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EA: Single-player only games "finished"

Online "where the action is at".

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

25 hours and you're out single-player only games are "finished", according to mega publisher EA.

The future, EA Games label president Frank Gibeau told Develop, is "connected gameplay".

EA is "very comfortable moving the discussion towards how we make connected gameplay – be it co-operative or multiplayer or online services – as opposed to fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours-and you're out," he said.

"I think that model is finished. Online is where the innovation, and the action, is at."

Gibeau was responding to questions around developer Visceral and Dead Space 2, which features a multiplayer component after the original did not. What would Gibeau do if Visceral said multiplayer shouldn't be added to the experience?

"Well, it's not only about multiplayer, it's about being connected," he replied. "I firmly believe that the way the products we have are going they need to be connected online. Multiplayer is one form of that.

"So I don't go up to every game team and ask – what is your deathmatch mode? I look at how to make games a broader idea with online services."

Rather than insist that a game has certain features, EA "inspires", Gibeau said.

"What I learned early on in my career was that, if you're going to lead a creative team, you have to inspire people. They're the ones living in the game.

"I always found it a big problem when a game's executive producer would come up to me and ask what I should do next. I would always respond that's not my job. You're job is to come up with the creative vision, mine is to edit and tweak so it's a bigger commercial opportunity. I'm very clear about that."

In August Dead Space 2 executive producer Steve Papoutsis told Eurogamer Visceral included multiplayer because playing games with friends is more fun.

"We like playing games with our friends," he said. "While there is a vocal group that thinks multiplayer may just be an unnecessary addition, there is equally as many if not more that wanted it. Actually that was the number one feature request we had from people that played the game."

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