Is Multiplayer Becoming A Required Feature In Video Games?

Whether it's Isaac Clarke's new co-op-centric adventure in Dead Space 3, the brutal and violent team deathmatch arenas of God of War: Ascension, or Resident Evil 6's unique "Agent Hunt" competitive twist, it seems no IP is safe from getting a multiplayer makeover these days. While multiplayer serves as an excellent way to not only promote socializing but also to extend the lifespan of a game, are developers making a mistake by trying to inject it into so many single-player franchises?

Some fans would argue that multiplayer detracts from the overall experience of a game since the time and manpower that developers focus on the multiplayer could be used instead to polish up the single-player portion. Survival-horror fans in particular seem to have a rather strong stigma for multiplayer, their reasoning being that it's much harder to be scared when you have a friend helping you.

Neither argument is exactly a strong one; often the multiplayer portion of a game will have an entirely separate development team than the single-player and as for the survival-horror argument? I dare any gamer to play a game like Amnesia: The Dark Descent in a dark room with the volume turned up. No matter how many friends you have with you, you'll all be screaming like a bunch of little girls before long (I know from personal experience).

Still, there have been cases where the multiplayer portion of a game has felt tacked on or rushed (Dead Space 2 comes to mind) so I suppose it's only natural that fans would approach the idea of multiplayer being attached to some of their favorite IP's with skepticism. However, said fans should also be careful to remember that most major developers won't go through with an idea unless they're confident in its success. While this is far from a guarantee that God of War: Ascension's or Dead Space 3's multiplayer will be any good, sometimes it's best to go on a little faith.

So what do you think? Is multiplayer's presence in the gaming world slowly on the rise? Do you think the multiplayer portion of an otherwise single-player series can successfully contribute to the overall experience? What other popular single-player franchises, if any, could do with a little multiplayer mayhem?


Add comment

Security code
Refresh