Posted on May 31, 2008,

Prince of Persia Producer: There's Still a Single-Player Market


Good old Phil Harrison would have you believe there’s not much of a market for games that are only for a single player. Alone in the Dark will be the last “huge-budget, single-player” game from Atari, as they move towards Phil’s view of a more and more networked future. The producer of the new Prince of Persia game, Ben Mattes, was asked about Harrison’s comments in an interview with Eurogamer, to which he said, “I read that, and I don’t totally agree.”

“I know where he’s coming from – I certainly see a lot of the industry moving in the direction of more community, more multiplayer, that sort of stuff,” Mattes continued.

“But in my opinion, there are things you can do in a carefully crafted single-player game – experiences you can create, emotions you can elicit and magnitudes of engaging the player – that you’re not going to reproduce in the uncontrolled environment of multiplayer.”

Most of you seem to be on Mattes side of the argument, if the comments on a previous story are any indication. I don’t disagree, but I think more developers are feeling the pressure to include some sort of multiplayer mode. I know quite a few people who pick up a game, see it doesn’t have multiplayer, and completely dismiss it as a “full game.” I then proceed to ask them if they want a multiplayer mode like The Darkness had, and they usually shut up.

Mattes concluded, “For some time yet, there’s going to be a market of people who say, ‘You know what, pander to me. Suck me into your world and just make me believe. I don’t want to be distracted by griefers and high scores, and dealing with the stuff not everybody loves about multiplayer games.’ I do think there is still a significant market there.”

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