Home Gaming Rockstar: Single player games still have value

Rockstar: Single player games still have value

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Single player games are dying, the industry experts keep telling us, unable to explain the successes of games such as The Witcher, Skyrim, Arkham: Asylum and Dishonored. Some developers, like Respawn, aren;t even including single player campaigns in their games. Rockstar’s Dan Houser, however, feels that there’s still significant value in single player games.

"I think the well executed multiplayer game clearly attracts a big audience, but it doesn’t attract as big an audience as in a single player game. It just doesn’t do that yet," Houser explained to Polygon, discussing the impending release of GTA Online with Polygon.

"Not everybody, not even with Call of Duty, not everyone is playing the multiplayer," he said. "There’s a huge audience for people who love single-player adventures. And I think what we make is action adventure-games. Games with ever stronger mechanics and an ever stronger adventure component. They’re not quite RPG’s but it’s getting harder and harder to say what the difference is between an RPG and what we do. The space between the two has in the past few years has gotten smaller and smaller."

"I think a short single player game struggles. That’s what’s happened. But a big single player adventure can do well if it’s a good game. Just as a focused multiplayer game can do well if it’s a big game. The only area where it’s become tough is for a short single player campaign without multiplayer. That’s become a tough market, I believe. The rest of it, everything is just moved in one direction without moving away from the other direction."

He’s pretty much spot on. I think lengthy single player games that feel like an investment can, and do still sell incredibly well in the AAA games market. It’s also one of the reasons that, though their latest GTA features a pretty extensive online component, it didn’t launch at the same time as the main game.

"I think we were concerned that some of our previous games, while they still had a very fun multiplayer component to them, it was almost like it was being cannibalized by the enormity of the single player game," Houser said. "People were just not focusing on it. So by moving it, we really wanted to go all in and make this much bigger, much more encompassing, a stand-alone product essentially. By making it separate you give people a reason to look at it as a different thing."

"You can play single player," he added. "You can really learn how the game works, learn the mechanics. You can start multiplayer after two weeks and it will really give them a real focus on where to look at the thing. I think that separating it out will just help people look at it as different products in their own mind a bit more and really give it a good chance to try and play it and enjoy it. Otherwise, you try it for two minutes, it’s hard to connect because it’s day one, and back you go to the single player, play that and never go back into playing online."

GTA Online launches tomorrow, though it’s expected to have quite a few teething problems – which Rockstar has been pretty open about. Have you finished GTA V yet, ready to jump in to the multiplayer, or are you still slowly soaking up everything Los Santos has to offer in the single player game?

Last Updated: September 30, 2013

70 Comments

  1. Tarisma

    September 30, 2013 at 13:03

    About 35% through the game if my save games are anything to go by. Wish I could play more but life calls.

    Reply

    • TiMsTeR1033

      September 30, 2013 at 13:11

      I am about the same, maybe a little further. I have been doing alot of sight seeing, side missions and just messing around finding perfect cars and even stole a jet last night!

      Reply

      • Tarisma

        September 30, 2013 at 13:14

        I’m also doing side missions. I just get so hooked on exploring the characters back grounds.

        Reply

        • TiMsTeR1033

          September 30, 2013 at 13:16

          They awesome! my garage is slowly filling up with awesome vehicles! Trevor is my favourite by far, plus he had money to start off with 🙂

          Reply

          • JJNutter

            September 30, 2013 at 13:20

            My boet made a comment on how each character can appeal to different players. Trevor being my fav as well made me worry a little : /

          • Marc O Polo

            September 30, 2013 at 17:34

            kinda liked them all at different times… Trevor always comes out on top though!

          • Tarisma

            September 30, 2013 at 13:20

            I like Michael the most. Really like his story, and all I want to do is kill his family.

          • TiMsTeR1033

            September 30, 2013 at 13:24

            Kill his family…

          • Marc O Polo

            September 30, 2013 at 17:33

            the bugatti look alike often spawns by just behind the jewellery store that u rob in the first heist!

          • Purple_Dragon

            September 30, 2013 at 20:51

            How did you get you garage system working? Mine doesn’t work.

    • Rock789

      September 30, 2013 at 16:08

      Know the feeling… Not enough hours in the day to get everything done…

      Reply

    • Marc O Polo

      September 30, 2013 at 17:32

      100% after 74hrs in 2 weeks…

      Reply

  2. SaintsRowNigri

    September 30, 2013 at 13:06

    Well, GTA is living proof that single player, if done correctly can still bring in plenty of moolah for the company behind it.

    Reply

    • Marc O Polo

      September 30, 2013 at 17:35

      and that its sometimes better to take your time making the game and not rush one out every year!

      Reply

      • SaintsRowNigri

        September 30, 2013 at 19:53

        Hear! Hear!

        Reply

  3. Admiral Chief of Rivia

    September 30, 2013 at 13:08

    FUS RO HEADER-WIN!!!

    Reply

    • Lara's John

      September 30, 2013 at 13:13

      YEA!

      Reply

  4. Lara's John

    September 30, 2013 at 13:14

    I love SP games. I’m not always in the same mood as other people and just cruising (or running in Skyrim) along is great fun.

    Reply

  5. JJNutter

    September 30, 2013 at 13:18

    Personally, it almost feels as if multiplayer is going to be a whole new game. So, 2 for the price of one.
    I am still busy with the single player though, its fantastic how involved they made the side missions. GTA is without a doubt a solid investment,

    Reply

    • Lara's John

      September 30, 2013 at 13:19

      Online multiplayer will be armageddon. But a fun version.

      Reply

  6. Umar Jaeger

    September 30, 2013 at 13:22

    • TiMsTeR1033

      September 30, 2013 at 13:23

      almost like a Dbz moment but far more creepy…

      Reply

      • ElNicko

        September 30, 2013 at 13:24

        creepy is an understatement of Note !!

        Reply

    • TiMsTeR1033

      September 30, 2013 at 13:32

      This is so much cooler… stupid diqus doesnt show gif!

      Reply

      • Umar Jaeger

        September 30, 2013 at 13:36

        I guess I am victorious then 😛

        Reply

        • TiMsTeR1033

          September 30, 2013 at 13:42

          🙁

          Reply

  7. ElNicko

    September 30, 2013 at 13:22

    about 60% in , about 31 missions still to go. Still so much to do and see……..Bring on GTA online , just joined up with the Lazygamer crew for Xbawks 360

    Reply

    • Vampyre Squirrel

      September 30, 2013 at 13:43

      I joined the crew too… and I don’t even have an internet connection at the moment lol!!!

      Trying to make a plan with that though…

      Reply

      • ElNicko

        September 30, 2013 at 13:46

        yeah , need to get a Gold sub for xbox myself. though wondering what is the minimum bandwidth required for GTA Online ?? ??

        Reply

        • Vampyre Squirrel

          September 30, 2013 at 13:48

          That’s a good question… It’ll probably kill whatever I’ve got available to mess with at the moment.

          I’ve got a 1yr Gold sub that’s valid until August or September next year, so that’s not a worry for me at the moment.

          Reply

          • ElNicko

            September 30, 2013 at 13:49

            and as we have all learnt before from Online gaming – Lag Sucks !!

        • TiMsTeR1033

          September 30, 2013 at 13:50

          My usb modem works fine for online play.

          Reply

          • ElNicko

            September 30, 2013 at 13:52

            Line Speed ??

          • TiMsTeR1033

            September 30, 2013 at 13:54

            umm those vodacom ones… think It’s 21mbs one or something. But I just use 8ta sim card in it. I don’t feel like getting uncapped yet, when I move I will. But I get hardly any lag.

          • ElNicko

            September 30, 2013 at 13:56

            ahhhh a 3G dongle then…..those work very well , IF (and thats a big If) you have decent signal strength.

    • ElimiNathan

      September 30, 2013 at 13:59

      What is this Lazygamer crew you speak of ?

      Reply

      • ElNicko

        September 30, 2013 at 14:00

        Check out rockstar social club – where you sign up for a crew for GTA Online (and sadly its per console – no cross platform love)

        Reply

        • Vampyre Squirrel

          September 30, 2013 at 16:20

          It’s never cross platform 🙁

          Reply

  8. GhettoSmurf

    September 30, 2013 at 13:23

    Finished it last night, the end makes the journey well worth it

    Reply

    • Sageville

      September 30, 2013 at 13:34

      I wanted more big heists….

      Hopefully online is as cool as the single player, but with tons more heists (Payday 2 in open world) ZOMG!

      Reply

  9. JJNutter

    September 30, 2013 at 13:24

    Also, after I finish the game, I will be playing it again this time using the alternate heist options. Cant wait for December, a little alone time away from work 🙂

    Reply

  10. Alien Emperor Trevor

    September 30, 2013 at 13:27

    If I’m buying a full priced AAA single player game I expect a decent amount of play time. A couple of hours is indie territory.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief of Rivia

      September 30, 2013 at 13:28

      Unless its FTL, then a couple of hours become a couple of weeks

      Reply

      • Sageville

        September 30, 2013 at 13:35

        I still hate you!

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief of Rivia

          September 30, 2013 at 13:55

          Why?

          Reply

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            September 30, 2013 at 13:59

            Since when do we need reasons? 😉

          • Sageville

            September 30, 2013 at 15:30

            FTL is a frikken time vortex, I still blame you for introducing me to it.

          • Admiral Chief of Rivia

            September 30, 2013 at 15:32

            How many hours are you on?

          • Sageville

            September 30, 2013 at 15:54

            I’ll have to look… but it did reduce my work productivity to well below my usual 12%.

  11. Gerhard

    September 30, 2013 at 13:39

    I only play SP games and it is disappointing (for me) that when reading reviews, how many reviewers only emphasize the multiplayer component as to why a game is good. In no way am I saying games shouldn’t have multiplayer, but give me a good SP with it and I will buy it.

    Reply

    • Alien Emperor Trevor

      September 30, 2013 at 13:50

      I feel exactly the same way.

      Reply

  12. Vampyre Squirrel

    September 30, 2013 at 13:41

    I’m only getting my copy of GTAV tonight (which my awesome wife bought for me, I don’t think she realizes what she got herself into 😛 )… and I don’t have an internet connection at my new place… so no GTA Online for me until I get that uncapped dsl line installed.

    Reply

    • TiMsTeR1033

      September 30, 2013 at 13:43

      But you have an xbox live gamertag on Rockstar social club..and member of Lazygamers.

      Reply

      • Vampyre Squirrel

        September 30, 2013 at 13:44

        Yep… joined the crew over the weekend so I don’t have to do it later, or have to remember later.

        Reply

        • TiMsTeR1033

          September 30, 2013 at 13:49

          I hope you have a blast playing man! p.s just remember check time during play or might be in for a nasty surprise when you look and see its 1am hahaha

          Reply

          • ElNicko

            September 30, 2013 at 13:51

            I can fully agree Timster………time just simply flies when you’re playing this.

          • Vampyre Squirrel

            September 30, 2013 at 14:25

            I’ll be setting an alarm on my phone just to make sure lol

    • ElNicko

      September 30, 2013 at 13:55

      enjoy it dude , just make sure your volume isn’t too loud , your wife might not be too impressed. Heres hoping your Wife doesn’t mind you disappearing for the rest of the year.

      Reply

      • TiMsTeR1033

        September 30, 2013 at 13:56

        sex life goes out the window if your not careful! hahaha

        Reply

  13. TiMsTeR1033

    September 30, 2013 at 13:55

    I have a question.. When Gta online activates how are we gonna know when guys are online ect and how will it all work?

    Reply

  14. CaptainNemo42

    September 30, 2013 at 14:00

    I am at like 80%. Done a lot of stuff. I mostly go for the random events that happen. As well as Trying to do all the other stupid stuff that you can do, like street races and para jumps and whotnot.

    Odds are very good I’ll play this game again, because I realised some stuff like the stock exchange and so on a bit late. But, I’m more than game for GTA Online. Think it will be fun.

    Reply

  15. Helter_Skelter

    September 30, 2013 at 15:12

    Believe it or not, I’m still waiting on my copy of GTA V for the PS3. 🙁 Kalahari is taking their sweet friggin’ time with it! One of the drawbacks of living in a fairly rural area. Hopefully it will be here by Wednesday!

    Reply

    • Avithar

      September 30, 2013 at 16:36

      know that feeling

      Reply

  16. Aussious

    September 30, 2013 at 15:22

    The game has sold over 16 Million units in its first week with no active multiplayer, I would listen to the dude he clearly knows what he is talking about.

    Reply

  17. Warwick Candle Parris

    September 30, 2013 at 16:01

    GTAV is the biggest waste of money I have ever had.. Game doesn’t even render the buildings fast enough when you mod any of the cars in the game. Find yourself crashing into buildings only to have them render once your body disappears. Quite frustrating when you are trying to run from the police. this is the reason why PC gaming is better than Console because you can crack games like this instead of fork out ridiculous amounts of cash for a game that will just piss you off.

    Reply

    • Vampyre Squirrel

      September 30, 2013 at 16:19

      One question… did you install the game on your console?

      Reply

      • Warwick Candle Parris

        September 30, 2013 at 16:25

        You have to install the 8 gigs before you can play. According to Rockstar its because my Hard Drive in my PS3 is too old and slow. So to me that sounds like them saying, Your hard drive that came stock in your console is not fast enough to run the game we developed to run on that console. To think they paid 115 million $s to develop a game that cant run on the platform it was developed for.

        Reply

        • Purple_Dragon

          September 30, 2013 at 20:53

          Er, millions of people playing GTAV on their PS3s would beg to differ.

          Reply

    • bobsmith4321

      September 30, 2013 at 16:24

      Facepalm.gif

      Reply

  18. Purple_Dragon

    September 30, 2013 at 20:55

    I wish you could get stats on the average age of gamers who spend most of their time on SPs. I have a feeling it is those gamers around the 30 age mark who grew up with games and have a greater appreciation for these big SP games?

    Reply

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