Phil Harrison: We're Moving Away from Huge Budget Single-Player Games

Phil Harrison: We're Moving Away from Huge Budget Single-Player Games

Atari President Phil Harrison has made clear his intentions to push the company toward social games.

Three months after departing from Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Harrison said Atari will move away from big-budget single-player ventures down the line.

Pointing out that a vast majority of people never finish single-player games, he said it was "economic insanity" to stick with conventional titles.

"I don't see that we're going to be making huge-budget, single-player games in the future. Now, that doesn't mean that we won't have ambition to do really incredible games that have high quality, high execution, and high innovation, but they won't be one-player, narrative-driven, start-middle-end games," said Harrison.

Atari is currently throwing much of its weight behind Alone in the Dark, which largely fits the very mold Harrison said the company will avoid in future.

He said the online community model offered good business opportunities.

"Atari is part of an industry in some transition from pure[ly] packaged media to an online business model and social communication and community model. If we are part of that transition, perhaps we are going to take a slightly aggressive, leading-edge role in that transition," said Harrison.

Source: Gamasutra.com

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It's too bad they weren't chanting this mantra when they pushed NWN2 out the door. That game was ten steps backwards from the original NWN in terms of multi-player support.

And ten steps forward in terms of single-player depth. I'll take the latter any day.

Shame, I always thought that Sony would stick to the single-player market, what with it being the home of RPGs, platformers and so on. Seems it ain't so.

Aren't there enough MMORPGs out there already? ~~

stompy:
Shame, I always thought that Sony would stick to the single-player market, what with it being the home of RPGs, platformers and so on. Seems it ain't so.

It's about Atari, not Sony. Harrison has jumped ship. Way to read the article.

Just when you though the MMO market was already overcrowded...

Uh-huh, unless they find the super gem that wins against Wow, AoC, Pokémon, Mushi King, Guitar Hero, Sim Som'thing and Second Life (soon to be opposed to a new social game with billionaires behind)... well, good luck.

So what do people enjoy doing day after day, which has not been turned into a game yet?

Dectilon:
Aren't there enough MMORPGs out there already? ~~

I kinda feel bad for Atari after reading this. They're about two hours late to the party and the fat kids already ate all the pizza as far as that genre goes.

Deep narratives and episodic content are what my magic 8-ball keeps saying to watch out for.

Ugh, maybe its time to find a new hobby.

What we really need is more time spent with grinding, cuss-spewing hate-mongers and patches up to the eyeballs...

Not.

We need more cooperative games.

Take Gears of War for example. The cooperative feature is excelent. Or "Judge Dread" Dread VS Death" that game also had support for cooperative story game.

And then think of some older games. Imagine if you could play half life cooperative. Or The grand theft auto games.

It does'nt have to make sence story wise. Add a few teleporters for when a new area is reached to smooth things out. cooperative grand theft auto san andreas or other of the 3D GTA games would have been amazing.

One person could drive and the other could lean out the window and shoot at pursuiting cars.

I remember playing improviced cooperative GTA3 with a friend. The tank had some pretty poor controls in the game. Atleast in the version we had. You steered the tank with ASDW. And the turret with the arrow key. Making it a bit tricky for one person. But what we did was that one drove using the ASDW. And the other person used the arrow keys to fire. We even held the mouse up like a thumb triggered "fire" button and we had a great time.

So many games that would have become amazing with cooperative support. It does'nt have to fit in with the game story. Just make it fun!

That's Something PC games need to addapt from consoles. Halo cooperative on console was weakened slighty by the dreaded splitscreen but the PC version had no cooperative support at all.

Dejawesp:

And then think of some older games. Imagine if you could play half life cooperative.

Try Half-Life: Decay. It's on the PS2 port of the original game. I have no idea what it's like, but it's got Co-op at least.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Half-Life:_Decay

Supposedly it's a very short game. Also I would have to get a PS2 and play it splitscreen which I would really preffer not to.

 

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