Strauss Zelnick, CEO of Red Dead Redemption 2 distributor Take-Two Interactive, has spoken out to defend single-player games, stating that the format “is not dead, not even close.”
Considering that Take-Two has made an enormous amount of profit from Grand Theft Auto V ‘s multiplayer mode, single-player fans may have been surprised by Zelnick’s comments. Speaking to GamesBeat, Zelnick responded to the oft-quoted analysis that single-player games are dying, stating:
“Historically, in entertainment, people take positions like that, but there are also people saying that it won’t work if it’s not a free-to-play battle royale. People really are saying that, and not even tongue-in-cheek. I don’t buy that. Single-player, in my opinion, is not dead, not even close. Companies that feel like they’ll just avoid the hard work of building a story and characters and go right to where the money is in multiplayer, I don’t think that’s going to work. I’d be surprised.”
Following the current wave of free-to-play royales and card games, Zelnick’s view initially reads as refreshing, implying that the heads of gaming’s elite companies still have some faith in single-player experiences.
However, the CEO’s later comments imply that he sees single-player as merely a stepping stone to multiplayer, where the real money lies:
“I think that’s what happened with Grand Theft Auto Online. We certainly feel like there’s no evidence that people don’t want a single-player, because they’re still playing Grand Theft Auto V.”
With Red Dead Redemption 2‘s multiplayer-focused pre-order bonuses, as well as a leak that hinted at a battle royale mode for the game, fans will be hoping the single-player campaign serves as more than just a gateway to multiplayer.
Red Dead Redemption 2 is expected to release on October 26, 2018 for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Be sure to visit our in-depth analysis of the title’s May trailer, and to follow OnlySP on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.