Earlier this year when Black Ops 4 announced that they would not be including single-player campaign many popular online personalities were quite angry. It just shows how much the gaming industry has changed when a developer can not develop a single player campaign and instead focusing on a battle royale mode can be seen as a positive to its fans.
The reality is the majority of Call of Duty fans didn’t play that much single-player. The sales of Black Ops 4 was as strong as ever becoming one of the best selling games of 2018. I am sure there were many players that didn’t get Black Ops 4 because of the lack of single-player, but it wasn’t enough to stop it from becoming one of the fastest selling Call of Duty games.
Single-player games are far from dead and Red Dead Redemption 2 could very possibly become the best selling game of 2018. The marketplace will always have a place for single-player experiences. There will always be gamers that love games that have a focused gameplay experience that can only be delivered when the developer is creating it for one player.
We are now at a time though where a sizable amount of gamers only want to play online experiences. Many young gamers are perfectly fine with only playing online games since that is all they grew up enjoying. This has allowed a franchise like Call of Duty the ability to drop it’s single-player mode and have most of their fans be alright with it just as long as it continues to deliver high-quality online content.
We love watching every new season of our favorite TV shows and now we are getting that with our games. Sometimes you don’t even need to have much new content to please your fans like Counter-Strike. What matters is that you are listening to your community and creating content that they love. Just like how some shows won’t change the formula too much, some games can do the same and their audiences will still love it.
Online games have existed for a long time but what has changed is how companies have turned online games into a service. Many gamers just want more content for the games that they are already playing right now. While many gamers love to play as many new games as possible, there are many other gamers who just play just the same games for years.
Games are adapting to the changes in the market with more gamers wanting online persistent experiences. It is why Blizzard has the story for Overwatch not told through a traditional single-player campaign but through other creative mediums like comics and cinematic videos.
People love to support creators that they love because it means that those creators can continue creating. It is why so many people use Patreon to support entertainers, buy new games from franchises they love, or pay for a K-Pop inspired skin for a character they play.