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Epic Games Might Be Done With Single Player Forever

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During an interview with Polygon for a cover story, Epic Games’ CEO Tim Sweeney said that his studio is transitioning away from single player focused experiences.

“The economics of those games forces developers to work with major publishers to succeed, and that seems to be irreversible,” he told Polygon. He highlighted the indie spirit that Epic draws its creative focus from, particularly the trend toward living multiplayer games. “We were seeing some of the best games in the industry being built and operated as live games over time rather than big retail releases.”

The change from the big, stand alone releases of Epic’s past — to games like Paragon, Fortnite and the new Unreal Tournament — began at the release of Gears of War: Judgment. Although Judgment had been set up as an experimental spin-off title, its budget was higher than its already expensive predecessors.

When fan response to Judgment wasn’t as glowing as the previous three games, Microsoft declined to let Epic fix the game for free through updates. The true fourth-numbered Gears of War game would have been so costly to develop (and risky, attempting to regain favor with the community) that it could have killed the company.

“We began the transition [to] being a multi-platform developer and self-publisher, and indie on a larger scale,” Sweeney said of their split from Xbox only games.

With download-only games gaining popularity and home consoles being built like PCs, it makes sense that Epic Games would turn to a new kind of publishing. However, the type of “live games” that Sweeney mentions are all multiplayer experiences, even though indie titles like Shovel Knight, Undertale, and Stardew Valley prove that single player games can still succeed.

If Epic Games one day decides to return to single player and story-based experiences, you can hear about it on OnlySP by following on Facebook and Twitter.

Mitchell is a writer from Currawang, Australia, where his metaphorical sword-pen cleaves fiction from reality daily. When he's not writing, he plays video games and watches movies. While thinking about writing.

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Ubisoft Discusses How Uplay Plus Will Improve Communication With Players

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Ubisoft Uplay+

Ubisoft believes that its new subscription service Uplay Plus will help the publisher improve communication with players.

Alain Corre, the executive director of EMEA at Ubisoft, spoke to GamesIndustry.biz where he outlined the vision and strategy for the company’s new subscription service. He explained that Uplay Plus will help boost communication with players, and the feedback it receives will help improve Ubisoft’s games.

“The reason behind our subscription service… it gives more possibilities for our fans to play our games and we can talk to them. We can keep them in our worlds, we can discuss with them and—thanks to what they say and the way they behave—we can feed that back into our games development. When we are in control of that within our ecosystem, we feel it’s beneficial for our fans. That’s ultimately what we want to do; we want to have more contact with them, more interaction, listening more to what they want and improve based on what they say.”

Corre highlighted that Ubisoft will not solely focus its efforts on Uplay Plus; players will still be able to pick up any of the publishers games either physically or as digital downloads. He explained that the company’s strategy moving into a subscription service is to adapt with modern consumer tends of gamers.

“We are still keeping the traditional model whether they buy our games in a store or download them. It’s really a case of offering the possibilities. Consumers are evolving really fast, and we want to adapt to what they want and propose new things to them, as well as keep the other means of distribution.”

Furthermore Ubisoft revealed that Uplay Plus and all past and future games will be available on the Google Stadia. Ubisoft was an early vocal supporter of Google’s new console, especially as the upcoming console focuses solely on streaming games.

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