Uncharted series creator Amy Hennig has discussed, during a recent interview, the claims that single-player games are dead. Of course, as she is one of the most relevant solo titles designers, Hennig doesn’t agree that much with this notion.
Interestingly, anyway, she also noted that it’s incredibly hard to make this kind of games as they’re pretty expensive and often don’t look as remunerative as this type of investment would require them to be.
“God bless Sony for supporting these kinds of games because they’re terrifying to make. They’re very expensive, and it doesn’t suit the model of having a massive open world or hours and hours of gameplay or running a live service, which is what everybody is shooting for these days,” she said.
“It’s not that we’re looking at the death of single-player games, or that players don’t want that. Some publishers are going to fall on one end of that spectrum or another based on their business plan. Fair enough. It’s just that the traditional ways we’ve done that are getting harder and harder to support.
That’s why I’ve talked in the past about feeling like we’re in an inflection point in the industry. We’ve talked about this for a long time. How do we keep on making games like this when they’re getting prohibitively expensive? We don’t want to break the single-player experience, but there’s pressure to provide more and more at the same price point games have always been.
That isn’t sustainable, I believe. I think it breaks the purpose of a single-player game. I was saying to some people here, I play games because I want to finish them. I want to see the story. I like the arc of a story. I don’t see the ends of most games. How crazy is it that we say it’s about narrative, but we make games where a fraction of the audience sees the end of the game? That’s heartbreaking.”
On top of that, Hennig added that in the future things that could make the process of building single-player games more viable could be subscription based models in the likes of Xbox Game Pass.
“I hope that we see more shakeup in the industry. We’ll open up the portfolios — maybe with a subscription model — so we can see that there can be story games that are four hours long at an appropriate price point. We have digital distribution. That should be possible. We shouldn’t be stuck at this brick and mortar price point and trying to make more and more content, breaking the spirit of these games.
I don’t fault EA for that decision, as hard as it was personally for me. I understand the challenge. We have to come at this in different ways. I think it’s about portfolios of games at different price points that allow us to do more than just PUBGs and Fortnites and Destiny clones.”
Sad to hear that things didn’t work as they should’ve done in the last few years with that Star Wars game, but at least it’s good to see that the bad experience with EA hasn’t mined her belief in single-player games.