Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time for online multiplayer to become a DLC option

You're probably thinking "Are you mad?" as well as "I buy the game for it's online multiplayer!" Well here's the thing, I don't like online multiplayer for the most part but I do recognise it's significance to the larger gaming community.

I bring this up this idea for 3 main reasons,
- I'm sick of single player games being diluted by the addition of multiplayer and single player campaigns being a second thought in games like Call of Duty(let's shoot people who aren't from the USA) and Battlefield(let's be like Call of Duty but more realistic)... and yes I hate those games!
- Every game with multiplayer has online achievements and stop you from getting all the achievements/trophies in a game
- Battlefield 3 released it's multiplayer on a separate disc for the Xbox 360!

Ok, when it comes to my idea I've actually thought about this for a while now. Now to let you know I actually do enjoy online multiplayer in Halo Reach but that's the only game I enjoy it in. Why do I hate online multiplayer for the most part? Well see I'm a Generation NES guy, my first gaming console was a NES and whenever I wanted to play a game with someone I'd either play with a sibling or go over a friends place and as a 26 year old adult I still do the same thing but I have to visit siblings now. I've played online multiplayer on a variety of games and I just don't like it, the only reason I still play Halo Reach's online multiplayer is because of Invasion and Firefight modes.

Now as for my idea, I purchase a lot of videogames per year and the hobby is expensive, especially if you live in Austalia where we pay double what the USA pays for the same game. Now considering that there are gamers like me who hate online multiplayer, we pay more then we should since we don't play half the game in the case of say... Call of Duty. I propose to lower the cost of games with online multiplayer and especially multiplayer focused games I believe we have come to a point where it should be a downloadable option instead of clogging up disc space and Battlefield 3 is proof of that.

My idea is to kill the online pass by making the key selling feature of modern games as a stand alone downloadble game essentially. In other words Call of Duty(the next enemy... maybe England or Australia?) would sell the single player on shelves and sell the online multiplayer as both an expansion dlc and a game on it's own for US$10-30 depending on the greed of the developer.

You're now probably thinking "You're an idiot! That's a stupid idea!" and you're wrong. Considering a lot of people will just play the single player for achievements or when the server is down it makes perfect sense in our modern gaming world. It will also make both sides of the fence happier since single player and local multiplayer gamers have what they want at a cheaper price and online multiplayer fans get what they want at an even cheaper price and we all win with the demise of the online pass. The only people who don't win are people who like both but unfortunately no war is won without casualties.

Now there are a lot of advantages to my idea, for both gamers and developers. Gamers will benefit from the fact that games can be cheaper and the achievements can be reduced to what you're playing and developers can make more money since downloadable multiplayer can't get traded in. These are just the immediate effects of this idea, there are also long term effects too but mainly for the developers.

The long term benefits that I can see are like I said mainly for the developers but remember that if they benefit, we may benefit too. The idea of online multiplayer DLC will allow developers to split their teams to work on single player and online multiplayer as separate entities instead of tripping all over each other to make street date. It will also give them a more steady revenue to work with since they will no longer need to bitch about the second hand market as much. We may actually see games coming more frequently too but whether that's good or bad is subjective. I'm sure there's more benefits for developers but that's all that comes to mind.

As for long term benefits for game, we can see our gaming community being better catered for with games more focused towards each gaming group. Reviewers admittedly will get twice the work but at least they can review the games on it's merits better. As mentioned it will mean cheaper games but it will also show developers what hey should focus on when developing a game for a specific audience since second hand sale will show them if the single player is rubbish in their games. There may be more benefits then this but again I can't think of anymore off the top of my head. Maybe if a game journalist decides to read and expand on this you'll get more.

Will developers take up my idea? Probably not right now but maybe in the near future. I believe that online multiplayer as a dlc expansion and stand alone game in one is a great idea and has more good then bad in it. If it does happen and we get screwed further then I will admit it was a bad idea.

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