I’ve just been reading a random find about a depressing view on the future of gaming at inanage.com.
I should preface my response with the admission that I’ve concentrated almost 100% on MMORPGs for the last 4 years. Half of that time I was only playing World of Warcraft for the vast majority of my limited gaming time. However I have tried some single player or console RPGs within that time – Oblivion, Dragon Age Origins (1), Mass Effect (1), D&D Tactics (PSP), Silverfall (PSP).
The rather shocking realisation is that I’ve finished none of these games! Now in the past I always did play games to the end, usually serially rather than my current trend of mixing-it up between multiple MMOs.
There are two main factors to this:
1) All of the above games had serious flaws that I just got frustrated with. Either they had limited freedom of movement (DA:O, Silverfall, Mass Effect) or an almost complete absence of meaningful plot (D&D:T and Silverfall). Oblivion had the mindless concept of all monsters scaling to your level which just took any meaning out of the games challenge curve.
2) Having started down the MMORPG path, I’m used to the excitement of new content release and the idea that the game simply doesn’t “end”. So in effect Blizzard and other companies have spoilt single player CRPGs for me probably for good. Why pay £30-odd to play a game for just 10-30 hours (linked article states we’re likely to get ever shorter campaigns btw) when an MMO can last for hundreds? With Free-to-Play games now becoming common I can even avoid the up-front box cost before deciding whether to play the game long-term.
I discussed this recently with friends. As someone who loves to watch his characters grow and develop within a persistent world, I just don’t see the attraction of offline gaming anymore…