Titanfall Team Decides Against Single-Player Campaign

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Sounds like I can stop waiting to hear more about the backstory on this title then.

No need to waste development time on fluff when you just let the players make their own fun.

RJ 17:
-snip-

Firstly, it's not a risk to compete with CoD by offering a similar experience. There are lots of companies that do the same thing. That's playing it safe, NOT risk-taking.

Second, even if they make a multiplayer that is better than CoD, that doesn't mean "they win". I established that fact in my previous post: having a product that's better than your opponent's product doesn't automatically mean you win.

Third, yes, I'm saying there's absolutely no point in competing with a game by doing the same things they do. Because that's not how you become the successor to previous franchises. You become the new champ by offering something new and different that people haven't seen before. For example, for the longest time, shooters focused on dedicated health "bars" that could only be healed up via health pack. Then games like Halo came along with regenerating health, and had huge critical success. Suddenly, it's EVERYWHERE, because everyone started copying them. GW2 is another example: instead of dedicated NPCs offering all their quests, they shifted to focus primarily on dynamic quest content, and received huge critical acclaim for it. Suddenly, there's other games starting to emerge that are using the same concept, like Firefall.

You don't beat the champ by copying the champ. You beat the champ by offering something that the current champ can't offer.

RJ 17:
Again: risk taking, "how can we find the next big thing if we don't go looking for it?"

See, you're going straight to "How can we?" and skipping "Should we?".

There's a point where the risks of trying to break into a certain market outweigh the potential benefits from succeeding. It's like asking how you'll ever headbutt your way through a concrete wall if you don't try. You won't, but maybe that's not as bad as what will happen in you do try.

Unless Titanfall is much lower budget than being a high-profile "buy our console" exclusive would suggest then the changes of it making back its money are slim.

CriticKitten:
Firstly, it's not a risk to compete with CoD by offering a similar experience. There are lots of companies that do the same thing. That's playing it safe, NOT risk-taking.

Trying to compete directly with an entrenched franchise is absolutely risky. Just because you make a game that's similar to CoD does not mean that you will get similar-to CoD sales. Tons of companies go under playing 'follow the leader' when the leader just takes everything and doesn't leave anything for the all of the competitors looking for scraps.

Take a look at the most played Xbox live games;

http://majornelson.com/2013/04/06/live-activity-for-week-of-april-1st/

CoD, Halo, Gears, and Battlefield basically own the multiplayer shooter market. CoD has four of the top 20 slots alone. Gears and Halo take up another four. Of those four series, only Gears of War is new to this generation, and it was very early in this generation.

This is a market that has regularly repulsed would-be newcomers.

RJ 17:

EvilRoy:
Snip

Perfectly good points, but that goes back to what I was talking about with risk-taking. Indeed, you've got to fight the current king of the hill before you can become the king of the hill yourself. But does that mean you should just give up and not even bother trying because "Damnit, we'll NEVER make an MMO that's better than WoW. It's the end-all-be-all of MMO's and there really is no point in putting in the effort to try and dethrone it" or saying the same thing about shooters and CoD? Like I said, we're never going to find "the next big thing" unless people are willing to challenge the current big thing. Is there a chance this could be a bust? Certainly, and it wouldn't be the first one to fall short of CoD's throne. But it's worth the effort if you honestly believe you've got a shot at pulling it off, and by pooling your resources into multiplayer-only rather than trying to slap in a singleplayer campaign that will likely go neglected by most players, I'd argue that you're giving yourself the best possible chance. We all know that the majority of CoD players play it primarily for the multiplayer, so that's the arena in which the battle will be decided. By putting all your resources into a multiplayer game, you're putting all your effort into creating a multiplayer experience that you hope will be able to finally knock the king from his multiplayer throne.

It is reasonable to want to have the best possible chance when competing in that kind of market, but the important thing to remember is that your best possible chance still isn't very good. Better to put your nose on the chopping block rather than your neck if the best case gives you odds lower than midnight on a craps table.

BloodSquirrel:
Trying to compete directly with an entrenched franchise is absolutely risky. Just because you make a game that's similar to CoD does not mean that you will get similar-to CoD sales. Tons of companies go under playing 'follow the leader' when the leader just takes everything and doesn't leave anything for the all of the competitors looking for scraps.

Take a look at the most played Xbox live games;

http://majornelson.com/2013/04/06/live-activity-for-week-of-april-1st/

CoD, Halo, Gears, and Battlefield basically own the multiplayer shooter market. CoD has four of the top 20 slots alone. Gears and Halo take up another four. Of those four series, only Gears of War is new to this generation, and it was very early in this generation.

This is a market that has regularly repulsed would-be newcomers.

Er, that doesn't mean it's risky. That means it's exactly the OPPOSITE of risky.

Case-in-point: CoD is clearly the top game, yet as you point out, there's three other major shooters competing with it by using similar mechanics. And that's not even diving into the vast number of clones and ripoffs that exist, all of which generally make their money back. Why? Because they took an existing framework and stole it almost wholesale. It cuts down significantly on production, and it means they don't have to make a multi-million copy game to make a profit.

WoW clones use the same logic: they don't sell as much as WoW, but they never intended to. They just want to make a game very similar to it that costs a hell of a lot less. The end result is that most of those games turn a profit easily. It's no billion-dollar success story, sure, but plenty of companies have made a living off of it. You don't need your game to be a billion-dollar success story if you can make "enough" money by copying what other people have already done....you just need to make enough money to recoup the costs and turn a good profit. And that's not nearly as hard to do if you're not seeking to innovate. Copying what already sells is always cheaper than creating something new.

There is nothing risky about copying your competitor and stealing snippets of their sales. It's just about the safest thing you can do in business: hold to the status quo.

CriticKitten:
Er, that doesn't mean it's risky. That means it's exactly the OPPOSITE of risky.

You must be using a very non-standard definition of "risky" here. Something which has a high chance of being heavily detrimental to you is what most people mean when they use the word "risky".

CriticKitten:

Case-in-point: CoD is clearly the top game, yet as you point out, there's three other major shooters competing with it by using similar mechanics. And that's not even diving into the vast number of clones and ripoffs that exist, all of which generally make their money back. Why? Because they took an existing framework and stole it almost wholesale. It cuts down significantly on production, and it means they don't have to make a multi-million copy game to make a profit.

Thing is, no, they aren't making their money back. One or two million copies sold doesn't cut it when you spend the kind of money that AAA games cost now. Those four are soaking up too many of the sales, and have been for a long time. That's why Medal of Honor has been put out to pasture- it couldn't break any market share away from those four games. And it already had name recognition going in.

And- if that isn't bad enough- two of those four are Xbox 360 exclusives. On other platforms it's pretty much CoD and Battlefield.

CriticKitten:

WoW clones use the same logic: they don't sell as much as WoW, but they never intended to.

That's just not true. TOR was budgeted such that it required more subscribers than any game except WoW was maintaining to turn a profit. Take a look at ToR's subscribers- they were pulling in numbers that were good compared to any subscription-based game that wasn't WoW, but still had to emergency shift to F2P because they stupidly thought that just by spending enough money they could get 10 million subscribers.

CriticKitten:

Copying what already sells is always cheaper than creating something new.

That's impossibly wrong.

Copying what already sells requires you to match their production values, which (since they're selling well), are usually in the stratosphere. Creating something new means that you can skimp on all of the high-cost graphics since you don't have to compete directly with any established market. Creativity is cheap compared extensive voice action, highly detailed 3D environments, and motion cap animations.

You can't copy CoD for 50 times what Minecraft cost to develop.

CriticKitten:
Snip.

Ummmm...where has it ever been said that TitanFall is going to be a CoD rip-off? That seems to be the core of your argument, which isn't even addressing the core of my argument.

To my knowledge, TitanFall is going to be more of a Mech Warrior rip-off than a CoD rip-off. Sooooooo how are they copying their competition? By making a game that has multiplayer? Just so you know, there's a lot of games out there that have multiplayer. What I've been saying is that in the shooter business (which TitanFall is supposed to be a shooter, that doesn't make it a CoD clone any more than Boarderlands is a CoD clone) if you want to have a successful competitive multiplayer game, you're going to be contending with CoD's competitive multiplayer which is already quite well established. The risk being taken isn't that they're copying CoD. If that were the case you'd be 100% right. The risk is that they're NOT copying CoD, they're trying something new.

So like I've been saying from the beginning: it's a GOOD thing that they're not wasting their time by forcing in a singpleplayer campaign when they're just wanting to make a multiplayer game. Again, by focusing their resources into multiplayer, they're giving themselves the best chance of creating something that will - if the risk pays off - pull gamers away from the yearly installments of CoD and instead get them to enjoy a completely new experience.

EvilRoy:
It is reasonable to want to have the best possible chance when competing in that kind of market, but the important thing to remember is that your best possible chance still isn't very good. Better to put your nose on the chopping block rather than your neck if the best case gives you odds lower than midnight on a craps table.

Again, a perfectly valid point, which is why it most certainly is risky to be going all-in on this project. They'll either come out alright or fall flat on their face. But that's their decision.

Look, somehow this went from me trying to say that people shouldn't get pissed off about a game being announced as multiplayer only to discussing the pros and cons of taking risks in the gaming business. All I was trying to do is point out that it's a bit hypocritical for us gamers to get upset when multiplayer is forced into a traditionally singleplayer game but then demand that singleplayer campaigns be added to games that are specifically being designed to be multiplayer. This gets back to the point that the guy in the article was trying to make: the majority of people get CoD games for the multiplayer while the singleplayer just feels tacked-on. As such, can you really blame them for saying "We're just going to skip the singleplayer that the majority of people won't even care about so we can deliver the best possible multiplayer experience"?

BloodSquirrel:
See, you're going straight to "How can we?" and skipping "Should we?".

There's a point where the risks of trying to break into a certain market outweigh the potential benefits from succeeding. It's like asking how you'll ever headbutt your way through a concrete wall if you don't try. You won't, but maybe that's not as bad as what will happen in you do try.

Unless Titanfall is much lower budget than being a high-profile "buy our console" exclusive would suggest then the changes of it making back its money are slim.

See my above response to EvilRoy, I don't know how we got on the subject of wise business practices, it's just a strange tangent that has come from what I was originally trying to say. My main point is that in games that are clearly designed with a multiplayer emphasis (i.e. CoD), the singleplayer seems like it's really just been tacked-on, the same way the multiplayer in Mass Effect 3 (which was designed to be a singleplayer game) felt tacked-on. You shouldn't hold it against a gaming company for saying "We're just gonna skip the bit that very few people care about in the first place."

Respawn wants to develop a multiplayer game, that's what it boils down to. They can either spread out their resources and make a singleplayer campaign that they never wanted to make in the first place, or they can focus their resources to offer the best possible multiplayer experience that they can. There's nothing in the rulebook that says they have to tack on a singleplayer campaign, just as there's nothing in the rulebook that says that all games must have multiplayer. Just to be clear, this "rulebook" is simply a metaphor.

BloodSquirrel:
You must be using a very non-standard definition of "risky" here. Something which has a high chance of being heavily detrimental to you is what most people mean when they use the word "risky".

But it's not detrimental to you to make a game based on a property that already sells well.

Do you really believe that there's so many CoD clones out there because all of these companies are willing and able to "take a risk"? That's patent nonsense. They're going with a model that has been known to work, there couldn't be a safer bet financially.

"Risk" is determined by comparing the potential gains to the potential losses. If something is known to sell well and can be replicated in some manner for a low price, there is very little "risk" involved.

Thing is, no, they aren't making their money back. One or two million copies sold doesn't cut it when you spend the kind of money that AAA games cost now. Those four are soaking up too many of the sales, and have been for a long time. That's why Medal of Honor has been put out to pasture- it couldn't break any market share away from those four games. And it already had name recognition going in.

And- if that isn't bad enough- two of those four are Xbox 360 exclusives. On other platforms it's pretty much CoD and Battlefield.

You seem to be operating under the premise that every AAA game ever produced has a nine figure budget. I hate to break it to you but that isn't the reality of the situation.

The fact that there are FOUR games at the top and any number of clones below them is proof positive that copying the top games is a workable business strategy. Again, you don't have to create a million-copy game to make your money back if you're copying work that's already been done before.

Or do I really have to go and point out every single FPS released across the last generation of console games that utilizes the same mechanics as the top four selling shooters just to drive this point home? Do you really think they all spent 9 figures making their games? All of these studios would not be making these games, which can't possibly hope to compete with CoD, if it was "risky" to do so. They're doing it because they know that a game which is similar to CoD will sell units. Will it sell as many as CoD? No, but they don't need them to. They just have to sell enough to turn a profit.

This really should not be this difficult to comprehend. It's one of the most common tactics in business: if something is popular, copy it. Hell, even the consoles do this pretty often: Sony copied from the N64's analog stick idea to create the DualShock controller, for example (and it could be argued that Nintendo stole that idea from Sega and/or Atari). Or more recently, the Sony Move, which is a pretty direct copy-job of the Wiimote. You almost always won't outsell it by copying it, but you don't actually have to outsell your competition to still rake in a profit from it.

You're clinging to this notion that a company HAS to beat its top competitor in order to be a success. That's not true at all.

That's just not true. TOR was budgeted such that it required more subscribers than any game except WoW was maintaining to turn a profit. Take a look at ToR's subscribers- they were pulling in numbers that were good compared to any subscription-based game that wasn't WoW, but still had to emergency shift to F2P because they stupidly thought that just by spending enough money they could get 10 million subscribers.

Your strawman is an exceedingly weak one.

If you actually believe that TOR hasn't made its money back by now, then it's time to retake a math course because you clearly don't know what you're talking about. They didn't need anywhere NEAR "10 million subscribers" to make their money back on TOR.

TOR sold 2 million units. Assuming everyone who bought the game spent at least 13 dollars for a single month's subscription, that's 73*2000000 = $146 million dollars made in the first month alone, not including any special edition sales. Even by the worst estimations of the game's financial cost ($200 million), they've already long since made their production costs back, likely within the first six months of the game's release (if not earlier). And their maintenance costs aren't nearly as exorbitant as their production costs were. If they were, the game wouldn't be continuing to release brand new content, EA would have already dropped the game like a hot potato. This is the same company that gave up on Dead Space because it wouldn't sell 5 million copies, do you really think they'd keep developing for a game that wasn't making bank?

TOR switched to a F2P model primarily to make the game more profitable, NOT because it was "failing". If they'd truly switched to a F2P model out of failure, they'd have done away with the subscription setup entirely, and by this point they'd have closed shop on the game wholesale. Not only does the game still have a subscription service, but it heavily restricts what its free players can do in order to "encourage" them to pay the subscription fee. Don't fool yourself. If TOR was still costing them more money to maintain than it was making, it'd be dead right now. Instead, it's actually still growing and they still have active developers making more content on a regular basis.

People saying that TOR "failed" are largely misinformed. Not only is TOR not the total failure they claim it to be, but they're building two more MMOs on the F2P model (Ultima Forever and C&C Online) simply because of how profitable it is.

TOR is, if anything, proof of my point, rather than an counterargument.

Switching to F2P might have been a sign of "failure" back in the 90s, but nowadays it's the most profitable MMO business model out there by far. Which is why everyone's switching to it now. Even WoW has dabbled in the idea by making their first few levels F2P, with a subscription required if you want to level beyond that point.

That's impossibly wrong.

Copying what already sells requires you to match their production values, which (since they're selling well), are usually in the stratosphere. Creating something new means that you can skimp on all of the high-cost graphics since you don't have to compete directly with any established market. Creativity is cheap compared extensive voice action, highly detailed 3D environments, and motion cap animations.

And yet we hear all the time about studios doing just that.

Let's cut the crap, it's not nearly as expensive to make a game of decent production values as the biggest companies make it seem. You want to know why their spending is so high? It's not because of the game, it's because of marketing. The actual production of such games is relatively "cheap" by comparison to what the biggest publishers end up spending, because they spend a lot of it on marketing that they really don't need.

That's why there are lots of shooters out there with very similar mechanics that didn't cost nearly as much to create (and as a result, don't need to sell nearly as many units to make money).

RJ 17:
Ummmm...where has it ever been said that TitanFall is going to be a CoD rip-off? That seems to be the core of your argument, which isn't even addressing the core of my argument.

Not really, the crux of my argument is that it's naturally going to be competing with CoD for sales figures because the out-of-mech combat looks identical to a typical modern military shooter title, and people will treat it equally. It's throwing away a possible advantage by not paying attention to SP, which has always been a weakness of the CoD family.

To my knowledge, TitanFall is going to be more of a Mech Warrior rip-off than a CoD rip-off. Sooooooo how are they copying their competition? By making a game that has multiplayer? Just so you know, there's a lot of games out there that have multiplayer. What I've been saying is that in the shooter business (which TitanFall is supposed to be a shooter, that doesn't make it a CoD clone any more than Boarderlands is a CoD clone) if you want to have a successful competitive multiplayer game, you're going to be contending with CoD's competitive multiplayer which is already quite well established. The risk being taken isn't that they're copying CoD. If that were the case you'd be 100% right. The risk is that they're NOT copying CoD, they're trying something new.

You've got it backwards. It would indeed be a risk if they were doing something new, but they're not. Demos of the combat have revealed that most of the combat retains the standard structure of a MMS, with the key difference being the introduction of mechs as their form of "vehicle"-based combat.

So like I've been saying from the beginning: it's a GOOD thing that they're not wasting their time by forcing in a singpleplayer campaign when they're just wanting to make a multiplayer game. Again, by focusing their resources into multiplayer, they're giving themselves the best chance of creating something that will - if the risk pays off - pull gamers away from the yearly installments of CoD and instead get them to enjoy a completely new experience.

But that's not going to happen. You're not going to beat CoD with a game whose combat is similar to CoD. And we can sit here and deny all we like, but there's absolutely no question from the demos shown at E3 that it's essentially another MMS with mechs added in. And by ditching SP, it's throwing away a potential selling point.

Now it's going to have to sell units by convincing people that its mech combat sets it apart from other games, which is a much tougher sell. Heck, from what little was shown at E3, it honestly wasn't anything I hadn't seen before. In fact at times it was hard to tell there WAS a difference between the mech combat and the foot-soldier-shoots-everything-to-death combat that made up most of the demo.

RJ 17:

EvilRoy:
It is reasonable to want to have the best possible chance when competing in that kind of market, but the important thing to remember is that your best possible chance still isn't very good. Better to put your nose on the chopping block rather than your neck if the best case gives you odds lower than midnight on a craps table.

Again, a perfectly valid point, which is why it most certainly is risky to be going all-in on this project. They'll either come out alright or fall flat on their face. But that's their decision.

Look, somehow this went from me trying to say that people shouldn't get pissed off about a game being announced as multiplayer only to discussing the pros and cons of taking risks in the gaming business. All I was trying to do is point out that it's a bit hypocritical for us gamers to get upset when multiplayer is forced into a traditionally singleplayer game but then demand that singleplayer campaigns be added to games that are specifically being designed to be multiplayer. This gets back to the point that the guy in the article was trying to make: the majority of people get CoD games for the multiplayer while the singleplayer just feels tacked-on. As such, can you really blame them for saying "We're just going to skip the singleplayer that the majority of people won't even care about so we can deliver the best possible multiplayer experience"?

Oh yeah, I definitely understand. I was just musing on the idea of most FPS games going multiplayer only when I responded. I understand why Titanfall wouldn't want to have a singleplayer campaign of course, after all if you don't have a story to tell then what use is there in having offline play beyond bots anyway.

EvilRoy:
Oh yeah, I definitely understand. I was just musing on the idea of most FPS games going multiplayer only when I responded. I understand why Titanfall wouldn't want to have a singleplayer campaign of course, after all if you don't have a story to tell then what use is there in having offline play beyond bots anyway.

Yeah, and in my first response to BloodSquirrel I pulled back from the statement of "all FPS's should be multiplayer."

Perhaps a better way to put it is "All FPS's should pick singleplayer or multiplayer and focus their resources entirely on the one they chose while not even bothering with the other." That way we could get good multiplayer games that don't have some tacked-on singleplayer campaign and truly enjoyable singleplayer games/stories that aren't just tacked onto a game that's really just wanting you to play the multiplayer. Kinda like you said: if you've got a story to tell, go for it. Put all your heart and effort into making a great singleplayer campaign while not even worrying about multiplayer. While if you really just want to make a kick-ass multiplayer game, you shouldn't feel like you have to stick some trumped-up singleplayer story onto it just to sell copies.

CriticKitten:
Snip.

Just going to have to close this discussion with an "agree to disagree" statement, as at this point we're both just going to be repeating ourselves. You'd rather them spread out their resources, I believe it's good that they're focusing them. A simple difference of opinions.

A lot of fps single player campaign that are in this type of FPS often feel tacked on. I was never interested in buying to begin with but can respect the decision to focus on the multiplayer and not have something that would likely a have been a tacked on a single player mode.

Assumptions in this thread
1) The MP game will be better instead of just rushed out the door faster (and cheaper)
2) That the SP game had to be 'tacked on' when there are quite a few games that do both well
3) That MP only will either improve their overall success or hinder it

None of these are true by default. Only after seeing how the finished product does will we know what they did well and what amounts to jello nailed to the wall.

Well, I can't blame them for this decision. Dawn of War 2 retribution had hash campaign. Heck I only completed two faction campaigns before I wandered off. The multiplayer was a dream though and definitely a main draw.

And everyone criticized the COD games for the scripted campaign and gimmicks. I suppose I can't fault them for not wanting to drop into that pit-hole....

Also, multiplayer games played offline with bots are doable. The battlefront series ( the one where you zipped around to different soldier classes I think ) was a pretty good game. offline or on

Anathrax:
snip

That's the joke? HA! It's like you layer irony beyond the point of it making sense! I don't think you understood your original post. I don't care about Americans or any of that. I do care about people making uneducated criticisms and justifying them by saying its a joke that didn't exist. Also, what single player is going suck? The one that doesn't exist? I think it would have been fine seeing that I believe that last two COD games that they had control over had solid or even exceptional single-player campaigns(which I believe were MW and MW2).

TheScientificIssole:

Anathrax:
snip

That's the joke? HA! It's like you layer irony beyond the point of it making sense! I don't think you understood your original post. I don't care about Americans or any of that. I do care about people making uneducated criticisms and justifying them by saying its a joke that didn't exist. Also, what single player is going suck? The one that doesn't exist? I think it would have been fine seeing that I believe that last two COD games that they had control over had solid or even exceptional single-player campaigns(which I believe were MW and MW2).

...Can we just leave this discussion now? Fine, you got me. My retort? Potato. Just that. Do you want me to remove the MURICA from the original post?

TL;DR If the game sucks or doesn't find an audience we probably won't see the mech genre return for quite some time, which sucks even more than their bizarre stance against story and single player.

--

What I'm getting here is it's basically going to be Battlefield 2142, only browner. Hmm. Since the Battlefield people no longer make Battlefield(i.e. MP only) I can see how people might be interested. People other than me, obviously. There's just a few caveats that make me suspicious that this game is on a one way trip to failure, which would be terrible from my perspective.

1: Several of those games most famous for their multiplayer(CoD4, Halo) drew their players in through an amazing singleplayer experience.

2: The rest of the games with popular multiplayer only gameplay tend to either be budget titles(Team Fortress was part of a bundle) or Free to Play(TF2, the new Tribes), while the older full priced Battlefield 1942-esque games have simply gone away. Despite that, I keep getting the very strong feeling Respawn plans for a $60 release.

3: That 5% figure may be true, I have heard it before, but it is also irrelevant, at least from the sales perspective they seem to be espousing. Skyrim, Bioshock Infinite, Dead Space, Dark Souls, etcetera fraking etcetera.

4: The head in the sand mentality over why games fail they're showing here is concerning for a business that relies on predicting customer desires. EA has shown this before when they decided their MoH:W game wasn't popular because people didn't understand it, not because it sucked and everyone knew it. Seriously, look up their whiny press release on why they're not making more MoH games. It's hilarious.

5: The multiplayer only arena is not only bursting with quality titles already, next gen actually seems to be bringing in even stiffer competition. Bungie's Destiny and Red5's Firefall both have gorgeous aesthetics, interesting, unique gameplay, and a huge emphasis on story and player choice, whereas Titanfall only has us on the gameplay front. It's aesthetics were already a by the numbers CoD look. Cutting out story, if that is what they plan to do, puts it even further behind other titles with potentially fuller experiences and an already established audience.

6: The utter failure of the crowdfunding attempt for the multiplayer focused Heavy Gear sequel, the series which practically invented the fast paced robot combat genre, suggests heavily that the core audience won't be interested in Titanfall, meaning they'll need to really win over a new core audience. Easily said, but not easy to do, especially if they're so out of touch with gamers they can't believe single player games are worth the effort.

7: Storytelling potential is the medium's strongest selling point! Cinema, television, poetry, art, and music are all excellent in their unique way, but they are also all bite sized. None of them are able to replicate what literature is capable of. Movies almost always follow a three act structure, while books can easily encompass dozens. Video games are the only other medium where eight hours is generally considered to be a good minimum you should expect from a full experience, with bite sized games showing up to keep things interesting just like books. For a seeming majority of the industry(including, apparently, Respawn) to not understand the jaw dropping potential of their own medium is more than a little disquieting to those of us who want games to not only match but exceed all other forms of art.

8: Dismissing the supposed 5% as only rushing through the story and the rest as hating story driven campaigns, instead of what I think is more likely, stopping to smell the flowers so much you never quite want to leave, is a serious charge. Unfortunately, as Sterling pointed out in his videos, focus testing is used more for ill than any useful purpose. When Ken Levine tried to find out whether his box art would be appealing to gamers, he went to a frat. How large a percentage of the gaming community does one or even a few highly exclusionary organizations only a small number join really represent the reality of the industry? Did it ever represent us? A certain subset of game companies focusing on group play is fine, social gamers deserve a good experience just like everyone else, but when so many start making these outright attacks on story we run the risk of becoming the new comic book industry: almost completely irrelevant to any serious consideration. Comic books are mostly seen as being about boobs and fight scenes, something they largely deserve. To have gaming relegated to a mere juvenile pleasure when I have personally experienced some of the greatest storytelling moments within it seems like an outright crime to me.

9: The thing I find most immediately concerning as a Heavy Gear fan is, if Titanfall does turn out to be a failure, will the industry leaders recognize why, or will EA do what they did with MoH and MS just did with their Xbunny: whine and take their ball home. That would be the worst part. Even if the developers are kinda morons, I'd rather their game be of high quality and find a solid audience because that would mean I'm more likely to get the games I really want.

As a PC gamer, I'm seeing what I can only describe as a Renaissance. Space sim fans, myself included, recently helped Chris Roberts get $10 million in funding for his new game, the return of point and click adventures means we're finally getting the ending to The Longest Journey, Good Old Games' success means we're seeing rereleases of fondly remembered classics, some of the Battlezone people are on the cusp of releasing a spiritual successor, and I remain convinced that we're seeing so many platformers because Cave Story led the charge back in 2004 and got people like me back into games. Hell, I've recently spent my time on Tyrian2000, a freaking DOS game!

So, when I see the people at Respawn making statements riddled with dishonesty and self deception, I get concerned. Right now, they're holding the genre hostage, as the only company bringing a full fledged mech game to the market. Can they really bring about a return to form for the Mech genre like that? I honestly have no clue, but it does make me wish someone else was doing it.

Right, because that worked SO WELL for Socom: Confrontation...

OT: I guess the buzz wasn't as widespread as they thought seeing how this is about the second time I've heard about the game, ever. The fact that they're ostracizing players is no surprise, seems to be the hip thing to do in the game industry these days.

I've only once bought a multiplayer only game. So that kills my interest.
It's good that they are focusing on what they think they do best.

What makes the whole thing kind of sad is when developers have to say "....to justify the cost." I know this isn't a stable industry, but products are best made when they are for the idea of entertaining people and not simply making profits. Simply put: they should CHOOSING what game they want to make, not have to think about what will sell best.

4Aces:
Assumptions in this thread
1) The MP game will be better instead of just rushed out the door faster (and cheaper)
2) That the SP game had to be 'tacked on' when there are quite a few games that do both well
3) That MP only will either improve their overall success or hinder it

None of these are true by default. Only after seeing how the finished product does will we know what they did well and what amounts to jello nailed to the wall.

Well, they're speaking from experience. But your point does stand, these are not true by default.

Vigormortis:

I think his "single player isn't popular enough" comment needs to be taken in context. Namely, that of him commenting on the state of the competitive, online gaming scene. And, not just in the FPS genre.

In all honesty, how many people bought Call of Duty or even Starcraft 2 for the campaigns?

I'd wager an extremely small percentage.

Well....On the Starcraft 2 issue.

Cartographer:
According to Blizz, 50% of players never played multiplayer Starcraft 2.
Think about that for a moment.
The sequel to the poster child for competitive online multiplayer gameplay and half of all the people who bought it never played multiplayer.

Single player is popular you idiots. Otherwise every game would be multiplayer. But saying that, atleast they are not gonna add a half arsed 5 hour single player game. Lets hope they sell this game as a multiplayer only.

Lovely Mixture:

Well....On the Starcraft 2 issue.

Cartographer:
According to Blizz, 50% of players never played multiplayer Starcraft 2.
Think about that for a moment.
The sequel to the poster child for competitive online multiplayer gameplay and half of all the people who bought it never played multiplayer.

I'd like a link to that statistic. Not that I'm doubting it, but I'd like to see how they broke down the numbers.

I mean, for instance: How many of those that purchased the game actually finished the campaign? How many tried the campaign, decided they didn't like it nor the gameplay, and gave up on the game entirely? For that matter, how many bought the game simply because of the hype, and not necessarily because they knew what they were getting?

Saying "50%" isn't necessarily indicative of the actual number of people who bought the game simply to play solo.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Regardless, I think the topic is getting past the point of relevance. The issue is: here we have a developer smart enough to say they aren't going to "tack on" a superfluous game mode in a title that's clearly not designed for it. They're not trying to homogenize the game to make it appeal to as wide an audience as possible. They know their target audience and they're devoting all resources to that demographic.

This is the sort of thing we, the gaming community, have been demanding of developers for years. We've been lamenting about the steady decline in game quality and originality because of devs and publishers simplifying, homogenizing, and over-stuffing with their games with pointless fluff in an attempt to appease everyone.

Yet, here we're finally seeing a dev do exactly what we've wanted all along and we're collectively bitching about it.

It baffles me...

I'm not saying someone is "dumb" for not wanting a multiplayer-only game. But complaining that a multiplayer-only game doesn't have a solo campaign is most definitely dumb.

Vigormortis:

I'd like a link to that statistic. Not that I'm doubting it, but I'd like to see how they broke down the numbers.

I mean, for instance: How many of those that purchased the game actually finished the campaign? How many tried the campaign, decided they didn't like it nor the gameplay, and gave up on the game entirely? For that matter, how many bought the game simply because of the hype, and not necessarily because they knew what they were getting?

Saying "50%" isn't necessarily indicative of the actual number of people who bought the game simply to play solo.

Well it's just from the their own people. No idea how much it rings true, I'm awfully curious about it myself.
http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/2013-01-21-do-you-suffer-from-starcraft-2-ladder-anxiety-blizzard-hopes-heart-of-the-swarm-will-help-you-beat-it

Vigormortis:

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Yet, here we're finally seeing a dev do exactly what we've wanted all along and we're collectively bitching about it.

It baffles me...

I'd say there's a pretty clear split here. Some people like it, others are just annoyed at it.

Vigormortis:

Regardless, I think the topic is getting past the point of relevance. The issue is: here we have a developer smart enough to say they aren't going to "tack on" a superfluous game mode in a title that's clearly not designed for it. They're not trying to homogenize the game to make it appeal to as wide an audience as possible. They know their target audience and they're devoting all resources to that demographic.

This is the sort of thing we, the gaming community, have been demanding of developers for years. We've been lamenting about the steady decline in game quality and originality because of devs and publishers simplifying, homogenizing, and over-stuffing with their games with pointless fluff in an attempt to appease everyone.

I presume that those who are annoyed at it just dislike that a developer is saying "it's not worth the money because people beat it too quickly" instead of JUST saying "we are gonna make it multiplayer only because that's what we're good at and it's what we want to do a."

Now the attitude of "we should focus on one crowd" is not a bad plan in game development. But when people hear "we aren't focusing on YOUR crowd" it rings of scorn to those who consider themselves part of that crowd.

To bring up Blizzard again, when asked about Diablo III being always online and why they couldn't put in an offline mode, their VP said: "You're introducing a separate user flow, a separate path that players are going to go down. And, at the end of the day, how many people are going to want to do that?"

Guess how well that comment went down...

Simply put, when developers or executies say "you aren't the focus of our product." It's irritating to some. It mildly irritates me because it's not the attitude I like to see in game development, but I can respect that he's being upfront about it.

Phrozenflame500:
Considering how shit most FPS single player campaigns are, we probably didn't lost much here.

Agreed. Nearly all FPS, built to be played multiplayer, have very poor, arbitrary single player modes. It's refreshing to see a dev decide not to both wasting theirs, and the consumer's time, with it.

It does mean that people like me won't be buying the game, and it's unlikely Yahtzee will be taking the piss out of it though.

I keep thinking that would be a great westernized title to Attack on Titan.

It's for the best.

I mean, to all the people (me included) who are now scratching it off their lists - if they hadn't said this, we would have been conned into buying another multiplayer shooter with tacked-on singleplayer.

At least they're being honest.

Does this have anything to do with Xbone's ambiguous DRM policy with online versus offline games?

OP: As a strong proponent of single player campaigns, this seems like a bonehead move. But as someone who dislikes FPS games anyhow, what the fuck do I really know, or care, about it. But I serously think it may have something to do with the Xbone's policies...

I understand that single-player campaigns take resources to produce, but it just seems that more and more games are jumping on this "CoD competitive multiplayer" bandwagon as a lazy way to cut massive swathes off of their workload. No single-player means no scripting or AI. They just toss together the basic combat mechanics and have at it. It just seems... cheap.

"If you don't have ubertwitch reflexes and don't enjoy constantly getting your ass handed to you, we don't want you to play our game" is the message I keep getting.

This is going to hurt sales for Titanfall and X-box one. With military members not having online access for extended amounts of time, why would i pay for either. Multi-player mode can be fun however it wouldn't take much to make single player mode worth it.... unlock moves or weapons, abilities, armor, skins, and so on only found in single player mode and use them in multi-player, Hell one up multi-player mode and bring back big ass hard boss fights. no.... all you want is a mindless FPS. maybe its time for you as players want more from a game, then better graphics!

Hey that's fine with me. I much prefer it if games focus either all out on Single Player or all out on Multiplayer. Usually it means that the game will be fantastic, and if this team figures that it's not worth it, more power to them, it means there's a higher chance that the Multi will kick ass.

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