Pete Hines: Don’t Put Multiplayer In Your Game for No Reason, You Idiots

Online multiplayer is fine, just fine, but I prefer playing alone. And I resent it when multiplayer is tacked on to a game that would otherwise have a single-player focus. So does Pete Hines, who is Bethesda’s VP of marketing. Speaking to

[People ask us] for a game like Skyrim or Prey 2, why doesn’t it have multiplayer? Well, our question is always the opposite when we talk to a developer. If you’re doing multiplayer, why are you doing multiplayer? What are you trying to accomplish?

We want the best game possible. If that’s a singleplayer game that’s 15 to 20 hours, then make that! Don’t waste your time on features that don’t make the game better.

What a great quote. It’s so intelligent that my brain might just explode. What a great start to my day.

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16 Comments on Pete Hines: Don’t Put Multiplayer In Your Game for No Reason, You Idiots


On July 22, 2011 at 9:00 pm

I believe that sometime Bethesda should attempt to involve multi-player into the Elder Scrolls or Fallout series eventually, but only when they can have the same scale game/game environment, while at the same time have some way to make sense out of gameplay that would require your friends as well as yourself. Multiplayer quests, is where it should start, eventually if engines grow powerful enough though, if they get the man power they should attempt to form a MMO out of Elder Scrolls just because then they could expand it whenever they wanted and the money they could bring in (based on their creativity) would be immense.


On July 22, 2011 at 9:36 pm

I think the elder scrolls could do with a semi-multiplayer, say having a friend to explore the game world with you. Having the huge open ended game is awesome, but its not as fun when you’re exploring the entire thing by yourself and the AI who accompany you are about as much company as a dead cat. It takes a lot away from the replay value, it was severely noticeable in oblivion

Jesse Radonski

On July 23, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I’m a fan of playing games semi-solo. With a game like Elder Scrolls, I think I’d rather play it solo, but with a game like Call of Duty, I’d rather play it with others. I like short intervals of multiplayer, but long intervals solo. I like to daydream while being enveloped in a story without the interruption from another person.


On July 23, 2011 at 5:52 pm

Any form of Multiplayer would Ruin a The Elder Scrolls game.
Part of the Lasting appeal of the TES series of games on PC has bean the modding community.
It’s only recently that they have become playable on consoles, and feel shallow compared to the adaptable and expandable nature of the series on PC.
Find a nice waterhole in the middle of the wilderness? Break out the ‘Software Development Kit/ Construction Tools’ and make house just for yourself, with a basement big enough to store your collection of Armor and Weapons.
Got a great idea for a quest with a dungeon full of pipes you need to rescue the princess from a giant Turtle? That can happen on the PC version through the Mods.
That kind of customization can not exist in a Multiplayer game.
Bethesda have themselves said they’d like to some how incorporate the Modding Community into TES on Consoles. But as it stands they haven’t.
I guess what I’m saying, Everyone’s TES game is different due to Play Style, and Choice of Mods they wish to install (if any).
Adding multiplayer makes everyone play the same cookie cutter character in an RPG that TES is better off Not being.


On July 26, 2011 at 8:38 pm

They are right.Look how Bioware is ing up Mass Effect 3 by delaying it and puting in Multiplayer.What a crock.


On July 29, 2011 at 1:18 pm

I can’t disagree more. Once you have finished playing those 15-20 hour campaigns, not many people are going to jump right back in and play the whole thing again unless the game has that much more to offer(which is pretty rare). Any game needs replay-ability, and this is a key feature I think many games lack. While I agree that a multiplayer deathmatch scenario tacked on for no reason, is a bad idea, I think co-op is one of the best moves a developer can make, and is well worth the extra time it takes to implement it.

Co-op establishes the replay-ability of playing the game for maybe 100 hours over the 20 of a normal single player game, and at the same time discourages pirating (which is a BIG problem for most single-player only games).

While I’m very excited to get my hands on Skyrim, I would be so much more excited if they would let me roam the fantastic open world with my friend(s).


On July 29, 2011 at 3:17 pm

As awesome as it would be to have a drop in/drop out multiplayer function in the Elder Scrolls series, there are enough multiplayer games out there and I’d rather be playing one of those than have Bethesda spend less time on making their games as ing epic as they are.
While it’s a cool idea to be able to explore the vast world of Skyrim with a buddy or in a group, it’s an entirely different experience to playing on your own, and leaving the multiplayer aside makes for more time to be spent renovating the single player experience and making it the best it can be.

Look at Two Worlds. I feel like the single player game suffered because of the time they spent on the multiplayer side, and the multiplayer was horrible because they were more focused on the single player side.

If you’re going to make a multiplayer game, then do that. But focus on that and make it as good as it can be. Bethesda done it with Brink, and they’ve made the best single player games around at the same time.


On July 30, 2011 at 2:40 pm

Look at the multi-player in the Fable series, its pretty much as close as you can get to being useless, yet it’s obvious they had to put a lot of work into it. I would much rather they make a good single-player game than waste resources on a contrived multi-player aspect. There are still people who are fans of single player rpgs who like to be immersed in a world that multi-player would ruin. I mean imagine the issues of finding someone online who is the at the same skill level and place in the story as you, they would have to put in balancing aspects that would ruin the roleplay effect of the game.


On August 2, 2011 at 11:00 am

There is a place for everything, and TES is not a place for multi-player game play. It’s like what everyone is saying, it’s better for the developer to spend time making an awesome single player game than to spend time and resources on a co-op feature. As for TES as an MMO; MMO’s are were franchises go to die, unless the game started as an MMO. Look at Star Trek online, look at Star Wars Galaxy. Even now the’re trying again with The Old Republic and I have no reason to believe it will work any better. The point is, why gamble on a system that works. Be happy with an amazing single player game.


On August 5, 2011 at 3:51 am

Let’s be honest, more often than not the multiplayer tackon is all about beefy up the single player game when they know the maps are light on.
They run out of money or get greedy for a return and spit the game out early, only to see that final testing is indicating the game can be finished in a few hours including learning the games.
So the bean counters work out which is cheaper adding multiplayer or actually finishing the game properly, multiplayer is cheaper.
So it becomes, yeah we know our single player is crap because it is really short and lacks content but hey, it is all about the multiplayer experience.
Want to know exactly how bad the multiplayer is, check how many servers ISP’s put up to host it (keeps bandwidth traffic on their network and saves money).

Game dude

On August 19, 2011 at 4:27 pm

I’m pretty positive that every bethesda game I’ve played, if I follow the main story line, can be done easily over a week and even a day if you care to. What’s that say about the SINGLE PLAYER experience? It’s actually a really small game if you look at it, and if you have someone there with you so much choatic and awesome crap can happen… To be so closed minded to say the reason you wouldn’t put it in a game is because you can’t justify having it in there is short sighted. Put it in, build some extra crap if you wan’t, people just want multiplayer… PEOPLE…. who are you making these games for anyways? Shut ins? WHY YOU PROMOTE SOCIAL AWKWARDNESS?!


On August 28, 2011 at 9:19 am

for elder scrolls and fallout, i definately hope it never becomes an MMO, but it would we cool to have 2-3 people exploring the world together.

RPG enthusiast

On February 1, 2012 at 7:36 pm

Elder Scrolls and Fallout should never be given multiplayer options. Sure the main story line of these games may not be as long as say final fantasy but the reason these games get such good reviews is because how often do people that buy RPG’s only do the bare minimum to beat them? They have so many sidequests and fun outside objectives that help bring clarity and power to your character and his background. The addition of multiplayer to games that are already great single player games would result in games like Fable 3 which was terrible when compared to Fable 2, which in and of itself was nowhere as good as the original.


On February 2, 2012 at 1:24 am

Avid gamer here and have been a long time. I play Elder Scrolls BECAUSE they aren’t multiplayer. I do play some multiplayer games but the reality is 90% of the time multiplayer games are exercises in dealing with immature 10 year olds (whether actual age or maturity level). The social factor they bring is of questionable value.

Multiplayer games haven’t really involved in years. FPS games have the same basic game types they’ve had for the last decade. WOW is the same basic gametype as Evercrack was. New textures, different types of weapons but the same repetitive, boring game. The differences are all cosmetic.

It’s not close minded to not have multiplayer. It can be a smart play. I was active in a flight sim community that while heavily influenced by the multiplayer community the actual playing community was overwhelmingly single player. It was something on the order of 10-1 single/multi.

No, what makes games like Skyrim unique is the rich single player experience. Otherwise, it would just become another MMO that is the same MMO we played 10 years ago with shiner new pictures.


On October 23, 2014 at 11:21 am

This is just stupid.

If the base game is good enough, a multiplayer version(NON STRIPPED DOWN) would be a welcome addition. It doesn’t even have to be 12 players, it could be just 2-3. You would increase the difficulty of the game, maybe even add in unique puzzles or challenges that only multiple players can solve.

In a game like Skyrim, I don’t imagine it would be too difficult to get a fully working multiplayer game going. Players already have the basics down in mods. The biggest problem they’d face is keeping the whole game accessible to both parties, and hopefully with mod support. Games that do multiplayer as a side, often do so poorly because they forget to add in more than half the content the single player game has. Co-op questing would be the bomb.


On June 8, 2015 at 2:31 pm

I think oblivion had a good opportunity to try out semi-multiplayer with the arena. Single player everything else but have the option to try out the spells that you created against other people.