A gaming script writer made the bold proclamation that single-player games are dead. That’s right, gone are the days of solo gaming. The hours spent exploring a world, the intrigue of rich storylines and the classic single-player experience are apparently a thing of the past.
Amy Hennig, a video game director and script writer who formerly worked for Naughty Dog, made the statement recently. Her comments surrounded the idea that single-player games were no longer ‘sustainable’. Using Uncharted as an example, Hennig claimed that the game would not be made in 2019. It’s probably that mindset that got Hennig “forced out” of the Naughty Dog team.
It’s hard to describe how much I disagree with Hennig’s statements. Single-player gaming stands as the roots and branches of the gaming industry. So many of the greatest gaming moments come out of single-player games.
It is undeniable that MMO’s and Battle Royale’s have taken centre stage in the gaming industry. However, this does not mean that solo gaming is obsolete. Single-player gaming is improving, and better than ever.
Read Dead Redemption 2 has been marked as one of the best games of the past few years. While the title does feature an online mode, this is not the reason it rose to such high popularity. Long scenic horseback rides, robberies and the rush of being a Western outlaw. It is such elements and feelings that make single-player games so iconic.
The issue is not that single-player games are outdated. It’s that they’re often not well-made. There have been some great single-player titles recently. However, more often than not they are mass-produced. Following the same formula with the same gameplay, it’s becoming harder to delve into the journey of a single-player game.
However, the claim that they are ‘unsustainable’ shows a bleak reflection of how gaming publishers view their industry. Single-player games can be sustainable if the effort is put in. They are, admittedly, harder than Battle Royale’s or MMO’s. Games of that genre nearly have guaranteed success. Solo games are not guaranteed to soar. Often these titles fall short of expectations, but that does not mean they are unsustainable.
Hennig felt that her comments were misinterpreted. Check out what she had to say on Twitter in response to a tweet made about her comment on Uncharted.
So do I! – single player narrative games are all I've made for 30 years. I'm not advocating for games as a service, I'm merely saying that pitching a game like Uncharted 1 (8 hours, no online) is a tough sell in AAA right now. It breaks my heart.
— Amy Hennig (@amy_hennig) February 27, 2019
Single-player games bring magic and spark to the gaming world. To lose them would be a disservice to the industry. Single-player games are as sustainable as you make them. Amy Hennig, you may have years of experience, but you’re out of touch. Games don’t need to be online for the sake of fans, they need to be online for the publisher to make money off the players.