Online multiplayer has become a staple of video games in the last decade, but problems arise when video games move to that exclusively.
The first major problem with video games that only feature online multiplayer is access to the internet. According to a study conducted by the American Census Bureau in 2013, roughly 75 percent of American households reported internet usage. This means that statistically one out of four household across the U.S. are not even able to participate in online multiplayer games.
“I think it’s unfair to people who don’t have internet. It’s a nice option but it shouldn’t be mandatory,” Computer Graphic Design major, Jordan Grove said.
On top of that, consumers have to pay a monthly subscription fee just to be able to play online games and that’s after they purchase the actual game itself. Two popular examples of these online subscriptions are Xbox Live for Microsoft or Playstation Plus for Sony.
To put these numbers in perspective, an average internet bill, for Time Warner Cable consumers, in the US costs about 46 dollars a month, according to an article by Quartz, which can be read here: bit.ly/1qsAXRv. Combine that with the subscription fee for Microsoft, which is 40 dollars a year, or Sony, which is 50 dollars a year, and consumers have to pay an average of 600 dollars a year to have access to online games.
Games that have no single player campaign also neglect the art of storytelling. “The Last of Us,” “Undertale,” “SOMA,” and “Gone Home” are recent examples of games that feature unforgettable single player storylines. Naughty Dog’s “The Last of Us,” was named Game of the Year in 2013 by Dice Awards at the Dice Summit, also features online multiplayer. bit.ly/1OriULt
The final problem with online, multiplayer only games is that they only exist while the company who owns them continue to run the online servers. In 20 years, games like “Titanfall,” “Destiny,” and “Evolve” will be unplayable because they only exist online. In contrast, classic games released 20 years ago such as “Chrono Trigger,” “Earthbound,” and “Suikoden,” are still very accessible to play today.
Video games, at least in part, should belong to the individual. They not be solely at the mercy of online community presence, internet connection speeds, and companies who can pull the plug on the game forever.
I refuse to pay full sticker price for half a product with a limited shelf life. I encourage people to support games that offer the full package of a single player campaign with an interesting story as well as a multiplayer system, online or offline.