Way back when, there were consoles that couldn’t access the internet. Mainly because it didn’t exist. The NES and Sega Genesis were consoles for one or two people to play amongst themselves. Wow how the times have changed. Gaming has grown immensely since then. Gaming today allows for global chat with gamers while commencing in huge online battles. From handhelds to PCs, gaming online is a huge market. So much so that games now can be release with no offline modes. Socom Confrontation and Warhawk have been fairly successful at this. Games like World of Warcraft bring millions of gamers online. It’s simply amazing to see how far gaming has come.
Today’s generation of gamers are experiencing the golden age of gaming. They benefit from an experience unheard of 10-15 years ago. The multiplayer experience lives in just about every genre, from sports to shooters. Now it’s simple to throw in the disc and connect to a match and vie for the top spot. But is it breeding a new type of gamer? The type that doesn’t experience the solo campaign, doesn’t ever taste the single player story? Billions of games are sold every year, and most modern releases contain some form of online play. But how many gamers play the whole game? How many of the estimated 8 and a half million gamers who bought Halo 3 finished the fight? While there’s no question many did, there are surely some out there that didn’t finish it, along with some that didn’t start it.
The fact of the matter is that the replay value of a game doesn’t solely lie in its campaign. Some games become huge successes because of there online. Call of Duty 4 was a great single player game, but its true glory came in the multiplayer experience. The story could be played many times, but no matter what the online found more gamers attention. There are gamers out there that now won’t buy a game if it’s not online. It’s simple to see when you go to a local gaming story. Gamers enjoy knowing that they have the chance to get a fulfilling experience for there $59.99 (depending on location and game edition). There are many games that can deliver the full experience, and typically these games sell the best. Halo has proven that a game can have a captivating story and memorable online venue in the same game. While games like Bioshock prove that a single player game can be an acclaimed success. While the future of gaming will surely force the internet on every gamer, gamers will still have their own preference. But it seems with every passing day, the crowd moves more to the online experience when gauging a games success.
The replay value of a game lies in the person who plays it, but with out a doubt an enticing online sure doesn’t hurt. With renting games becoming easier and easier with sites such as Gamefly, the gaming industry could see gamers choose not to buy a game lacking an online multiplayer experience. Why buy a game you can beat as a rental, when you could buy a game that will last months with a good online portion? It’s not hard to justify spending your money on a game that offers more replay when games now cost more than they ever have.
So next time your out to buy a new game, think to yourself what pushes me to buy that game. Is it the hype? Is it the story? Or do you want to have that multiplayer replay value? No matter what your reasons for buying a game, you can’t be wrong. So is the gaming industry moving to the online community to look for its success? Will single player only games become of the past? And is the age on the gamer who only buys online games upon us?