With the closure of Visceral, the studio working on EA’s single-player-only Star Wars game, there have been questions about the future of single-player games. Microsoft’s head of publishing, Shannon Loftis, believes that while it’s more “complicated” currently, they’re not dead.
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Loftis explained in an interview with GameSpot that “the economics of taking a single-player game and telling a very high fidelity multi-hour story get a little more complicated. Gamers want higher fidelity and they want higher resolution graphics.”
However, Loftis argues that “game development in general is about a couple of things. It’s about delivering and experience and it’s about telling stories. Storytelling is as central to game development as it ever has been” and “I don’t think that there is ever going to be a time when there aren’t single-player, story-based games.”
Zach Wilson, a senior level designer at Visceral, went further in an interview with GamesIndustry, saying “the assertion that single-player linear games are going to disappear is totally absurd. EA might not be the company that carries that torch, but there are so many groups out there that are passionate about this kind of game that they won’t go away.”
Like Loftis, Wilson points to the cost of high fidelity games, and he argues for “fewer games with higher quality across the board.”