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Multiplayer will be the default gaming mode of the future

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I’ve always seen multiplayer as a complimentary expansion to a game, something to be enjoyed once the end credits have rolled on a single-player experience. But the thing is, I’m starting to lean more and more towards that online side of gaming, with games like Borderlands 2 making it worthwhile. And according to Ubisoft Toronto boss Jade Raymond, multiplayer will be the defining default feature of future games.

Speaking to Digital Spy about the upcoming Ubisoft next-gen games, Raymond explained that consoles such as the Playstation 4 and Xbox One could be powerful enough to create multiplayer experiences that were heavy on the narrative side. In other words, more friends, more story for your gaming pleasure.

“Let’s say a game where instead of having crowds where there are a hundred of them, what if there are 1,000 in the street, and you really feel that, and they’re acting intelligently,” Raymond said.

To me, it’s all about the gameplay experience and how there’s stuff we’re doing in terms of investment and performance that isn’t just about cinematics and cutscenes.

It’s how that performance that makes sense and enriches the experience in a multiplayer context, where you’re not even watching a cinematic, but it’s performance of your character and the other characters being played by people, right?

If you think of it now, for example, you could be playing multiplayer games and you could be like, ‘Oh crap, what’s going on? Let’s go hide there!’ or whatever you’re saying, and your character is just still walking on or whatever.

Because of those ideas, multiplayer would indeed become a more popular choice for gamers further into the future of these consoles according to Raymond, but that to do so, the online challenge would need to encompass all manner of skill levels. “I think the key is how do we make those games appeal to a broader audience,” Raymond said.

I think a lot of them are intimidating to people, unless you’re an amazing first-person shooter player, you probably don’t want to go online for most of those games and even try them.

Maybe that’s not something that a lot of people are thinking about, but to me, if all these games are online now by default or that’s the primary mode, then how do we make sure they’re still enjoyable for different people?

It’s an interesting challenge, make no mistake. Destiny happens to be a next-gen title that has an emphasis on online narrative play, while Ubisoft has their own multiplayer coming up on those consoles, by the name of the Division.

Like it or hate it, this could indeed be the way that games are going to be in the future.

Last Updated: August 6, 2013

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