Multiplayer support for console games has declined

1 min read

forever alone xbox

Contrary to popular belief, multiplayer isn’t taking over the industry, at least according to some research done by EEDAR. In fact, there’s been a heavy decline in multiplayer support in games released in the USA on both Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.

Speaking to Penny Arcade’s Geoffrey Zatkin, the Chief Operating Officer of EEDAR gave a run down on the numbers:

You can see that in 2006, one year into the release of the Xbox 360 and the launch year of the PlayStation 3, 67% of the games had online multiplayer, 58% had offline multiplayer and 28% had no multiplayer.

By 2012, you can see that only 42% have online multiplayer, a drop of 25%, 44% have offline multiplayer, a drop of 14%, and 41% have no multiplayer, a rise of 16%. So, over time, fewer and fewer high definition console games are including multiplayer as part of their core offering.


But seeing these numbers doesn’t make the recent uproar about tacked-on multiplayers any less valid. Could it be that the 42% of games that do have the multiplayer feature are actually the only games we’re really interested in playing? So it just feels like multiplayer is being squeezed in everywhere? The numbers however also supports what was said in Geoff’s “Single player games aren’t dead“ article. One type of game is not being replaced by another, the market simply puts emphasis on the cases where this feature is being added, hoping it appeals to a wider audience.

Last Updated: March 26, 2013

  • Admiral Chief Erwin


  • Zero-Cool

    GOOD! One thing that I could never understand, is why an awesome game such as Stranglehold had a multiplayer mode.

  • Deon Steyn

    Offline multiplayer/split screen will always be a necessity, be it NFS, any sport games, Borderlands, Army of Two or even Diablo3 that’s on it’s way. Online seems so cold and impersonal.

    I saw this video today and obviously it’s a internet show but tell me this is not fun having everyone in the same room.

  • I’ve always been a fan f the good old fashioned single player, but dont’ mind getting people in one room for multiplayer… Its this whole social network intergration that grates.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Maybe server costs are higher than we think…?

  • cammers

    So I think the problem with online multiplayer is the popular favourite vs the best. I loved playing Crysis 2 online for a while til no one showed up had to revert back to COD to get game time. This is also obviously because of internet speed, if we had that sorted I think there would be global village to sort this problem out.

  • Sir Rants-a-Lot Llew

    ok… Surprising news. It just seems like console is getting it right lately. Not focusing on forced online, not using crappy tacked on multiplayer, I hate to say this but it genuinely seems like the only safe place to game is going to be consoles

  • OVG


    The rest of you social gamers can go COD wolop yourselves.

  • matthurstrsa

    Maybe people saw the complete domination of certain players in certain genres (CoD in shooters, Fifa in soccer etc) and kind of just gave up.

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