This post is not to slam multiplayer, but to ask if others think it is as large a component of sales and longevity of games as some seem to think.
I am a single player person. I like playing games by myself. Even when I played with on my PS360, I played alone.
I play by myself because (I'll list a couple of internal reasons):
-I play for fun, not for bragging rights. Maybe I'm weird, but having the highest score (or whatever the equivalent of that is today-achievements, stickers, leaderboards, etc) means nothing to me. I would not even feel a sense of accomplishment if I were the best at Need for Speed for a day. I'd say 'cool' and that would be that.
-I don't have a large social circle. Again, I may be the outlier, but I don't tweet, I don't FB, etc. I have a number of people that I associate with that I would call acquaintances, but not friends. Now, I know you can play with acquaintances and not just friends , but many of the people that associate with do not play games or are not interested in the kinds of games that I enjoy.
I also play by myself because (a few external reasons)-
-People who yell, curse, are sexist, racist, are rude.
I totally get wanting to enjoy yourself with others. I do. I know that many of the external reasons can be ameliorated by choosing the people that you play with carefully and that many feel that this makes the gaming experience better.
But my real question is this: how many games are really made better by having both a single player mode and a multiplayer mode? Excluding MMOs, are there any games who's expected 'life cycle' was extended by multiplayer alone (yes, I am making a logical jump here by equating 'better' with 'life cycle extension' but I figure that great games are played for a longer time than one trick ponies...but I may be wrong with that assumption)?
Multiplayer may lead to more sales; I don't know. But I think that it is mod-ability that leads to longevity (CounterStrike, L4D, FO, Skyrim, Civ, etc).
Aside from what I listed in my initial paragraphs, I dislike the idea that if the server goes, your multiplayer game goes bye bye (but I understand the business reasons for that decision). I know there is LAN and PBEM (are there any other ways?), but it seems like the day that Origin decides to shut down the BF4 servers (thanks Hawaa ), your options for playing with friends becomes very limited.
Looking at the top ten most played games on Steam (that was the only place I could find a listing of the top games being played), only two of them do not allow the player to mod the game and one of them, PayDay 2, was released on 8/13/2013, so it is still a novel game (the other was Football Manager 2013). Perhaps it is the combination of multiplayer and mods that maintains those games on the top ten list.
I guess what I am wondering is if, after stellar gameplay, it is multiplayer that really makes a base single player game better/gives it a longer life or if it is the ability of the game to be modded or a combination of both (and if so, what is the weighting of that combination)?