The trifecta of Battlefield 4, Call of Duty: Ghosts and Titanfall loom on the horizon. All three of these titles have one thing in common: they’re all multiplayer focused. Respawn Entertainment’s Titanfall even goes as far as to omit a single player campaign altogether. This begs the question, how many gamers purchasing these titles will even play or complete the single player? If a player is buying a title solely for the multiplayer, like most CoD and Battlefield players are, should the developers/publishers make the multiplayer component of the game available for purchase separate?
In today’s gaming world competitive multiplayer is at an all-time high. You can watch any one of a hundred live-streams on Twitch.tv of Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 or Battlefied 3 at any given time. There are droves of players that dedicate themselves to playing and perfecting the art of combat in the multiplayer arena. Whenever a new Call of Duty or Battlefield releases, it might as well be considered a holiday: people call in sick from work to stay home and bump their kill counts.
A huge line outside a Best Buy during the launch of COD: MW2
So what about the single player portions of these games? What about the thousands of man hours and millions of dollars spent on development? Are they even being played? In my experience, no. Shit I’ve owned CoD: Black Ops 2 since launch day and I still haven’t finished the campaign. According to Raptr.com’s numbers, less than a 10% combined PS3/Xbox360 gamers have completed the game on Hardened or Veteran difficulty level. I wonder with numbers like that, will we even continue to see Call of Duty games with a single player?
Respawn Entertainment, made-up of former Infinity Ward heads, has recognized this and has decided to leave out a single player component from their upcoming and highly anticipated release, Titianfall. Instead they have tried something new, something different. Respawn has woven the cinematic narrative into the game’s multiplayer levels. Now, Titanfall rounds begin with brief story elements thrown in and scripted events happen during the matches to make the player feel as if they’re participating as a soldier in war. Will this new take on shooters work? Who knows, but at least they’re trying something new.
A commander giving orders before a match starts in one of Titianfall’s pre-match scripted events
So with Respawn omitting single player altogether and the majority of Battlefield and Call of Duty players only purchasing the game for the multiplayer, why don’t these development studios give us a choice? Let us decide if we want both, or just one of the aspects of the game. Imagine if you will, the ability to just purchase the MP part of Call of Duty: Ghost for a discounted price and downloading it to your machine of choice. Instead of paying full price and never touching the campaign. It just seems like a waste in some cases.
But it makes sense right? I’m not sure why developers/publishers haven’t gone this route yet, especially this generation, with how much digital downloads have been popular. Is it a way to get you to pay full price by not giving you the alternative? I can’t help and think of all the resources and cash that they spend on producing the single player portions of these shooters, for almost nothing.
As it stands right now I have no interest in shelling out $60 to tryout the next Call of Duty, but if Activision gave my the opportunity to at a reduced price, I might just reconsider.
What do you think, would the ability to download the singleplayer and multiplayer portions of your favorite games be a better way? Let us know your thoughts below or on twitter @GamesontheMind.