Take-Two boss says single-player games aren’t dead

A hot potato: The rise of multiplayer and live service games over the last decade has been phenomenal. Few businesses can testify to this quite like Take-Two Interactive, parent of Rockstar Games and 2K Games, though its CEO says that when it involves single-player experiences, claims of their death have been greatly exaggerated.

Speaking during a recent earnings call (via Gamespot ), Take-Two boss Strauss Zelnick said: “The folks at Rockstar Games intended to create a powerful single-player experience a story-driven experience. And Rockstar has always been known for great stories and great single-player experiences after which developed in addition , a massive multiplayer opportunity over the past years. ”

Grand Theft Auto V has moved 140 million copies, making it the second best-selling game of all time behind Minecraft. With “expanded and enhanced” versions coming to the PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, the game’s commercial success will extend into a third console generation —it arrived on the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 in September 2013, just before the launch of the PS4 and Xbox One, both of which didn’t see versions of the game until November 2014.

Both GTA V and Rockstar’s other flagship, Red Dead Redemption 2, saw record player numbers last year, despite neither of them ever receiving any single-player DLC. And it’s all thanks to their multiplayer elements.

“I think it’s a reminder, not that we needed one, that Rockstar Games can do both of those things [multiplayer and single-player] at the highest possible level of execution in our business, ” Zelnick said.

Steam’s bestsellers list is populated with multiplayer or multiplayer-focused titles, including Valheim at number one, Rust in 2nd, RDR2, Raft, and Sea of Thieves. It’s led to renewed calls that single-player gaming is dead, replaced by multiplayer titles and live services that are a constant income source for the companies behind them; it’s a disagreement that’s been around as long as “PC gaming is dead. ” You might imagine Zelnick would agree, but he is in the other camp.

“There was a quarrel just a couple of years ago […] in some of our competitors’ offices, that single-player is dead, it’s all about multiplayer, ” he said. “We didn’t believe that. I said specifically and publicly that we didn’t believe that—our labels don’t believe that. ”

Sadly, with Rockstar focusing on their multiplayer elements and the PS5/XBSX versions, we’re unlikely to ever see any single-player DLC for GTA V and Red Dead Redemption 2 . Let’s hope GTA VI doesn’t take too long to reach.

You think the industry is heading more towards multiplayer and live service games, leaving single-player-only titles in scarce supply, or will there always be a market for solo experiences?

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