The revelation was noticeable thanks to the inclusion of multiplayer suites in series that had heretofore been single-player focussed, like Mass Effect and Dead Space, but to have it stated explicitly, proudly even, is a little distressing. Speaking as a precursor to the Cloud Gaming USA conference to be held in San Francisco later this month, EA President Frank Gibeau has candidly mentioned that he has “not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience.”
It isn’t entirely about simply shoehorning in an unnecessary, unwanted multiplayer portion though, with the desire to embrace social and smart phone markets to enhance and expand the series that fall under the publisher’s umbrella:
“…forgive my bias, but we think EA is better positioned for success, and for serving consumers than other companies that are marooned on one platform. The investments we’ve made in mobile, social, and in creating a platform that connects consumers across multiple devices is going to allow us to provide a much better experience for game players.”
The reasoning behind this decision is clearly explained by the potential market and the desires of the majority:
“With the advent of social and smart phones, the audience for games has expanded from around 200M consumers to roughly 2 billion. And the message from that audience is clear: people want to access games anytime and anywhere, they want to connect with friends, and they want to be recognized across multiple devices.“
He goes on to cite FIFA as an example of this methodology with its multiplatform status that allows players varying levels of interactivity across mobiles and tablets, Facebook and consoles and PC, while mentioning that it will be applied, the very near future, to other lucrative franchises including Madden, Battlefield and SimCity among others. In spite of all this, he also iterates interest in the upcoming next generation of consoles as well as the potential for massive growth in the free-to-play market.
That’s all good and well, but this mentality of sharing and socialisation really doesn’t bode well for OnlySP’s continued interest in the publisher’s titles. With the previous assertion that they are prepping between three and five new IPs to launch early in the next generation, we can only hope that the multiplayer segments are a logical inclusion or evolution of the aspects found in the single player and take nothing away from the latter portion.