News Article

Crytek CEO: "The Notion Of A Single Player Experience Has To Go Away"

Posted by Andy Green

Wants to see Connected Single-Player or Online Single-Player instead

There's been a lot of talk about what the future holds for the video game industry and how games will be distributed in the coming years. Mobile gaming is becoming more popular, and retail games are starting to become more readily available through online stores.

Free-to-play gaming is another avenue that's currently being explored by a few developers. One staunch believer in the genre is Germany-based Crytek, and the studio has recently declared its eggs are firmly nestled in that particular basket by saying it expects all its games to be free-to-play within five years.

Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli recently spoke to IGN about where he thinks the industry is headed. One area he delved into was single and multiplayer gaming, in which he said the former has to make way for the latter:

I think the notion of a single-player experience has to go away. However, I’m not saying that there will be no single-player experiences… It could be it’s called Connected Single-Player or Online Single-Player instead.

Of course, there are games out there that would fit quite nicely into those descriptions, for example Bungie's latest project Destiny has the player run through a campaign set in an online world; and recently we've seen how Watch_Dogs will incorporate asynchronous multiplayer that occurs at any point during the single player experience.

Yerli believes gaming is shifting towards a more social experience, rather than one that has the gamer play alone:

Online and social can reignite single-player in a new type of context and provide benefits that will make you want to be a part of a connected story-mode rather than a disconnected story-mode. Sure, if the technology forces you to play a traditional single-player game online, that doesn’t make sense but if it’s offering actual benefits to be online then you want to be part of it.

We're already seeing social aspects thrown into Nintendo games, with the Wii U in particular. For example, ZombiU throws your friend's unfortunate zombies into the mix while you're playing, as well as posting up messages across walls and flooring. Miiverse has certainly opened up the social aspect of gaming, it's incorporated into a few titles already - such as Nintendo Land and New Super Mario Bros. U - and though it's hardly integral, it's still there.

Crytek will soon be releasing Warface on PC, which will be fully free-to-play. It will hope to make money by aiming it towards people who frequently purchase the latest instalment of a big title simply for the multiplayer experience. The developer has no Nintendo games that we know of in the pipeline, though it did recently purchase the Homefront franchise from THQ, and already has a game in the works for it.

What do you think of Crytek's reasoning? Do you see a future for offline single player games? Let us know what your thoughts are on the matter in the comments section below.


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User Comments (119)



cbkummer said:

Worst. Idea. Ever. There ALWAYS is a demand for a Single Player experience. And always will be.



Ryno said:

Sound like this guy just wants gamers online and connected and then can track/moniter and maybe even mini transaction you to death.



meltendo said:

They want the single player experience to go away to make it harder to pirate games or sell used games--nothing else. I prefer to play single player games/campaigns. By requiring an internet connection, they can easily check for piracy, etc. I hate this idea because it means we can only play the game as long as it has online support. When they shut down their servers, will we be able to play the games on our own? Thank God I can still play my old SNES wherever and whenever I want as long as my console still works.



Guybrush20X6 said:

Has it occurred to them that SOME people like to play alone? Most MMOs I played, I play solo until they FORCE you to team up.



C7_ said:

Lotta crazy talk coming from big developers now. Are you telling me that heavily immersive single-player experiences should have random tweets on screen like "LOL THERE'S A LONG CUTSCENE COMING UP" or your friend randomly join your game and start doing naughty things to ragdolls and fooling around for 2 hours?

This is nonsense, and this isn't just Yerli's opinion and therefore should be given credit; it's flat out wrong. There are some games where a connected single-player game would work and some that it would completely kill. Most horror game like amnesia are an easy point for this.

That's like saying you should put microtransactions in every one of your products regardless of if it works or not- OH RIGHT, THANKS EA.



SteveW said:

He is a CEO and not a gamer, CEO's make idiot comments all the time, us gamers will decide, not him.



Dr_42o said:

I like the idea. Of course there would remain single player, but this is just another look on co-op.



Jellitoe said:

This CEO's statements are a new level of Idiotic. These are the same people ruining the gaming industry.



DrKarl said:

I think the notion of Cevat Yerli having any relevance has to go away.



SteveW said:

Don't hold back now, lol

Actually I see Crytek and EA gone in 10 years if they keep this up



Geonjaha said:

Because people being able to have their own individual experience is just makes too much sense. Everyone should be connected when they don't need to be! That's what's missing from gaming...right?



Mk_II said:

what developers want isnt necessarily in the interest of gamers. that's why i love Nintendo, they always focus on the game and not on the money.



Shworange said:

There seems to be a bit more of an insidious side to this. Are they seriously going to support these games forever with server support? I doubt it. So if I try to play a five year old game that formerly required online play, but servers have been since disabled or the company went out of business, is by game useless? Oh darn, I guess I'll have to move on and buy the newest game in the franchise... This sucks. I'm all for adding whatever online options you want to a game, but if I can't decide play an "older" game whenever I want, then that's pretty shady.



Yosher said:

I don't mind if single-player games have some connectivity, but I feel like it would ruin the experience in some cases.



TheAdza said:

A first person shooter dev that thinks people only play first person shooters. There are many other genres of games that online multiplayer just doesn't suit. What a stupid thing to say. But having games that can get use online functions to enhance games is good. NSMBU does it well with Miiverse comments. ZombiU does it when you come across someone else's zombified avatar. The notion that unconnected 1 player games should just go away though is so narrow and biased toward just one aspect of one genre. Please.



gsnap said:

No more watching movies alone! You need people's tweets popping up on the screen! No more reading books alone! No more listening to music alone! We will no longer tolerate the self-centered gamer. Who are you to want to enjoy an immersive single player experience without constantly breaking the 4th wall? A jackass, that's who. Have some time to yourself and want to get lost in a vibrant fantasy world? Well, too bad! Killa4Rilla wants to party up. You don't deserve to ignore him.

Look, games can do anything. Game X can be one thing while Game Y is something completely different. To sit back and say that the entire notion of playing a traditional single player game "has to go away" is absurd and idiotic. These "industry leaders" need to quit feeding us this bull and just try to make fun games.



Dpullam said:

I personally don't need to be social connected to have a good time in a video game. In fact, I normally have my best game experiences by myself without a gimmicky social aspect added.



Moonhillwat said:

I felt a disturbance in the Force-feedback. As if millions of gamers cried out in anguish, then threw their controllers in disgust.



RoryLee said:

Sometimes I just want to be left alone to enjoy a single player experience. If I wanted to be social I would play a co-op or multiplayer game.



MetalKingShield said:

It seems to me games are getting worse. Graphics are getting better all the time, but less care is going into whether the traditional, single-player experience is as good. If you think back to Ocarina of Time, Majora's Mask etc, as well as various GameCube/PS2 games like Wind Waker/Dragon Quest VIII, I just don't see anything on that level nowadays.

It's bad enough publishers not wanting to make single-players games like those any more, but making the remaining single-player games need an internet connection is absolutely crazy.



doctor_doak said:

Oh boy these CEO's of big game companies are so out of touch with what actual gamers want aren't they??

This whole 'connected' gaming experience is just a smokescreen for a sort of intrusive DRM. I don't have anything against multiplayer or co-op play...perhaps that sort of 'connected' experience he's talking about might be fun in specific instances, but it's not coming at the expense of traditional 'offline' single player experience as far as i'm concerned. I loathe social media, and I don't want stupid people with their inane chatter interrupting my experience..

Also, internet is good in the US but rubbish in most other parts of the world. What this shift to 'online connected single player' experience will effectively do is shut out gamers from country's with poor internet infrastructure. It's a stupid idea.

But that's fine, I'll just play indie games... and games produced by companies with some sort of ethical core (i.e. CD Project Red) who actually care about what their customers want instead.



Jaz007 said:

@soccer686 Your avatar is perfect for this article.

I dislike the idea of having to let other people in my single-player. It's called singleplayer for a reason. It's fine as an option but should never be forced. Also, the idea a singleplayer requiring you to be online is stupid as all get-out.



cheetahman91 said:

Sounds like he really wants video game consoles that require constant internet connections. If that's what the future of gaming is going to be, then I'll pass.

doctor_doak wrote:

Also, internet is good in the US but rubbish in most other parts of the world. What this shift to 'online connected single player' experience will effectively do is shut out gamers from country's with poor internet infrastructure. It's a stupid idea.

Agreed. Hopefully the big three realize this and stay away from it.



SilentHunter382 said:

oh ya sure if its anything to go by Diablo III where you will get lag in Single player only then I don't want that for all games. I was so glad when Irrational Games said that there won't be multiplayer in Bioshock: Infinite.

Just because you can include MP doesn't mean you should. I rather have a great SP experience then a good SP and a crap MP. If you want to add multiplayer fine but don't try and go and do a CoD clone with it. Red Dead Redemption is a fine example where the both game modes work beautiful.



Barbiegurl777 said:

While I like playing solo (single player) played that way for a LONG time (20+ years) No I'm not joking only til recent years I started playing video games online. I do like playing multi-player online because I have no one else to play with EXCEPT for the people online. Late adapter to playing games online.

Happy Gaming! (^_^)



sinalefa said:

When i got my wii u online, i was relieved to see Mario u's miiverse option could be disabled. Let me play alone and undisturbed if i so choose



OverturePT said:

I love multiplayer, but the best experiences I have are while I'm playing alone, single player, on the little time I can get for myself only. I fear this day they talk about, because we are indeed going towards it and it sucks.




I heard that in dead space 3 there was stuff that HAD to be done in co-op otherwise you miss it.

does anybody know if thats true, because if so I will NEVER own it

thats what I think of no more sigle player games



DreamOn said:

Yeah these company heads would love to have farms of gamers, always connected to their ads ready to be instantly sold something more cuz if player x buys then player y knows and is calculated to buy it too and so on.



dizzy_boy said:

this sort of news makes me laugh, especially when some other muppet was roperted to be saying online games were damaging the industry.



ueI said:

My only request is that games be playable without an internet connection. From what I can tell, he's advocating more of a Dark Souls than a Diablo 3.



Bankai said:

The majority of people making comments here haven't played Demon's Souls or Dark Souls, clearly.

Or ZombiU. Or any of those other singleplayer games that use online to enhance the experience.



GraveLordXD said:

@Bankai dark souls is just as a single player experience as it is an online one I know I have nearly 400 hrs prob invested in demon and dark souls if not more



Dpishere said:

I hope there never is a day where I can't enjoy my games in solitude. I don't need or want everyone to know what I am playing and when I am playing it. Completely offline will always be the number one way to play for me.



GraveLordXD said:

Cryteck is only saying this basically to give you less content for your money lol EA thinks this way to I'm sure



V8_Ninja said:

While I think that the idea of "Online" single-player experiences has a lot offer and many ideas to explore (see; the Souls series and Journey), I just can't see every game abandoning an offline single-player experience. Single-player games can offer many things that a multiplayer game or a connected single-player game can't.

@WaltzElf / @Bankai / @MyBoss : Yeah, the Souls games do online single-player experiences extremely well, but the idea that EVERY single-player enabled game should have an internet component to that lonely experience just seems a bit silly.



DreamOn said:

There's a difference between offering an enhancement of single player and suggesting it must be replaced.



Mk_II said:

Couple this with all the talk about limiting online use to first-time buyers only and you understand what these guys really want. Built-in obsolence !



kkslider5552000 said:

@Bankai I've played ZombiU and that doesn't justify idiotic statements that EVERY NEW GAME EVER needs to fit into that area. Expecting every game ever to follow some new trend, regardless of the advantages of it, is probably awful. It just comes across as another attempt from CEOs to convince people that single player is dead, though granted still not on THAT level of inaccurate insanity.



Knux said:

I don't mind online single player games sometimes if it's done well and enhances the experience, but I don't want it forced upon me. I really like you Crytek, but this is not one of your good ideas.



Bankai said:

@kkslider5552000 @EveryoneElseThatRespondedToMe - Crytek's games could all benefit from this kind of online single player experience I was referring to when I mentioned the Souls games/ ZombiU (also Journey and Real Racing 3).

A CEO can only comment from the perspective of his company. Crysis Singleplayer with online features? Sign me up.



DreamOn said:

The funny thing is, I bet if what this guy is saying were to quietly happen (and very slowly we're seeing it) majority of folks wouldnt even notice what just took place but would trying to figure out how to get wifi to their game device.

You can slip me a double cheeseburger with a wink every time I probly will take it every time too. BUT, I'll be darned if it means you announcing I can't buy just a single anymore! lol



DreamOn said:

I reminded myself that Eiji Aonuma did say they are rethinking the single player experience for Zelda and aside from a few minor games in the series it is THE biggest best single player experience from Nintendo



CanisWolfred said:

@Bankai I know right? Having people tell you there's gold at the bottom of a bottomless pit, or tell you "there's a monster back there" immediately after you just fought said monster, or even a messege that just says "hi" when they could've told you there was a boulder right around the corner, is exactly the kind of worthwhile experience I'd like to have in my games.

...But seriously, If stuff like the online in the Souls games are the best you can come up with as examples of things they could do with this, then I'd rather they sold Singleplayer and multiplayer seperately rather than having them combine the two. (At least until they invent a system that prevents idiots and jerks from doing stupid/cruel things, of course)



Spectator said:

Single player experience must stay single player. The more open ended the game the more watered down the story and characters will be in the game. The impact of the game will be sucked dry from the viewer. If anything we need less MMO and random strangers looking over your shoulder, and more focus on presentation story driven experience, not every game is a FPS.



kkslider5552000 said:

@Bankai Your point is nullified when the guy was talking about the entirety of the gaming industry. Which itself is stupid, when he almost certainly is talking about Crytek specifically.



GraveLordXD said:

Online is great and all as long as it doesn't take anything away from the single player experience souls series did that perfectly it was like a perfect added bonus and there is nothing wrong with that. The thing I have a problem with is if a game is 6hrs or so single player and then the only replay value it has is the online component



Kezins said:

That's just dumb and sad to say that. There's a large number if gamers including myself who prefer single-player experiences. The older I get, the less I Teresa I have in multiplayer gaming.



Urbanhispanic said:

It's his opinion but you know what? We have opinions too and we should VOICE them to all the developers and publishers who we buy games from. Since when was it so bad to play the single player mode in some of these games, anyway! I like online multiplayer but there are times where i was just want to play.....alone.



TheHunter said:

I don't have friends that play the same games as I do and don't care to play with strangers, so no, keep out of my single-player games please.



gsnap said:

@Bankai I have played demons/dark souls, and i've played journey, and those games are great. That doesn't mean every game has to be like that, or that it would be good for every game to be like that, which is what this guy is suggesting.

You know, you don't have to step in and defend these companies and CEOs and vilify us every time they say something stupid.



DerpSandwich said:


I could not have put it better or as satisfyingly-scathing myself. This Crytek guy clearly knows everything about business and nothing about games.



gsnap said:

Nothing happened to gameplay that consumers didn't cause. The industry figured out that there was a much wider audience of people that want slightly interactive movies and online shooters. They don't want to play games like we did 1 or 2 generations ago, where failure was an option, and spectacle was secondary rather than primary.

That's the only reason micro-transactions even have a chance of flourishing. Because "gamers" would rather pay than play.

But, as with everything, there are still people who do it right. So I'll just support them.



Zombie_Barioth said:

Online single-player is fine when the game is made to work with it like the Souls series or ZombieU, but it doesn't mean single-player as we know it needs to go away in favor of it either. Many people play single-player to take their time and relax or be immersed in another world undisturbed, and use games as a form of escapism for various reasons.

What happens when a game you payed for is no longer supported and the servers are down, assuming theres no offline mode? I think I would go retro only if things like that become an issue, and theres no alternative.

I think this here is worth a watch if you haven't seen it (yes, its on topic).



ajcismo said:

Some of us don't give a hopping frogs butt about social/online gaming. This whole "reignite single-player..." is such garbage. Why doesn't he just come out and say "We plan on tracking your every move in this single-player game. It'll help us down the road in trends, etc so we know the easiest way to take your money."?



Gamer83 said:


Same here, I like a good multiplayer experience but without a good single player campaign I won't even consider buying a game. This industry is quickly going down the toilet and Cevat Yerli and those that think like him are the reason why.



GraveLordXD said:

Games you play one time and forget trade in and then blame it on used games bringing down the game industry forgetting the fact that the gameplay is what makes a great game to begin with



ecco6t9 said:

Time to replace the GBASP battery and keep that single player machine going.



Einherjar said:

There is a place for both, single player AND "only online" games. Theres no reason to abandon oe of them. How does a always online, always co-op RPG look like ? Will it be a soulless MMORPG with the depth and atmosphere of a bottlecap ? Will it be an Elder Scrolls, where random people join your game and mess with it, killing crucial quest NPCs while the dev explains it like "that is how life goes" Some games / genres simply cant be turned into co-op / online games. If everything MUST be co-op / online, these genres die off, which takes away a huge chunk of gaming history and everything thats left are shooters.



Chrono_Cross said:


Video games will always be frowned upon and ignored if all it has to offer is "good gameplay".

A game with a great story (and good gameplay), is the direction video games need to go.



Dizzard said:

Nothing in gaming has to go away on the command of one or even a couple people. Chances are high that it'll stay with the current format because that's what people are the most happy with.

Usually I prefer the single player experience, unless it's a racing game like Mario Kart or a fighting game like Smash Bros. It depends on the genre. I don't really appreciate the idea of people poking their heads into my RPG games.

Besides it's not like 10 years ago when if the triple AAA companies did this you would have nowhere to go and would be forced to just put up. The indie scene is bigger and better than ever these days.



FluffyNinja said:

Single player will always have their place in gaming. However, making crappy single player games is something entirely different. Seems so rare nowadays to find good single player games these days.



Solatorobo said:

No. I don't care how well ZombiU and Dark Souls used it, having the entire industry have shoehorned in multiplayer/online singleplayer is a really stupid idea.

Sometimes I wonder how the hell these guys have these positsions like this.



alLabouTandroiD said:

While it's nice to be able to share your accomplishments with others i don't see it as a necessity.
Of course there are titles that just wouldn't motivate me as much without leaderboards and such. But the most important thing is that the game itself is enjoyable.



cornishlee said:

Well, these comments certainly help to explain why he was interested in hiring the Vigil staff but not in acquiring the IP to their games. Something slightly ironic though, isn't there, that he could allegedly enjoy Darksiders 2 but think there's no market for that type of experience in the near future.

That said, I have no gaming friends and I don't use Facebook or Twitter, so what do I know.



AddDavey said:

I like how ZombiU puts other peoples zombies in your game and would actually quite like to see more games do a similar thing. I'm all for this idea so long as you don't have to be online to play the game.



JusticeColde said:

Mandatory online multiplayer, in a generation of gamers that can be full of total jerks that yell explicit language at you for no reason.

Screw that, I'll quit if that happens.



WaveBoy said:

Holy Mother of Hyrule, the last time i gamed online must of been
with Resident Evil 5. Vs mode was hysterical. Goodtimes, at least in
the beginning. Online can be addicting....There's always that "ok, just ONE more round" and before you know it 2 more hours have basically wizzed by. The time i wasted online could of been spent experiencing other 'single player' games as far as my gaming time is concerned.



WiiLovePeace said:

I agree that it'd be nice to add online components to single player, but forcing it upon every future single player game just doesn't make sense. Only if it works for any given game should it have online functionality. Offline single player isn't going anywhere... I hope.



Dupon said:

@Jaz007 @Knux @WiiLovePeace @meltendo
Yerli said:
"Sure, if the technology forces you to play a traditional single-player game online, that doesn’t make sense but if it’s offering actual benefits to be online then you want to be part of it."



Ralizah said:

Great, now the Crytek CEO is starting to sound like those CEOs of companies that make cell phone games who think Angry Birds is the future of gaming.

The future, if anything, will likely have a larger number of ways to play games.




Vehemont said:

I hope I get to keep my "single player" RPG experiences, ugh MMORPG's are too much of a chore.



GraveLordXD said:

@Chrono_Cross you're right in a way but to someone who doesn't play games it will always be frowned upon and a good story can be just as good if not better thru text like a book. I can't tell you how many books I read that are way better than the movie ive seen, as much as I like ac3 do I really need to watch a cut scene then walk two feet interact with a door watch another cut scene play for 5 min then another cut scene? What exactly did I spend $60 on?



GraveLordXD said:

Single player experience should never go away sometimes I want to play my games to get away from people.



SetupDisk said:

Miiverse for single player games is nice but if I don't want to use it I don't have to. Just forcing Online for no reason is ridiculous.



QuickSilver88 said:

I agree with others here that this guy is full of it on several counts. First I have never really been an online player, never! I do like some of the co-op modes in some games and local (same system) multi-player is fun if you have someone over. Thank god for companies like Nintendo who would never adopt this model and still see the value in a great single player experience. Second free to play is not going to take over the industry....never going to happen because devs and publishers are sinking huge money into AAA titles. That is still why so many first party releases like Zelda, Metriod, 3D Mario, and Drake, GOW, Halo are the best games and done first party. I do think the gaming world is large enough to support everything under the sun, but if anything when it comes to AAA story driven games I would likely see the price going up 5-10 in the next generation and we are already seeing more digital download versions but all 3 console providers have committed to including optical drives in there next gen consoles so Full games will always have a retail media option. The other factor in this is Retailers make no margin on consoles just like the producers, so if you are going to have best buy/walmart/target/gamestop pushing your hardware you have to give them software to push as well because that is what makes it worth it for them to give you the shelf space to promote and push your product. Sorry dumb as Crytek CEO who is from a company that really doesn't make anything but game engines and week games to show them off but you are dead wrong!



ado said:

Jeez what an annoying company crytek single player mmmm yeah right....I bought that hyped up piece of crap Diablo 3 with its always online I can play single player and it ran like crap.what a disaster that was.all crytek are interested in are graphics.they make run of the mill shooters with crap stories.nothing near as good as dishonoured,zelda,metroid,ico etc.they like to make statements in the meda every once in awhile to be noticed.



ado said:

Miiverse will come into its own with games like monster hunter



ado said:

I like the way dark souls or dragons dogma got you connected with players



Kage_88 said:

I think the notion of a Cevat Yerli experience has to go away.

EDIT: Surprise, surprise, Waltz is defending the guy's reasoning. Sigh...



FluttershyGuy said:

Sorry to sound antisocial, but if I wanted to play with other people, I'd have a buddy over, or go to his/her house. Last thing I want is being forced into playing with others. Already enough forced on us in gaming these days.



ramstrong said:

Whoa, there's so much hatred here. I wonder why?

How many of you actually have gone to read the original article on IGN? Reading that article makes it clear that he's talking specifically about Gface system. When the IGN reporter used the phrase "though his opening gambit on the subject is initially alarming", I know that the statement is subject to misinterpretation. A re-reporting on the subject should make that clear. I think this is clearly a case of misunderstanding. I don't believe Crytek CEO Cevat Yerli meant that all single player games must be abolished. "Initially alarming" means that later it got better. Although the IGN article is short on detail, I will give the benefit of the doubt.

Of course people still enjoy solitary gaming experience. This will continue to be true for as long as people are buying those Sudoku/Word Search books.

As much as I hate on-line single player such as Steam, et al, that doesn't mean I should hate the companies who actually make it their business to give away their games for free. Remember shareware? You play the first levels for free, pay if you want to continue playing. There's nothing wrong with that model, is it? It's not the "connectedness".

I don't think even handicapping the game would be a problem. If the game is broken, then dump it and don't play it anymore! Simple as that. Let the market rule.

Let the game companies know how they should improve, what kind of features you want to see. But to hate them fiercely, especially due to misunderstanding, isn't a good thing.

And, yeah, I'd like to see this on-line single player game disappear. I want to have the connected option to download new games, and maybe pay for new maps/levels, avatars, weapons. But to force me to connect to the Internet just to play the game? Automatic dump!



Araknie said:

Goobye EA.
Now really, Crysis 3 has single player campaign that lasts 5 hours, they have a vast enviorment you can explore lots of stuff with nothing in it, so you are forced to do the main campaign and that's how much it lasts.

And it's selling poorly, 2 weeks it's been firts MGRising, and guess why, that's not much longer but adds something if you replay it in terms of unlockables and difficulty.

Crytek also needs to do some new IP first if the want to say something in gaming world.

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