Amy Hennig has recently talked about the traditional single player games in the current gaming industry, which are becoming increasingly difficult to find from a third party publisher. While first-party developers like Nintendo and Sony can still try to attempt them, it’s a completely different case for others who try to rework single player games into games as a service title so that there is an incentive to keep returning to them.
Amy Hennig was recently at Gamelab with Mark Cerny to discuss video games and they were interviewed by the host Geoff Keighley. The interview was posted with the full transcript on Venture Beat.
After the interview, Amy Hennig was asked by the audience to comment on the death of single player games and she gave a lengthy answer to this question explaining how it all depends on the publisher and how they approach their project.
It’s not that we’re looking at the death of single-player games, or that players don’t want that. Some publishers are going to fall on one end of that spectrum or another based on their business plan. Fair enough. It’s just that the traditional ways we’ve done that are getting harder and harder to support. That’s why I’ve talked in the past about feeling like we’re in an inflection point in the industry. We’ve talked about this for a long time. How do we keep on making games like this when they’re getting prohibitively expensive? We don’t want to break the single-player experience, but there’s pressure to provide more and more at the same price point games have always been.
That isn’t sustainable, I believe. I think it breaks the purpose of a single-player game. I was saying to some people here, I play games because I want to finish them. I want to see the story. I like the arc of a story. I don’t see the ends of most games. How crazy is it that we say it’s about narrative, but we make games where a fraction of the audience sees the end of the game? That’s heartbreaking.
I hope that we see more shakeup in the industry. We’ll open up the portfolios — maybe with a subscription model — so we can see that there can be story games that are four hours long at an appropriate price point. We have digital distribution. That should be possible. We shouldn’t be stuck at this brick and mortar price point and trying to make more and more content, breaking the spirit of these games.
It is interesting to hear what she has to offer here regarding the so-called narrative of the death of single-player experience. Sony is still making a lot of single-player only games and having a lot of success with it as seen with both God of War and Detroit breaking sales record set by their predecessors.