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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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Pokémon Developer Game Freak Emphasizes Original Game Creation

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Pokémon

Game Freak, best known for the Pokémon franchise, is starting to emphasize and prioritize original game creation.

In an interview with Video Game Chronicle, Masayuki Onoue, a director at Game Freak, says that the company has launched Gear Project, an initiative in which developers pitch ideas during slower periods between big releases to create more original games other than just Pokémon.

Onoue also spoke about Production Team 1 and Team 2 at Game Freak, the first prioritizing Gear Project for the company as a whole and the second focusing on Pokemon. He noted that Gear Project allows the developers to gain more experience working on different platforms such as PlayStation, Xbox, and PC, as well as transferring new skills and techniques they learned back to the Pokémon team.

Some of the games that Game Freak has released so far through Gear Project are HarmoKnight, Pocket Card Jockey, Tembo the Badass Elephant, and Giga Wrecker. Game Freak is also developing Town, an RPG game that was shown off in a Nintendo Direct back in September 2018 and is due out this year.

Additionally, Game Freak is working on Pokémon Sword and Pokémon Shield, the latest entries in Nintendo’s flagship franchise. Both of those are set to release later this year.

For more on Pokémon and Game Freak, be sure to follow OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, or join the discussion in our community Discord server..

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