Randy Pitchford Thinks Multiplayer Features Should Not Be Forced into Games
Gearbox President Randy Pitchford has said that publishers are forcing developers to add multiplayer features to keep up with the big dogs like Call of Duty--even on games that aren't suited to online play. He told Edge that ensuring all the boxes are ticked when it comes to a game's features "takes the ability to make good decisions out of the picture."
"Let's forget about what the actual promise of a game is and whether it's suited to a narrative or competitive experience," said Pitchford. "Take that off the table for a minute and just think about the concept-free feature list: campaign, co-op, how many players? How many guns? How long is the campaign?
“When you boil it down to that, you take the ability to make good decisions out of the picture. And the reason they do it is because they notice that the biggest blockbusters offer a little bit for every kind of consumer."
Pitchford acknowledges that studios need to make money, but tacking on multiplayer features with no "creative investment" is not the right approach. Using the Dead Space series as an example of a "ceiling-limited" game, Pitchford says that it doesn't need to aim for massive sale numbers when multiplayer is unavailable, but instead get as close to their ceiling as possible and deliver the features that users expect.
The full interview with Pitchford is available in the upcoming issue of Edge, which hits newsstands on April 12. Gearbox's Duke Nukem: Forever comes out June 10 worldwide and June 14 in North America.