Skip to content

GDC: Fewer Games Are Featuring Multiplayer Modes

Call of Duty: Black Ops

Recent data provided by research firm EEDAR indicates that fewer games these days are including an online multiplayer mode. The reason behind this is due to rising cost of game development, as well as the fact that including multiplayer modes in certain games doesn’t make sense. EEDAR took a look at every Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 game released in the United States and the results show that fewer video games nowadays are coming with multiplayer.

“You can see that in 2006, one year into the release of the Xbox 360 and the launch year of the PlayStation 3, 67% of the games had online multiplayer, 58% had offline multiplayer and 28% had no multiplayer. By 2012, you can see that only 42% have online multiplayer, a drop of 25%, 44% have offline multiplayer, a drop of 14%, and 41% have no multiplayer, a rise of 16%. So, over time, fewer and fewer high definition console games are including multiplayer as part of their core offering.”

– Geoffrey Zatkin, the Chief Operating Officer of EEDAR

78 thoughts on “GDC: Fewer Games Are Featuring Multiplayer Modes”

  1. Doesn’t necessarily mean that this trend is affecting Nintendo. Most of their business is centered around multi-player events with the exception of franchises like The Legend of Zelda and Metroid. I don’t care that the trend is happening for PS360 games as long as the trend doesn’t happen on Nintendo platforms.

    1. I would like to see a multiplayer online/offline of metroid with al the hunters show so far as a playable choice.

      1. YES!!! That is my wish exactly. I would also like to have the option to play as Galactic Federation troopers vs. Space Pirates. My dream is a Metroid game with the single-player being handled by a coalition of Retro Studios, Nintendo, and Gearbox Software and with Bungie handling the offline/online multiplayer. I know that will probably never happen but a boy can dream.

          1. I agree that they did not do as well as what I would have liked with Aliens but they are pretty decent with the Borderlands franchise. The look of Aliens: Colonial Marines was pretty decent and I would love to see them take that creepy atmosphere and implement it in a couple of levels on Metroid. The rest of the game could be handled by Nintendo and Retro. Like Nintendo and Retro could work on 80% of the single player and Gearbox could work on 20% of it like cutscenes and stuff. Bungie could handle 80% of the multiplayer and Nintendo/Retro could work on the other 20%.

            1. gearbox should never fucking touch a metroid title retro knows how to bring the atmosphere just look the prime series they don’t need anyone else for the storymode for the multiplayer they can ask bungie but they can also ask a lot of others it’s just not that difficult but i’d rather not have a multiplayer it was funny in prime2 but samus is a lone wolf there shouldn’t be a multiplayer that takes away that feeling

              1. I don’t think multi-player would take away the feeling as long as story mode is kept to single player and multi-player is just optional.

        1. I´m picturing a “Metroid mode” one player is a Metroid (the one with the gamepad) that can fly around the stage hunting the hunters, the hunters need to co op to find a ice gun and a missile launcher to beat the metroid player, jeje.

        2. Ghor as the tank, Rundas as the weak but with freezing abilities, Gandrayda the stealth and close combat one, Trace the long range one, Spire the heavy weapon, Kanden the fast shooter and same with the other hunter on prime Hunter, obviously Samus will be the balance one.

    2. You’re referring to in home multi player, as opposed to online multi player which is what was specified. However, this is actually a good thing as it means that the developers can concentrate on one sole player experience as opposed to having to juggle between multiple versions of play in a game which often means the proper amount of time won’t be put into each aspect because there isn’t enough money or time to do that.
      What we will end up with are better quality single dynamic games like Zelda/god of war/darksiders/bioshock (single player) and of course the same with multi player games like Team Fortress 2 (can’t think of any other amazing multi player titles right now lol)

  2. Nintendo made the best choice, to offer us a Legit console that playes fully offline and/or online..

    The others will fail, because of their online DRM;s and forcing their customers to also pay monthly bills (subscription, phone bill and internet bill).

    1. Yeah that has been my thinking all along. Yeah it’s cool that PS4 is pushing incredible graphics but can you imagine what the cost is going to be to develop on that platform? And what if the rumors of the NeXbox being even more powerful than the PS4 are true? That would mean it’s even more expensive to develop on that system. Games that do not sell in the millions would suffer significant losses. That is why I believe it is safest to develop on Wii U for small time games that aren’t guaranteed millions of copies sold like Call of Duty. This is a prime example on how the industry may crash on itself again.

        1. Possibly. This industry can be really surprising at times. I believe that niche developers were onto something when they were making exclusives on Wii U. I feel that games like No More Heroes, Madworld, Okami, Bayonetta, etc. should be on Nintendo platforms due to the fact that they just can’t compete with the numbers of franchises like Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed. I think that risk takers like the ones I mentioned above are going to suffer some significant losses if they are not careful this generation. More than just THQ will be closing down.

          1. Okami was actually on playstation 2 first, and the PS3 just got an HD rerelease, although I’m not sure how sales were (especially given that Okami never really sold well in the first place.)

            1. Yeah I know that. I said that it should stay on Nintendo systems due to the fact it was criminally overlooked when it was first released on PS2. If they make an Okami 2 on say PS4 and it does as bad as the first then that would be a huge loss for Capcom. Heck I think Okamiden actually did better than Okami did on PS2. Can’t remember for sure…..

          2. It’s safe to say either Sony or Microsoft is gonna give up after this generation if their systems fail (money’s on Microsoft considering some of the things being rumored about on the 720).

  3. Good. Games like cod,mario kart, smash bros online multiplayer make sense. Games like god of war and even uncharted are for the single player and all resources should be focused on the single player.

      1. Uncharted multiplayer is fun. I enjoyed it mostof the time. But I would choose Halo or minecraft over it any day.

  4. I’m fine with this. I love a good single player mode. Although there are some games that don’t have multiplayer that I really wish did. Skyrim is one example.

      1. Is more akin to WoW or similar MMORPG’s, I was thinking more along the lines of caves, forts, quests, ext. that you can have other players drop in and help you with in the regular Elder Scrolls fashion.

    1. Then it would suffer the same fate as games like AC3 or Ninja Gaiden which are mediocre in both respects. The time wouldn’t have been able to be put in to make the fantastic single player experience, it would be watered down and they would have to rewrite the game play for multiplayer. Skyrim is so much more then just running around swinging a sword, you can make it through most of the game without actually killing a whole lot, that doesn’t work with a multi player game, nor does playing a stealth character. And to add a co-op function into a game like that would essentially just add another single player into the same world, basically make it a MMO.

    1. “including multiplayer modes in certain games doesn’t make sense”

      When has that ever stopped them?

      Dead Space, Tomb Raider, God of War, Assassins Creed.

        1. Thats fine xD
          But i agree.
          I mean, i dont think i even hovered over the multiplayer on the menu screen in Tomb Raider.
          And i felt cheated, because it was obviously there to make up for the story, that while good, completely ends, and has no replay value once it does end.

      1. I think that is what they are going to try to get away from. It ends up costing the publishers and developers more money, or they spend the same and each aspect is of lower quality then what is originally intended.

  5. I knew that game developing would sooner rather than later become too expensive. I have nothing against Online multiplayer decresing but local Multiplayer is the holy grail of gaming ):

    1. The problem with having only local multiplayer is that some places don’t have high gamer populations, and people living there won’t be able to experience multiplayer at all.

      1. Yes, I understand that that is a problem :( But local multiplayer costs very little compared to online multiplayer, not having local multiplayer while having online is just being a douche. Not having online while having offline is actually a justified cost cut.

        1. Except for games where local multiplayer wouldn’t work while online would. (The main example I can think of is Assassins Creed, that game wouldn’t work locally. At least not split screen, LAN maybe)

      2. Yeah, I know that feeling. It really sucks when there’s, say, an entire mode or set of achivements or special content you can only get through local multiplayer, and you are in a dry town. It’s almost like the game devs are cheating you out of part of the experience at no fault of them or you.

      3. Well then it will be the same as it was a decade ago, don’t purchase a solely multi player game for a single player. Online has in many ways destroyed the camaraderie of multi player. When I was younger I would get together with a bunch of friends and play great multi player games like goldeneye/bomberman/street fighter and it was a great and fun experience even if you were loosing because everyone was enjoying it together. Now with online it has become far too serious, and less about actually having fun as opposed to dominating.

  6. Good, I’d rather buy a game for the game, and not have to feel obligated to play some shitty tacked on multiplayer as well.

  7. Thats because game companies realize they can’t waste money on multiplayer. Especially on a game that doesnt need it. You shouldn’t include multiplayer for the sake of “replay value.” A good game is a good game regardless of how long you play it. If I played a game that lasted 10 minutes, but those 10 minutes were the best gaming moments lf my life then money well spent.

      1. Meh. I didn’t much care for wii sports. It always bullshits me, especially in baseball & tennis. I’d rather play nintendo land, or wii sports resort

      1. All games NintendoLand could have made so good use of multiplayer online and probably leaderboards or something like that.

  8. Did we not tell you that nintendo knows that video games are to be played and enjoyed firstly and foremost offline. Now that this is the new trend, how is Microsoft going to tread in an area they don’t know, lol real gaming with actual skill lol. No more FPS nonsense lol.



  10. The Gaming industry does indeed need to supply more games with extravagant multiplayer platforms. If games had engines and multiplayer platforms similar to COD and BF3….id probably have more games than just 4 for my Xbox,3 for my ps3, and 2 for my Wii. I Simply don’t enjoy a game unless it has a great multiplayer experience…..if i cant join other gamers in an online mode of the game…in my opinion its boring and certainly not worth buying!

  11. It stupid for every game to have online competitive multiplayer, they can’t compete with Halo, Call of Duty, but cooperative is a really good idea and off line multiplayer is a good idea as well.

  12. a games good if its online SHUT UP YOUR MENTALLY ILL



  13. Pingback: Research Finds the Number of Multiplayer Games Has Declined | GenGAME

Leave a Reply