Label President Frank Girbeau has told develop-online.net that he believes that completely offline experiences are finished. This is not to say that they'll be setting up purely MMO style pay-by-the-month type things, they're exploring multiple possibilities, but it looks like they're heading towards some kind of compulsory online component.
Though Girbeau insists that the one shot retail box release is becoming a thing of the past, I couldn't disagree more. There are plenty of players left who are into single player games and those games are hardly lacking in delivering the goods- Bioshock and Batman: Arkham Asylum come to mind right off the top of my head. Story driven, single player, games are hardly finished. In fact they're evolving and truly (if slowly) maturing- the aforementioned games excelled not because of some PvP blastathon, but because of well thought out, offline plots.
Oh, and as far as plot goes- online MMO 'the players make the bulk of the story' type stuff doesn't cut it. 'Linear' has almost become a dirty word but think about it for a second- linear stories are a proven commodity. After all, books and movies aren't exactly choose-your-own-adventure, and I'd hate to see the industry make a mass migration towards a completely connected future. There are just too many good stories out there that can't be told that way and independent narratives that need a scripted and pre-planned path to achieve a satisfying ending.
World of Warcraft might be a money train but would it still be if all games used it's platform? Doubt it.
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