Titanfall developer Respawn Entertainment may be developing an always-online shooter, but community manager Abbie Heppe believes that the model shouldn’t be forced across the board, and that there is still room for single-player experiences.
It follows Respawn’s tease that something Titanfall-flavoured will drop at the VGX awards next month.
Speaking with XB1, Heppe said of Titanfall’s online status, “The plan was always online for us, so it was an easy answer for us when people say ‘well how do you feel about that’ – well we were always an online-only multiplayer game anyway. It doesn’t have the same impact on us as necessarily would have on somebody else.
“It’s such a weird one, I think about the way I play games now, even when I’m playing single players game I’m ‘always online’. I’m always seeing that this person popped up on my friends list, it’s this very social and online even when I’m playing by myself. Unless you turn off all notifications and ignore the world.
“Even when I play on my phone I’m always online. I travel so much I tend to play a ton on mobile devices. It very much is [always online] even when you’re not playing a multiplayer game, because we’ve made the social experience so much of what gaming is now. I get very frustrated when online features aren’t up to speed, I think it’s really just expected.”
In Respawn’s case, online is part and parcel of the experience, but it Heppe added that it should never be included simply through obligation. “We have the easy bullet dodge,” she added, “‘we’re an online only game’. But I do think there is room for the a single player experience, and for stuff that isn’t necessarily online. I think you’re going to see more of [multiplayer].
“Even when they’re a single player game, [developers] want to have a multiplayer component, which is sort of silly because I think developers should do what they are best at, and I hate the idea of somebody being forced into adding something into their game that they don’t want to do. I think there is a lot the future generation is going to be able to do in terms of matchmaking, in terms of connecting gamers that’s going to make that social experience not feel forced.”
Do you feel Titanfall’s online-only format is the way forward? Do you feel that always-online should only be used sparingly and in the correct context?