Login | Signup

Bethesda: "Single-Player Games Aren't Going Anywhere"

Matt Gardner
Bethesda Softworks, Pete Hines, Singleplayer games

Bethesda: "Single-Player Games Aren't Going Anywhere"

Rumours of the demise of the singleplayer game have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to Bethesda. But then, they would say that. They've been busting myths more than anyone this generation.

You can't make new IPs profitable at the end of a console cycle, they said. You can't ship a singleplayer game with a running time of under 15 hours and hope it'll sell, they said. You need to have a multiplayer component according to our market research data, they said.

Dishonored proved them wrong, and Bethesda aren't going to be stepping in line any time soon.

"Single-player games aren't going anywhere. Bethesda Softworks has been making single-player games for all of our 25+ years in the industry," Bethesda VP Pete Hines told Destructoid.

"We're still here, we're still making them, and people are still buying them. Dishonored was single-player and people really loved it, and it sold well.Skyrim was a complete success. A single-player RPG. There's practically a cottage industry dedicated to talking about how that isn't possible or why that won't succeed. Console fans won't get a game like that. Has to have multiplayer of some kind. PC gaming is dead. It's gotta be a shooter. RPGs are a niche. Etc.

"People like fun games. They have games they like to play by themselves, they have games they like to play with others. Every game doesn't have to be all things to all people. And so the Skyrims and Fallout 3s and Bioshock Infinites and Walking Deads of the world aren't going anywhere. Just stop already."

Hines is of the opinion that people who say singleplayer games are dying out either don't know what they're talking about, or are simply trying to "skew the narrative" to suit their own  ends.

"It's important to note that quite a few people who tend to say those kinds of things do so because it's not what they're doing," he said. "No publisher or developer making single-player games ever comes out and says single-player games won't work. Guys that do mobile games predict that console gaming as we know it is dying. People that do console-only games proclaim that PC is dead. Funny how people don't predict failure for the thing it is they're making or doing. They make those statements to build up or defend what they're doing and tear down what they aren't doing.

"Or, they just don't know what the hell they're talking about."

We love single-player games, and we've been very outspoken about it. Yes, Hines is saying everything we want to hear, but Bethesda have a long history of backing it up.

Add a comment6 comments
X10  Apr. 16, 2013 at 11:42

I haven't really played any multiplayer games since Counterstrike 1.5, I love the singleplayer experience, I only have to rely on myself and my own time constraints/skill.

I do hope developers continue to create excellent single player experiences, for me it's about storyline and immersion.

Quietus  Apr. 16, 2013 at 12:06

Me too. I never touch any multiplayer in a game. For me, it's about escapism, and getting away from people and everyday life, so keep 'em coming (especially if they're anywhere near as absorbing as Skyrim).

Late  Apr. 16, 2013 at 12:36

Square Enix could learn a lot from Bethesda.
Both companies have made a lot of fantastic single-player games in the last few years, and both have largely ignored the multiplayer market - and yet Bethesda appear to be flourishing while Square Enix are posting horrendous losses.

They're definitely missing something. Not sure what that is, personally, but I do know that when I see a Square Enix game I want I will almost always wait approx. six months - because I'm pretty sure it'll be dirt cheap. Perhaps it's because their games are shorter and/or have less replay appeal?

DivideByZero  Apr. 16, 2013 at 12:41

The need to have both elements is balls. You should have your core element and do that well.

Tomb Raider is a single player game... why bother with Multi?

CoD and BF are multiplayer games... don't bother with the story.

Especially BF3, heard so many negative things about the linear action story... why bother.

Do one thing and do it really well!

davidpanik  Apr. 16, 2013 at 16:15

Multiplayer presents too much of a time commitment for me - have to find a server that's available/not laggy/not full/not populated with idiots. Then you need to play long enough to get competent enough to have fun.

These days, I just want a game I can fire up and know I'll be able to play and enjoy straight away.

DivideByZero  Apr. 18, 2013 at 16:34

I might have to change my statement above:

Do one thing and do it really well, unless you can do both really well.

I was reminded about how many times I played Halo 3 campaign through and how many hundreds of hours I lost to the online play.

Email Address:

You don't need an account to comment. Just enter your email address. We'll keep it private.