Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three Years'

August 17, 2011 -

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

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Comments

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

Bull-Frelling-Shite. Some games are just ruined by other people. Take Solitare. I'd love to see his assertion hold up on that. Or how about any game that just lets you stop and think? What about pausing? Network infastructure? Servers? There is so much that goes into online gaming that even if you plug in some middleware, you still have a lot of work to do.

Saying this a SONY event just raises his statement from absurd to parody. Aren't these the people who closed shop for 2 months because they forgot to get locks for the back door? What happens to the game when the network or server is down?

Ok, this is enough ranting from me.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

"I believe the traditional single-player game experience will be gone in three years... I believe three years from now, if you aren't doing that, you are being criticized in your reviews for your lack of innovation."

He cant even keep his story straight, he's clearly BS'ing.  I'd be inclined to believe that single player games might become a small niche area in some years time, but to say it will die out completely in the foreseeable future is so obviously nonsense that nobody who can tie their own shoelaces could possibly believe it, therefore it's nothing but hype.  Or, to put it in less favorable terminology, lies.

 

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

i think this is a test statment he  or sony wants to see how menny gamers go omfg hell no to see if they can just abandin the sp as a way of making games

 

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Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

I hope this guy is wrong, because I, for one, play single player almost exclusively.  Ironically, one of the few games I play multiplayer, Civilization, has utterly broken and almost unplayably buggy multiplayer in the latest version, but the devs won't fix it because "nobody plays multiplayer".  So I guess it's just lose-lose for me.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

I disagree, but I wouldn't be surprised if it happens.

After all, it is predicted that in 10-15 years, all of our computer software and files would be on the net and the "machines" will only be used as terminals. I don't agree with this, but that's the direction we're taking.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

Funny that... That "prediction" has been made multiple times in the last 30 years. The idea of the cloud, as you describe, is an old one indeed.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

This guy is either an idiot of is exaggerating his claims. Not in three years, not in 5, not in 10 and  really not in my lifetime will purely single player games disappear.

As long as there is a market for a single player experience there will be someone willing to provide product. Strictly single player games like Oblivion and the upcoming Skyrim still do a very brisk business, moving millions and millions of units.

To be sure there is a subset of gamers who are pretty much MP only, these are mostly the FPS guys I think. At the same time there is a large contingent of gamers who never touch MP modes. Brad Wardell was talking about Demigod, a game really designed for MP, and he said more than half of the players never touched the mulitplayer and only played the single player. More than half in a game most would think of as a MP-centric game.

So the traditional single player experience will be with us a long, long time.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

Something tells me soldiers and anyone else who doesn't have (reliable/affordable) internet will prefer to have singleplayer games around.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

I certainly hope not. Seeing how the majority of people in multiplayer often behave, I'd rather steer clear from that. Now if it was single player with the option of actual friends to join in, that would be better.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

Agreed. 

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Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

As badly as they are making new single player content it all might end up in the could after all.....


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Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

The answer is: No.

Nintendo based their platforms under the 'classic' single player games (Metroid, Zelda, Mario, etc). Most systems have a core set of single player games. Sure multiplayer has and will always be popular, but a good single player game is the bread and butter of any video game system. Tell Bioware, Ubisoft, Rockstar, Square-Enix, etc that single player games should be stopped. They will laugh at you while they are swimming in their giant pools of money from single player game sales.

Will majority of games have some sort of multiplayer function in 3 years? I think that is a safe assumption. It will take a lot to kill the single-player campaign :) Now excuse me while I play some Red Dead Redemption... on single player :)

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

Multi fails for the lack of trains.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

Yeah, right - single player ends in 3 years. And pigs will fly, the Moon will be found to be made of cheese, and Elvis will resurface and make a hit record.

Dream on!

I still play Left 4 Dead in single player mode. As long as a perfect MP game like that is being played SP, single player ain't going anywhere. Single Player is an optional playstyle - companies ignore optional playstyles at their peril. Just imagine if Assassin's Creed Brotherhood had entirely chucked its singleplayer component in favour of MP-only play. It would have sunk the franchise virtually overnight. Any game developer that relies on one playstyle alone is flirting with disaster.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

There have been people predicting the death of single player for a long time.. usually people who can not see past their own use-case... people who believe in a gamer monoculture or at minimal belief only one type of gamer (or person) is worth producing games for.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

SO basically those who play Call of Duty and little else and assume everyone plays just that.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

Not quite especially since I know a lot of people who beat the single player campaign before going online.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

True, though it would be further hampered by sucky tacked on multiplayer.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

That is one of the more present dangers.

Marketing and development are full off assumptions, often driving by the culture of the developer and the users they pay most attention to (i.e. ones who are active in forums or interact with the developers/marketers somehow), which means multiplayer users get a disproportionate representation.

Game development has finite resources.. not just in time, but in system resources.  There is also the problem of, as you expand the number of features/modes testing time increases near exponentially since you need to test each combination. 

I think the last breakdown I saw was that on-line players make up about 10% of the playerbase (naturally this will varry by game) but just adding basic multiplayer will eat ~30% of the development resources.  This does not take into account multiplayer features added above and beyond single player mode, nor does it take into account server work/maintaince or the more insidious 'make the UI multi-player friendly' (things like reducing the complexity of menus so they can be used in real time rather then pausing the gameplay) changes that will make single player mode less rich.

Re: Cerny: 'Traditional Single Player Will be Gone in Three ...

three years?  nah, I'm calling bullshit.  the market for SP games is just too strong yet.  my evidence:  Assassin's creed series, Final Fantasy series (minus 11 & 14), don't know if the Metal Gear Solid series is still going, Splinter Cell made a big splash, etc.

 
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