On the (rapidly vanishing) RPG niche (addendum).

As I was trolling the Bioware Social Network today (yeah, I kinda troll the whiners on that forum, guilty as charged), I remembered an element to the “RPG niche” that I shouldn’t have forgotten, because it is actually a major bone of contention for “RPG purists” as they feel increasingly turned away from major developers and publishers.

The push for multiplayer elements in games.

And it’s true.  Multiplayer is the next big thing in gaming, damn near everybody does it now in some form.  Even franchises that had traditionally been single player campaigns are implementing multiplayer features.

Hell, if you remember yesterday, I pointed out that Square/Enix has spawned two outright multiplayer only games out of their Final Fantasy franchise.  Games like Assassin’s Creed and Mass Effect have introduced multiplayer options. I wouldn’t be surprised to learn the Witcher 3 introducing at least a Co-op mode.

It makes sense.  People generally like multiplayer games.  Humans are in general social creatures.  We like playing games with others.  We like having other people to experience things with.  It’s why we prefer to travel in groups, and the solo traveler is sometimes regarded suspiciously.

Even roleplayers (this is not the same group as “RPG purists”… which will be in that promised rant at a later time), understand this.  They also like playing games with others.  You don’t see too many D&D modules with the DM by himself behind the screen, right?  That would be… kinda silly, and completely defeating the point of the game.

That game developers and publishers are leaning towards including multiplayer into their games should not be a surprise.  People want it.

The “RPG purist” however, seems to be a fairly anti-social critter.  Multiplayer elements to their games are a threat to them, rather than something to embrace.  They don’t like the idea of such elements theoretically taking time and money and other resources from their isolated and solitary game experience, and are quick to blame such multiplayer elements if a game does not meet the standard they set for it.

It’s the major reason they feel neglected, and why they are also very bothered by it… because they can see it’s not going away any time soon.

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