 8 months ago
  7. cw5th

    @ 5:

    Some Gamers are bored with it?

    That’s exactly what some Gamers think about MP Games. I can’t stand to just play the same thing over and over again for ours without a story, etc. If i would like that stuff then i could play Mario Bros. Games over and over again. Allways the same…

    I’m not saying that MP Games are bad(i had fun with some for a few hours) but i don’t see the need for publishers to make the majority of games into SP/MP stuff.

    Just look at the crappy MPs of Tomb Raider, The Darkness, Ridick, etc. of course sometimes they get it right(Uncharted, The Last of us, etc) but why has everything be MP in the future?

    If they make it like GTAV then i’m ok with it but to make two seperate things into one just for the sake of it is the wrong way imo.

    #7 8 months ago
  8. The_Red

    “narrative-heavy multiplayer”
    Now that’s an oxymoron if I ever saw one. Those that want narrative heavy games, tend to enjoy them by THEMSELVES while the fans of multiplayer (As seen in COD), are interested in different stuff.

    Imagine a “narrative-heavy multiplayer” about a dying child where half the players are tea bagging the other half.

    #8 8 months ago
  9. viralshag

    @7, But that’s SP games with MP tacked on. There’s quite a bit of difference between that and a game that was built as MP from the ground up.

    #9 8 months ago
  10. cw5th

    @ 8: Exactly

    Take Watch Dogs as example.

    They say that the player won’t even realise that there’re other real life players in the Game World…

    I really hope that there’s something stopping some clown to just drive a truck into pedestrians while i walk to the next objective.

    That’s a horiffic scene in my view. When i want to play with others i will, don’t force it just for the hope of more cashflow.

    Imagine The Last of us with other real people… I don’t want to hear other people calling Joel Gay or that Ellies ass is migthy fine, etc.

    #10 8 months ago
  11. cw5th

    9: But that’s the problem.

    If this new Sp/MP style is succesful then it will be the new “form” every big publisher will try to emulate.

    It could lead to such crappy designchoices like the pay 2 win crap in Dead Space 3.

    I don’t wnt that in my SP Games and i’m fairly sure the MP crowd doesn’t want that happening to their games either…

    If a Game is planned from the get go to be SP/MP… fine. But don’t make everything into this new style just because it makes people hold on to their newly bought game for 2 days longer.

    #11 8 months ago
  12. viralshag

    @11, We’ll have to agree to disagree on this. I think it offers a lot more options for some new dynamic gameplay.

    #12 8 months ago
  13. Demigod

    Also SP/mp hybrid would allow tying copies of the game, digital and physical disc(cdkey etc), to a user account cutting the second hand sales.

    #13 8 months ago
  14. Ekona

    I would personally rather a publisher put out three separate versions of the game, one SP, one MP and one dual SP&MP, and price accordingly. At least then I wouldn’t be paying for half a game I have no intention of playing, and they’d at least get some money from me.

    Clearly not doable at a retail level, but surely this is possible via digital distribution? £25 for SP or MP, and then £40 for the combined version.

    But then, I guess they’d lose some from those folks that are hooked on the MP and care not a jot for the SP side, which is probably the majority at a guess.

    #14 8 months ago
  15. cw5th

    @13:

    And that’s exactly what i think is the real reason behind this newly found interest in Mp Gaming.

    Allways on consoles didn’t fly with the cusomers? Then we’re making allways on games.

    Fuck the customers, we’re here to make money.

    There’re interviews with Developers(without their real names of course) where they talk bluntly about the whole microtransaction stuff and that it’s mandated from the higher ups. Some devs even were forced to lie in interviews and sell it as their own idea and that they really think it’s the new land of milk and honey.

    I hope that it’S not like that this time around but i severly doubt it…

    #15 8 months ago
  16. Kerrig

    I don’t understand why the industry thinks, that tacking on MP on SP games is a great idea. Most recently Batman: Arkham Origins.
    It’s the third game in a succesful franchise. I don’t have a problem with the MP itself, but why put it into something that is known for great SP.

    The MP-part is produced by another studio, so why couldn’t it be a standalone game. They could sell the MP seperatly as a digital only game. Give us the MP-game as an preorder gift and then sell it for €5 to €10 on the store.

    The same goes for other franchises like Assassin’s Creed or Mass Effect. I think the MP-part of these games could stand their own ground as a stand alone game and you wouldn’t have to release a new MP-part every time a new main game comes out.

    #16 8 months ago
  17. cw5th

    @ 16:

    Because you’re done with the SP in 2 – 14 Days and then many will sell the game used which maens someone isn’t buying the game new and the Pubs loose money.

    With a nice Mp more people will hold on to the game for a longer time an the used market is much smaler and the pubs sell more new games(at least that’s what they’re hoping(telling themself)).

    SP/MP hybrids won’t change that for Gamers like me. There’s a MP? Ok i’ll try it. 1 Day later.. done. And of to the used market you go.

    #17 8 months ago
  18. YoungZer0

    I’m so sick and tired of developers being out of touch with their consumers.

    I do not want MP in my SP. I simply do not want that. I completed Demon’s/Dark Souls without any help and without anyone hijacking my game. I didn’t miss a thing.

    Keep the modes separate.

    The end.

    #18 8 months ago
  19. viralshag

    @15, Newly found interest in MP gaming? You mean other than the fact that MP games are probably the best selling games around?

    #19 8 months ago
  20. Hirmetrium

    Truely engaging, well made singleplayer games are few and far between nowadays. There is also still a shocking lack of co-op uptake, and my most fondest memories are playing games in co-op.

    I feel like this hybrid model is only going to fail sooner or later. Effort should be made to make either a solid, well crafted single player game (like Skyrim) or an exceptional set-piece of multiplayer teamwork like Planetside 2.

    Experiences like Halo: ODST are defintely needed too. More of that atmospheric cooperative single player adventure devs, not this shitty Ubisoft halfass singleplayer so we can stick MP and map packs on it.

    #20 8 months ago
  21. deathm00n

    People who is seeing this concept of an hybrid MP/SP as something bad clearly never played Demon’s/Dark Souls. It’s one of the most refreshing experiences of the gen. I really don’t mind if the future involve more games with seamless transition from SP to MP like the Souls series. Sure, we will see some horrible things in the begining. Games that don’t need multiplayer but have it in the SP campaign will be all over the place. But when the developers reach a level where they can see what will work and what won’t, we will not even remember the complains. Example: I knew a lot of people who were against analog sticks in controllers. It was hard in the begining (Medal of Honor comes to mind, the D-Pad was easier to use than the analog), some awful controller schemes, but look at it now. Can you imagine yourself still playing with a D-Pad?

    #21 8 months ago
  22. sebastien rivas

    Given the choice of single player and multiplayer, I always start single player.

    As gamer, I like and prefer to be given the choice, not to be dictated what’s cool and what’s not!

    Cheer everyone :)

    #22 8 months ago
  23. fearmonkey

    When I was younger I was all about Multiplayer, and as I got older I enjoy single player more.

    If games like Skyrim are considered “Best” of a generation, then single player is going nowhere. I like games that tell a story, where the story is written around the character. While MMO’s can do that, it’s just not the same.

    I would rather not see the industry go all multiplayer, especially as it’s defualt mode.

    #23 8 months ago
  24. Biscuitpants

    am surprised she didnt say “any form of climbing is the future of gaming’

    #24 8 months ago
  25. Vice

    F**k off with your multiplayer, godf*cking dammit! Majority of people prefer SP, stop shoving mp down our throats, it’s NOT f*cking happening! You’ll only lose people, not everyone is a 15 yo socialf*g straight out of facebook!!

    #25 8 months ago
  26. polygem

    it´s exactly the attitude i don´t like about some mainstream game devs. it´s lazy thinking and extremely shortsighted. it´s just marketing/business analysis blabla that washed their brains too. adding mp is not really innovating, it´s just thinking about, how can i avoid players selling my product. while this is legit it´s also extremely short sighted and narrow minded to come up with mp and online passes as the only solution. if you make an outstanding sp game that offers a lot of replay value and just is a great game you will fall in love with (a lot of nintendo games do exactly that, plants vs zombies is another great example, demons souls too) people will keep it.
    you have to truly push gamedesign forward by creative and innovative gameplay mechanics. ALL THE TIME. fucking hard job, sure. but that IS the job they have.
    demons souls is a very good example for mp in a sp game done right. sure, stuff like this is great but to me, what she just said sounds like a lazy excuse not to think out of the box anymore.

    …i think i really need to pick up a freaking wiiu again.
    where the hell are we heading to in gaming? it´s embarassing, thx nintendo and thx indies…seriously, without them it´ll be pretty boring.

    #26 8 months ago