Is Open World games killing Single Player games?

  • AAA linear games are definitely a dying breed, although they aren't a dead one quite yet. I feel like a pretty obvious reason for this trend is to increase the "value" (i.e. playtime) of a game. How many times do you go on the internet and see "oh this game was excellent, but it was only 6 hours for $60, not worth picking up until it goes on sale." This sentiment is a fairly common one, and one that developers and publishers most definitely see.

    "People want a lot of playtime for their $60 investment." Playtime is an easy metric of "value," so its easier to chase than, say, making an actually good video game. Between open-world and linear, it is MUCH easier to elongate playtime with the former by virtue of its design. Even if its the same amount of space, you'll spend more time in an open world - how many times have you looked at shelves and noticed all the detail in the books and utensils on them in a Call of Duty campaign? Now how long have you spent staring at shelves and menus in The Elder Scrolls as you look for crafting materials?

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    I am a little worried of this "everything needs to be open world game!!" mentality thats been in the industry over the past years and are still going. Sure freedom and exploring are nice, but I also play games for the story and sometimes I just want to be able to play through a great paced story without having to run around and do side stuff and grind materials etc.

  • @ISee Yeah, but Persona 5 isn't an open world game even if you just look at its physical structure and ignore the calendar stuff. There were hundreds of JRPGs with level, load-based worlds that you could revisit before the term 'open world' and that whole philosophy was coined. All of the 3D Zeldas except Wind Waker were like that. Crucially, most of these games had linear campaigns in those normal-sized, generally rich worlds. That's my point about Persona 5 being a last gen game released late like previous games in the series — it took developers who remember what used to made games good to make a standout story this gen.

    And I know Skyrim isn't the only example, but I think it was the tipping point where many either developers or publishers said 'make everything open world so we sell.' GTA always sold because it was GTA and the guns and taboo activities that the news got offended at were the same reason plenty of adolescents liked those games, at least in my experience.

    Last gen had a better development, marketing, and sales atmosphere I think. The series that were designed around being open world could be and the rest were under no obligation to change their design to break even. Japanese games found a niche on Wii and handhelds where they didn't have to compete with HD or open world titles.

  • @Haru17 Just some unsorted thoughts this time. Metal Gear going open world was fantastic and added so much replayability, which was needed since the development turned out how it did and the story portion was released unfinished. Who cares if it's a trend cause it makes money if it's fun? I'm all for shunning unfun open world checklist games, even mad about Assist Mode in Odyssey existing, because the dumb arrow that points you to your objective which is everything wrong with open world games and completely against the spirit of Mario. Things that make you run across the world to advance the quest have always been trash, even in more linear games that make you backtrack to much earlier areas. Unrelated to your comments, but I'm glad The Evil Within 2 has open world elements, because I can actually tell what's going on in it, unlike the first game where you got teleported around wily nily, so sections of the game all blended together into one messy glob.

  • @ChaosBahamut Countless executives of big name publishers have claimed the death of single player games for years now. "They don't sell very well." "You can't make enough money off of a single player game to turn a profit." Of course, this is a lie. If that were the case then companies like Naughty Dog, Red Barrels, and Insomniac would have closed doors ages ago. And the hype from the indie market takes it very clear that linear single player games have a large audience and a significant demand in the market.

    I think the real reason for this is the shift in the way publishers want to make money in the industry. The whole "games as a service" mindset where every single IP has to have some kind of additional pay out. That's why we see micro-transactions, pointless season passes, randomly generating loot boxes, and online multiplayer modes in games that don't need them. The largest companies pushing this are obviously WB, Ubisoft, EA, Activision, 2k, and Konami. But now we are seeing other publishers throw their own hats in the ring. And an easy way to shove these types of elements into a game is to make it open world.

    I know that there is a portion of the gaming audience that doesn't have a problem with the fee-to-play model but I hate that publishers paint it like this crap appeals to the majority of the consumer base, because it clearly doesn't. But just like when publishers claimed that horror games were dead in the industry, it took indie developers to prove otherwise. So, in the worst case, linear games might vanish entirely from the AAA market until the indie scene causes publishers to turn their heads more.

  • Most open world games are boring travelling through point A to B. they have too much quantity but very low on quality.

    GTA series the most overrated series of all time. AC games are mediocre except black flag, witcher 2 was better than 3 and that was linear.

    I prefer linear games but with sandbox design. like Deus Ex, Crysis1, System shock, Stalker, Hitman. they are not open world games but have sandbox design.

  • Honestly, Gravity Rush 2 is one of my favourite open world game. The traversal in that game is absolutely brilliant.
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  • Gravity Rush is one of the few remaining games that still has a traditional mission-based singleplayer campaign. It feels almost like the PS2 Jak & Daxter games in its structure: missions and collectables spread around the world. Trying to think of a better example...

    Importantly, it's open world works because you don't have to touch any of it, you can just fly right over. Quickly at that.

  • i think claiming open world games are killing games is stupid tbh. Because there are so many types of games out there. If you don't like them, then just don't buy them