In light of the recent closure of EA’s Visceral Games studio and postponing of its single-player Star Wars title, the future of single-player games has been thrown into some amount of question by members of the industry. There has even been concern that the era of single-player games is ending altogether. In a recent interview with GameSpot, Horizon: Zero Dawn developer Tim Stobo offered a different perspective, arguing that Horizon and games like it prove that single-player games still retain an important niche in the industry.
“I think Horizon proves that there is a future for a really high-quality single-player experience. [The upcoming DLC] Frozen Wilds proves that again,” Stobo offered. “We’re really committed to delivering that high level, quality experience for players. It does seem like maybe there is a business shift in other parts of the industry. But at Guerrilla, we’re just focused on telling amazing stories.”
Stobo acknowledged a rise in the number of online multiplayer games like Destiny but doesn’t necessarily think those games will detract from single-player titles. “I think it’s better to look at it from the other perspective. I think we’ll see more games like Destiny and I think there is a place for those,” he said. “But you look at the best, more lauded games that have come out this year–there is Horizon, Zelda, Shadow of War. There are a lot of amazing single-player experiences. If we also get more always online experiences, I think that’s great for the diversity of games.”
In another interview with GameSpot, Xbox Publishing boss Shannon Loftis also weighed in, saying that while economics for single-player games are “complicated” compared to multiplayer, she doesn’t believe there is “ever going to be a time when there aren’t single-player, story-based games.” According to Loftis, “Storytelling is as central to game development as it ever has been.”
As for Horizon: Zero Dawn in particular, its single-player storyline continues on November 7th with The Frozen Wilds expansion.