So Electronic Arts isn't exactly the child-eating devil it was a decade back--while some of you aren't happy with the place they've taken BioWare to, EA has stepped out of its Madden-only box and put out some pretty creative new IPs, among them Dead Space and Mirror's Edge.
EA's games label head Frank Gibeau wanted to brag about where EA's titles stood, and what he's most proud of when it comes to the company's recent titles:
"We are very proud of the way EA evolved with consumers. I have not green lit one game to be developed as a singleplayer experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.
"One of our biggest growth opportunities is Play4Free titles that allow customers to play at no cost and make purchases via microtransactions. We see this as a huge opportunity, and one that’s powered by our hybrid cloud model."
Bulletstorm was single-player comedic gold, but GUESS WHAT--it's not getting a sequel
When RPG fans unilaterally responded in one nasally voice, Gibeau backtracked... and then said the same thing again, just a little friendlier.
"What I said was [about not greenlighting] anything that [doesn't have] an online service. You can have a very deep single-player game but it has to have an ongoing content plan for keeping customers engaged beyond what's on the initial disc. I'm not saying deathmatch must come to Mirror's Edge.
"I still passionately believe in single-player games and think we should build them. What I was trying to suggest with my comments was that as we move our company from being a packaged goods, fire-and-forget business to a digital business that has a service component to it. That's business-speak for 'I want to have a business that's alive and evolves and changes over time.'"
Dragon Age II didn't sell or review as well as the first game. Great idea: maybe multiplayer will make the third game better! No really, DA3 is already rumored to have multiplayer.
I can see why some people might get up in arms about that. Personally, I have just as many memorable moments from playing games with friends (or sometimes total strangers) as I do from excellent single-player titles, but not everybody has had that kind of experience. Having a steady stream of add-on content has proven that an already-excellent game (like Mass Effect 2) can be made even better, but that's not always the case.
What do you think? With EA focusing on making single-player games connected experiences, are video games going to start coalescing into one plain, easily-described thing that always provides the same experience? Or is this a step in the right direction, and it's a good idea to include multiplayer and online features if they're done right?