Dyack: Multiplayer surge due to used game sales “hurting the single-player experience”

By Stephany Nunneley, Saturday, 28 May 2011 17:32 GMT

Silicon Knights boss Denis Dyack believes the surge in games with a large multiplayer component is due to developers and publishers trying to combat used game sales.

Speaking with Industry Gamers, Dyack said the push in multiplayer is not because the firm’s don’t want to create a single-player experience, but that instead it’s just a matter of economics.

“What’s really happening now is people are starting to say ‘why is everyone pushing towards multiplayer?’ Because the used game sales are hurting the single player experience so much, they’re being forced in because of the economics, not because people who are doing single player games are saying,’We really want to do multiplayer’,” he said.

“It’s just a survival thing. That’s why I think cloud computing and all those things are really going to do well for the industry. It’s going to take some time, but I think it’s an eventuality. I think there’s a statistic I saw that most of the boutique retailers are making more money and more sales off of used games than they are off of new games. Those companies are posting record profits and the publishers and developers are laying people off. That’s a very, very, very big problem in our industry.”

Dyack is of the opinion that large retail stores such as GameStop are going digital because the used game industry will eventually make it so GameStop will no longer be a viable company for publisher to work with. This would essentially kill off the stores.

“They’re probably very serious about survival,” he continued. “I think, the cannibilization that they’re doing in the used games market, there have been many people in the industry saying they’re just pushing the accelerator faster to the brick wall. You’re getting guys like us saying we cannot survive under this model. Something has to change. So they’re looking at that and probably going, ‘Oh crap they’re right’ … and so I think they’re looking to survive.

“And just to be clear, the changes that we’re going to see with cloud computing or digital downloads are not a matter of how does our industry be more swarmy and make more money. We’re talking about survival. Literally survival. How does our industry survive. When those types of economics start coming into play, you’re going to start seeing that paths of least resistance.”

Dyack has been a proponent of cloud gaming since the get-go.

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