Sony’s portfolio is flooded with primarily single player experiences, but as part of a wider discussion regarding the future of solitary releases, Xbox Publishing boss Shannon Loftis believes the economics are becoming increasingly complicated. Speaking with GameSpot, she noted how gamers’ insatiable demand for better graphics and higher resolutions is driving the cost of campaigns up – and we suppose the insinuation here is that it’s harder to exploit additional revenue streams if your title takes place entirely offline.
To be fair, this is probably part of the reason why we’ve started to see loot boxes crop up in Middle-earth: Shadow of War and helix credits return in Assassin’s Creed Origins. Loftis doesn’t believe, however, that single player games are dead. “I don't think that there is ever going to be a time when there aren't single player, story-based games,” she stressed.
One thing she says is that she wants to build more community interaction around predominantly single player games so that it’s more like watching a television series with friends. It’s interesting because that’s exactly what Sony’s new PlayLink title Hidden Agenda is doing – it’s an adventure title that’s designed to be shared and enjoyed with others. It’s going to be super fascinating to see how publishers and platform holders alike work to keep single player alive in the wake of spiralling development costs.