FFD: So, about those always-online single player games

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Perpetually connected, mostly single player game Diablo III’s launch was a mess. For weeks afterwards the game was nearly unplayable, giving people the now infamous Error 37 message. It’s a mistake EA should have learned from – but didn’t. Its own perpetually connected, mostly single player game launched this week – and server issues have caused a huge uproar, with people waiting hours just to be able to play the game they’ve bought.

We’re always told that we never really own the games we buy – we’re just granted a licence. but what about when that licence doesn’t doesn’t actually allow you to play a damned thing, because some large company who should know better hasn’t managed to get their ducks in a row.

It’s made all the worse by the fact that in truth, much like Diablo the game doesn’t really need to be online. Sure, there are some neat features that take advantage of being perpetually connected, like leaderboards, a persistent economy and other marketing nonsense, but they could easily just disable that nonsense and let people play offline.

They won’t though – because perpetually connected single player games are THE FUTURE! That’s the belief of a number of industry luminaries, including the likes of Crytek’s Cevat Yerli, who wants “The single player experience to go away.” Rumours even suggest that at least one of the next gen consoles will require an always on connection for single player games. This is the future.

So tell us; what do you think of connected single player games? Is there any real benefit – or is it just another method of DRM, a way for publishers to hold even more control over our games?

Last Updated: March 8, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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