At a Sony-sponsored event last night in conjunction with Gamescom, veteran game consultant Mark Cerny predicted that single-player gaming will be dead in three years. That's certainly the kind of prediction we will have to hold Cerny to three years from now because it's an astonishing claim.
"I believe the traditional single-player game experience will be gone in three years," predicted Cerny. “Right now you sit in your living room and you're playing a game by yourself – we call it the sp mission or the single-player campaign. In a world with Facebook I just don't think that's going to last."
"We're already seeing the wall starting to crumble a bit," he continued. "Demon's Souls, even though on one level it's a single-player game, as you're walking through the world you're seeing the ghosts of everybody who died in that world via the internet. You can leave messages for them. They can leave messages for you. There's actually a boss you fight in that game which is controlled by another player.”
"We're talking five, 10 years out. I believe three years from now, if you aren't doing that, you are being criticized in your reviews for your lack of innovation."
"The funny thing here is, we don't even know what to call this. Is it single-player or is it multiplayer? We don't even have the words. It's kind of Orwellian. If you don't have any word for freedom you can't have a revolution. How can you be talking about design when we don't have the words to describe it? Yet, that will be the standard, I believe, in 2014,” he surmised. "A game without the presence of other players in it – you go out three or five years, I believe that is unthinkable given how connected we're becoming.”
Maybe what he really meant to say is that how we define single-player games might change to the point where it becomes indistinguishable from multiplayer.. or maybe he means exactly what he pontificates.
Source: Industry Gamers