I haven’t seen a statement like Peter Moore’s recent comment to Gamespot in quite a while. Actually, I’ve seen quite the opposite the past couple years. During the previous console generation, we were getting game after game that either included a good single player campaign with tacked on multiplayer, or good multiplayer with a tacked on single player campaign. People let the developers of these games know they weren’t pleased, and wanted to make sure they were dedicating their resources to either one part of the game or the other.
The usual trend was the good single player with bad multiplayer, such as the case with Batman: Arkham Origins, or the gradual decline in quality for the Assassin’s Creed series when multiplayer was introduced. The other side of the spectrum mostly covers games like Battlefield or Call of Duty, where the campaigns usually feel like an afterthought and placed there just for the sake of being included with the base package.
Onto this generation, we’ve seen a resurgence of developers focusing on one mode or the other. Assassin’s Creed has returned to being a single player only experience, or games like Titanfall that have incorporated their campaign modes into multiplayer. And then, there’s games that are either single player only or multiplayer only where the consumer is left asking, why isn’t this mode in this game? The Order: 1886 comes to mind in regards to a single player title that could have had a potentially interesting multiplayer offering.
But, of course you already know our topic of discussion here is Peter Moore’s comments regarding Star Wars: Battlefront not including single player, because “people don’t play the single player”. As you’re well-aware, we are a site focused on covering single player experiences so obviously it’s impossible to sound unbiased in this situation. I will say, however, that I’m very much looking forward to playing Star Wars: Battlefront, and my hopes for a single player campaign when it was introduced were pretty lofty, but I was content with the game not including an actual campaign until today’s comments by Peter Moore.
There’s a story on N4G running right now that sort of took Moore’s quote out of context in the title, as the full quote actually states, “very few people actually play the single-player on these kinds of games. That’s what the data points to.” What he means by that, I presume, is that people don’t play the single player campaigns in multiplayer focused shooters. However, in my opinion, that’s a completely short sighted comment that really doesn’t have data to support it other than critical reception and fan feedback.
Fan feedback, that is asking for BETTER single player campaigns, not to remove it entirely from the game. It’s really rather amusing to see games industry professionals like Moore be so out of touch with their fans when it comes to topics like this. People don’t want to bother with the campaigns in these types of games due to their lack of quality. Battlefield 3 and 4 had garbage campaign modes that were nothing more than basic Hollywood action flicks, even after they were billed as being emotional experiences.
Most of the interviews I’ve read regarding Star Wars: Battlefront have inquired about a single player campaign being included, and fans are constantly asking what offline modes are available in Battlefront and so on. What Moore seems to not understand is the fact that if you make a campaign worth playing, people will play it. And with the Star Wars universe at hand, there’s almost an endless amount of canon material that could have been used to incorporate a campaign to add further value to Battlefront as a whole and open the game up to even more potential customers who don’t want just a mutliplayer only experience.
DICE’s and EA’s response to those asking for single player options in Star Wars: Battlefront is the game’s missions mode, which as of now, is nothing more than cheap survival missions. It’s lame and it’s really just redirecting the question as to why DICE isn’t including a real single player option in Star Wars: Battlefront. These same questions were asked when it comes to games like Evolve and Titanfall. I would have thought EA would have at least learned their lesson considering they also published Titanfall that FPS games should include a single player option. You’re losing customers by not including it, and missing out on some much needed positive feedback if you include a half-decent campaign mode as well.
Just look at Halo, one of the most popular multiplayer games of all time, which also happens to have a huge focus on the campaign side of things and does it well. Whatever “stats” EA is using to decide whether or not a single player campaign is important to a game like Star Wars: Battlefront should probably be revised, because it’s clearly not true. How about, next time before you decide what your consumers “want”, you ask them? You might see a different side of the story.