Editorial

Peter Moore, You’re Dead Wrong About Single Player

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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.

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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.

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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.

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

Peter Moore on Star Wars: Battlefront – “very few people actually play the single-player”

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25 Comments

  1. Well said.

  2. I make it a point to play the single player of stuff like COD just because somebody has made the effort to make it. The exception being Black OPs 2 as the SP was almost unplayable.
    Since the lag on Xbox One for a UK player is almost unbearable I am considering skipping even the MP for the next one and developers should concentrate on making sure the MP is as playable online as possible before taking SP out altogether.

  3. The reason serious Star Wars gamers are pissed about the lack of a campaign is this is the first time in the history of gaming they extracted the true essence of the original trilogy, assets and all into a next gen environment.

    Star Wars games have come and gone over the years with varying degrees of value and success to the gamer. However, none have actually been created from the ground up using all the original assets and filming locations to create the truly authentic Star Wars universe gamers have waited decades for. As it turns out, the game of everyone’s dreams, with all the original detail, sounds, visuals and overall vibe is getting squandered on just a bunch of multiplayer maps. It isn’t simply that fans are upset that there’s no campaign, fans are upset the game they have waited their lives for isn’t actually getting made for them. It’s being made for people that spend their waking lives playing online multiplayer shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty.

    The level of quality and investment in such a massive undertaking to create the most authentic classic Star Wars game to date is getting made for the wrong audience and will ultimately be forgotten by some the moment Black Ops III comes out and then the rest when Battlefield 5 comes out next year..

    1. Yea, I agree with all that. I’m not sure why EA’s treating the game as a risk, the return on investment here is going to be huge.

    2. Dude, it’s called Star Wars Battlefront for a reason. This is what this game is and always was. It’s a multiplayer (both offline and online) experience. I don’t know where these “Star Wars fans” are coming from expecting this huge, dedicated offline, single-player narrative experience.

      Here’s the real issue, and EA hit the nail on the head with it. They had 3 options. Choose to focus on a story-driven, single-player experience, an online competitive multiplayer experience (inspired by the original mulitpayer-focused Battlefront games, or both.

      Focusing on both results in the often result of slop games with either a solid single-player and throwaway multiplayer, or vice versa. It’s so very rare to find a game that is equally polished in both areas (Uncharted 2/3 & Conker’s Bad Fur Day being 2 of the very small pool of examples).

      I’m glad they were smart enough to choose one and make sure it’s the best it can be. People demand and expect too much sometimes and forget that there’s going to be PLENTY of time down the road for others to step up and make single-player focused Star Wars now that Disney’s planning on milking the fucking shit out of this cow it just released became the owner of.

      1. Dark Forces & Jedi Knight have no problems with those ‘3 options’…

        1. Dark Forces didn’t have multiplayer. Also, Jedi Knight’s multiplayer, albeit incredibly fun, was just simple FFA deathmatch and CTF. Other than the netcode, I doubt they had to divert significant resources from the singleplayer mode, especially since they didn’t have to place enemies in the MP levels. Since games today are soooo much more complicated and expensive to make, choosing to split up your resources into developing both SP and MP modes can be the difference between a terrific, polished game, or a buggy, average game. Personally, I’d rather have a great SP game, or a great MP game, instead of a game that contains both a buggy SP mode, and an uninspired, derivative MP mode. I don’t see how this isn’t obvious to anyone who is out in the real world already.
          I know some products manage to pull off both, but they are few and far between.

          1. I meant Dark Forces 2. Sorry it was a long time ago, kinda forgot.

            But I get your point.

      2. It is pretty funny that we have to actually choose between those options. Yes, games have become incredibly advanced and hugely expensive. But we are talking about EA and Star Wars here. This is no indie “labor of love” project here…This is a game with a massive potential audience, and a very well-off company developing it. If Goldeneye’s multiplayer can be added in last minute by two programmers, I really think EA could “figure out” a method to implement both methods into their game.

  4. This is the same company that admits to not understanding what people like about Bad Company, so it’s not a surprise that they would blunder forward in making their next game without understanding what their potential customers would like.

    1. Don’t remind me about Bad Company…man I hope those go Backwards Compatible soon. I’d love to replay Bad Company on the X1.

  5. The sad thing is that there are a lot of people who would raise an eyebrow when I would tell them that I play Mortal Kombat X only Single Player, and never online. They were like “Dude, seriously?!” We isolationists don’t like to admit it, but there are a LOT of people who think it’s stupid *not* to play multiplayer all the time.

    1. True. Depends on the game. Skill based game likes MK aren’t really fun to play online unless you’re “good”. At least in my experience. I guess practice makes perfect. I can’t speak too much because I’ve put hundreds of hours into NHL 15 online, and the older Call of Duty’s and Halos lol.

  6. A campaign with a story, map progression, and cinematics is a lot of work. That’s a feature the first Star Wars: Battlefront didn’t have and I’d be happy without it.

    My complaint here is that they already designed bots, both as ground troops and pilots. So it wouldn’t require a ton of extra work to simply add an Instant Action mode, like the original game had, that lets players fight the same maps in epic battles completely with and against bots.

    The Missions mode is a nice addition. But why limit the single-player experience to smaller battles on a limited selection of maps?

    Peter Moore’s comment about demand is questionable for two reasons.

    First, the original game didn’t have an “always online” requirement and didn’t send metric data back to the developer when it was played offline. So he has no way of knowing how many players did or didn’t enjoy the game offline.

    Second, “these kinds of games” is painting with a broad brush. As DICE has often said, the original Star Wars: Battlefront was a different style of gameplay than DICE’s own Battlefront games. They didn’t share the exact same audience. Galactic Conquest mode made the single-player experience much more fun. I don’t expect DICE to provide that mode again for launch, since they have a lot on their plate updating the series for modern consoles. But it would be nice as a DLC expansion.

    1. I think when moore said “these kinds of games” he was referring to Dice’s games in general, and not the battlefront games themselves, he probably hasn’t even played any of the original battlefront games.

      Personally I think dices batlefront is a lot less ambitious than what free radicals battlefront 3 was bringing to the table (and that ambition was sadly its downfall, that and of course Haze) e.g simultaneous planetside/space battles where people dog fighting in space could assist those fighting on the ground by blowing up shield arrays etc and vice versa. I’ll bite into dices battlefront series once this becomes a feature, fingers crossed itll be in the next one (and hopefully not as dlc i have to buy seperately… who am i kidding, its ea, of course ill have to pay extra for it!)

  7. Only shit comes out of Peter Moores mouth any way, he’s almost as bad as Molyneux

    1. I’d say he’s worse than molyneux. Much worse. Molyneuxs brains and ideas just work too fast for his team to keep up or are beyond whats technically possible at the time (and im not defending molyneuxs smug behavious in recent years with that), whereas peter moore doesnt seem to have a brain at all, just a penchant for cash.

      1. His smugness over shadows anything he does for sure, I’ll give you that he at least can form rational thoughts relative to gaming, compared to whatever the Rat running on a wheel in Moores skull can conjure up!

    2. It would be their own fault though if someone bought a game without checking what type of game it is first. The info is there on the back of the box. It’s not the developer’s fault if people don’t check beforehand and go in expecting something to be there when that’s not the point of the game.

      1. It says this is a multiplayer Game only on the back?

        1. For any game that info can be found on the back. Something like “1 Player” for a single-player game or “Network Players 1-20” for an online MP game. I’m just saying if I was spending a significant amount of money on a game I would check beforehand that it’s what I was expecting to avoid getting home only to find out that it’s not.

  8. peter moore is a cancer that kills everything he touches.

  9. Why? Greed of course.

    I miss old days Star Wars where we can choose how we play. Back then Star Wars have a strong single-player content and multiplayer is a bonus. Heck, it even got LAN.

  10. To Peter Moore I would say….thank goodness Amy Hennig is making the next EA Star Wars game, as she knows the value of a good single player storyline in games. Star Wars Battlefront may not “need” a single player component to sell well, but there is little doubt that players like myself, who are primarily single player focused, will be more hesitant to buy the game with no single player content. I didn’t buy Titanfall for the very same reason.

  11. Well it costs 4 times as much to make single player than it does multiplayer.
    10-20% will play multiplayer only.
    Of those that will play multiplayer, 90% will not finish a 6 hour single player campaign.

    I think he means less that no one wants to play single player games, and more that for multiplayer games its a huge waste of resources to add single player because too few will play it.
    Batman and AC are single player games, BF COD and Battlefront and multiplayer.

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