Wanted dev: Multiplayer hurts games

Executive producer Pete Wanat says studios spend too much time and money shoehorning feature into games that don't need it.

When Wanted: Weapons of Fate arrives for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC next month, gamers who pick up the interactive sequel to last year's action film will get the chance to try out their bullet-curving technique on the game's many assassin adversaries. However, they won't be able to twist lead into one another, given that the third-person shooter lacks a multiplayer mode.

Wanted: Weapons of Fate executive producer Pete Wanat.

During an appearance on the latest installment of GameSpot's HotSpot podcast, Universal Pictures Digital Platforms Group's Pete Wanat--the executive producer on Weapons of Fate--explained the reasons behind that decision. Wanat said that most people who play multiplayer games just play the best of the bunch, and that developers spend too much effort putting multiplayer modes into games that don't need them.

"For the most part, we waste our money and our time building multiplayer levels," Wanat said. "And why do we do this? Because a couple years ago the press was all about saying, 'This game has to have multiplayer, there's no replayability.' F*** that. That's a bad joke."

Wanat added that oftentimes the pressure to make a multiplayer version of a game comes from a publisher's marketing department. Just having that feature on the back of a box, the argument goes, makes it easier to sell a game.

There can be only one Wesley Gibson.

"What it does is it hurts the single-player game," Wanat said. "You don't get to add multiplayer [at] no cost. If you're going to make a multiplayer version, you take people, time, and money away from the single-player experience. And that all goes to hurt the single player. ... Not everybody is Bungie. Not everybody can have 100 guys working on their multiplayer. The Call of Duty 4 guys? If they want to do multiplayer, then do multiplayer. We'll play the f*** out of multiplayer in Call of Duty. We'll play co-op in Left 4 Dead. There are places and times to do it and do it right."

For the full discussion about Wanted: Weapons of Fate, violence in games, being a creator playing with somebody else's universe, and much more, check out Wanat's extended appearance on the HotSpot.

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253 comments
weblinks
weblinks

so you are saying its a waste of time and that great games come out with no mplayer hmmm bioshock ya ill give that one to you oblivion alright fallout three and complaing about halo, cod4, left for dead ya your right people play that game because if it just had single player how many time after beating the game would you that game back in wanted seemed like a cool game and was planing on getting it but i can see if the guy who is making this game couldnt even added a 4-4 mplayer it show he doesnt care on what people want and he is going to make a boring single player game witch is going to be cool the fist time around but will have no replay value so waste you 60.00 bucks on a 6 hour game you will never but in again

jacobmjl
jacobmjl

I agree with this guy, look at BioShock for eample, no multiplayer, yet awesome single player.

braveheartofg
braveheartofg

People who say that great games don't need MP KILLZONE2 is an example of a great SP game that was made even better with the addition of MP Since when did it cost to come up with the idea of how to implement other characters into coop? If designers can't be assed to put in MP then it's their loss! But I'm really annoyed that devs are putting out games that could have been better with the addition of MP

Maximus808
Maximus808

I avoid multiplayer like the plague and hate games (COD4) that rely on it. As much as some people like to believe that the majority of hardcore gamers like multiplayer, it's just not true. I look at multiplayer games as games that are for the teen and pre-teen crowd, since they are usually extremely rude online usually and cheat. Multiplayer? Don't need it, don't enjoy it, don't like it. I'll definately be looking for this title, hope it's good.

paulokoenigkam
paulokoenigkam

This producer guy is my new hero. He knows the multiplayer would probably blow, and most people would keep playing halo and COD anyway. But if they're focusing only on single player, IT BETTER BE GOOD, and have some replay value.

TruPrince
TruPrince

That is such bullsh@t the only reason I wanted to play this game was for a multiplayer online. Would be sooo much more fun if you could test your skills against others. This producer is an idiot

dartfrog731
dartfrog731

Hes right there can only be one lord of the multiplayer and its cod4, and that's not changing till modern warfare 2 comes out.

titanviper2000
titanviper2000

@masterds64 i'm with you. multiplayer content is cool, but not every game needs it. give me a single player campaign that i can sink my teeth into rather than adding on mp that just doesn't belong. it's a waste of time. to me, a game that can't rest on it's single player campaign isn't worth the disc onto which it's burned. not to mention the fact that i don't need mp to make me feel like i'm good at something. if you want bragging rights, build a house.

Psilyocybin
Psilyocybin

Yea that guy is not going to sell to many games this day and age if he doesn't implement a multiplayer mode into this game..because guess what your not going to sell to many copies you'll just see this title recirculated in game stops across the nation...Because even Metal Gear Solid 4 had a multiplayer...It gives you best of both worlds..for thsoe that like singleplayer and those that like multiplayer atleast let us **** i'd be happy witha co-op mode in thsi game.

cerealkiller8
cerealkiller8

lol this is the worst idea ever i NEVER buy games if they dont have multiplayer, unless they are massive RPGs like fallout 3 and stuff. It doesn't have to be the greatest multiplayer ever, people are still going to play it.

Darkon_X
Darkon_X

Yeah this game better score 9's or just like the guy below me said "he just shot himself in the foot" Anyhoo, it's cool if you don't do multiplayer in a game if you don't have the resources available. Maybe more companies should listen to this guy and go "Hey, maybe we should fix our single player experience first, then go multiplayer." That doesn't mean that 'certain' companies should drop multiplayer altogether.

cloud1000
cloud1000

this wanted game best be gud cos if not, he just shot himself in the foot

masterds64
masterds64

Being of a dieing gamer breed (the anti social hardcore loner) I agree-MORE SINGLE PLAYER CONTENT! LESS TACKED ON MP! ...though some games it helps, many games focus on it too much these days, which sucks for ppl like me (I don't even game online-why bother I know I'm gonna get beat by somone I can't PUNCH OUT!)

Hellknight2005
Hellknight2005

@ CPM_basic: Yeah, you would know how easy it is huh? They'd have to optimize the engine/game even more, so that lag in the online component is nearly unnoticeable, or not there at all, which in itself costs more time and money. They'd also have to do some more programming (for features such as lobbies, matchmaking etc...) which costs even more money and time. Then they'd have to implement how do the 2 or more characters (who i assume will be together all the time in the co op) fit into the story, which is again more time and money... debugging the online co-op feature (more time and money)... and the list can go on Easy? I think not. If it were, i think more games would have this feature in it.

lukemularczyk
lukemularczyk

Everyone mentioning MGS4 multiplayer is kinda forgetting that MGS4 multiplayer is actually MGS Online, a (kinda) seperate product. It was developed seperatly from the main game I believe by 2 different internal teams (althought they still talked to each other). Most development studios cannot afford to have seperate teams for SP and MP.

Unreal_007
Unreal_007

Some games just really don't need multiplayer in anyway. GTA anyone?

ALLoY1717
ALLoY1717

Couldn't agree more. You think Bioshock would have been as goos with MP? Think Turok would have been better without it (Turok MP sucked so hard). I also hate how people try to have some kind of mp mode just to say that the game has it. It doesn't matter really because no one will be playing it after the first two weeks.

djdna514
djdna514

I like games I can play by myself, not be bothered by other people and not have to depend on other people. Dead Space, Bioshock, Fallout, Elder Scrolls. Great games that would get ruined implementing Multi-player. Totally agree!!

Pewbert
Pewbert

If it doesn't have multiplayer, then a co-op mode these days is a must.

donmega1
donmega1

better make that single player good buddy! or it will be on gamestops shelves or rented faster than you can say multi player...

lordrave
lordrave

The only feature this game had is Curve Bullet? Nothing Special..

CPM_basic
CPM_basic

I agree with him that people only play the best of the best multiplayer games... BUT Almost every single player game should include co-op!!! CO-OP is a neglected feature that devs just don't give a rats ass about. It doesn't even have to be splitscreen co-op. Just make it online co-op which is easy enough to do.

totaleklypse
totaleklypse

last i checked MGS4 has multiplay. MGO ring a bell? both very well done. so lets stop calling it a SP. they were developed at the same time and on same disc right?

-abacus-
-abacus-

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

beothees
beothees

wow, why dont you cry about it, Pete Wanat. I bet Wanted sucks anyways....

sharpshooter188
sharpshooter188

metroid prime 2 comes to mind. Games rarely can have both and be awesome. Perfect dark 64 had both as did halo 1. Halo 2 and 3 were blah on both sides of the field in my opinion But other games like black wouldve been awesome if they had multiplayer included in it.

gideonkain
gideonkain

Just *adding* MP into a game isn't an easy task - it's not like you can build MP on top of a SP game, a multilayer game requires a MP programming concept from the very inception of the game, every movement and item has to be cataloged and tracked every single frame, and be able to broadcast its position and state every frame, it would take more time to retrofit a SP to add MP than it would to program a SP\MP from scratch. So I most defiantly agree, if you have MP in your game, it better be a primary focus of your product, otherwise you have basically killed both sides of your audience, and now you have a SP game with loads of multiplayer code which garbles up the whole thing, and makes it more difficult to enrich the SP experience

diggyman
diggyman

Well I'm kind of torn with this article. On one hand, I agree that more time and effort should be spent on the SP in games. That's usually the nucleus of a game, so of course, make it right. On the other hand, the marketing departments are right about the general appeal to consumers. Almost every time I go to buy a game in a store, I see shoppers flip to the back of a game case to see if there's any multi-player. Personally, I do too. In fact, I'm a bit old-school so I check for LOCAL co-op (not just online), so I can actually sit in the same room with friends to play. Very hard to find nowadays. Anyway, I understand how most of these underdog dev companies lack the manpower to produce both a great SP and MP experience... but c'mon... nothing is impossible. I have a fix... We the consumers just need to buy more games (lol). That'll put more money in their pockets, they can then hire more help, and then everybody's happy; but be careful who you give your money to. Like no matter how many ppl Eidos has, they never get it right.

raptures330
raptures330

Making games based on movies takes talented people, time and money away from making good multiplayer in good games. Do the right thing, make games not tie-ins. I kid, I kid. Seriously though, don't add content to a game just to fill it up, wether it be multiplayer, collector items, or annoying minigames... focus on the key aspects of the game and give us a nicely polished, preferably longer, game.

Shadow_Fax87
Shadow_Fax87

what does he know about video games? He wasn't creative enough to come up with his own title. What a jerk.

Nintendo_Ownes7
Nintendo_Ownes7

I agree I hate when Publishers try to force developers into making a multi player part of the game just to have the single player suffer because the lack of focus the publishers have for single player.

Red_Jester
Red_Jester

I agree with him. Reviewers would whine about no multi-player and if a game with great single-player and simply bare bones multi-player comes out, they lower the score because of the lackluster multi-player. I think developers should take a note from Japanese developers and their action games. They're LOADED with single-player content such as many unlockable difficulties, hidden objects, time trials, challenge rooms, challenge missions and other unlockables. Spend more time making the game longer and less time on tacked on multi-player.

Bigkx
Bigkx

I kinda agree, if people look at the games they have bought, they will notice that many of them have multiplayer, but have never really played them, simply cause that part of the game sucks. Think of Bioshock, that game did not need a, multiplayer. In my opinion, if you give me a solid single player game I am happy, but I do prefer the games who also give co-op!

wars45
wars45

well i think he s wrong u need multiplay in this day of age has it makes the game last longer its ok to have single play only but for that to work the games got to be ove 20 h game play i bet this is not .

BulletsnOctane
BulletsnOctane

With all this talk, the SP in this game better be damn good. A crap product is a crap product - thus in the end, a lot of money is wasted. I agree, adding a multi-player component in any game is a stupid idea. It's obvious that it doesn't work in every game, but that's probably because the devs just slap it in any game - which is sad in it's own right. The whole feel of the game has to be represented, portrayed in MP. And if it isn't, we all know the result - a bad attempt to be another flavor of the week type game. Movie-based games haven't been the best, and I'll admit, I have low expectations for Wanted:WoF. Prove me wrong, prove us wrong - buck the trend. Otherwise, you're spinning your wheels, bud.

Death_Masta187
Death_Masta187

well if its a 10 hour SP only game then i know i wont buy it... needs to be 20 hours minimum

jz12b
jz12b

Pete is 100% accurate when he says resources should be spent on the core of the title. If I want a multiplayer game, I'll fire up COD. What I miss is the solid core experience. A game that is 10 hours long isn't worth $60. I want a solid 20-30 hour game. And what happened to split screen multiplayer games? Did developers forget that people actually enjoy playing games while they are sitting in the same room? There are gamers out there that enjoy face to face competition (and trash talking). We are not all teenagers without cars who's only multiplayer option is via the internet.

spiritualchemy
spiritualchemy

I understand and agree with Pete's assessment. Anyone who played Star Wars: Republic Commando on the original X-Box will know that the afterthought multi-player only served to dilute the otherwise incredible single player experience. I believe that was when the multi-player craze was beginning to hit full-stride, and many developers still hold the idea that multi-player is necessary no matter the level of effort or time left to add it.

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

Caml10
Caml10

I'm fine with no multi in some games. I play the heck out of COD4 on PC, but usually just sp games (Mass Effect, Assassin's Creed, Oblivion, etc.) on consoles. I'm not going to deal with all of the tools in XBL lobbies to get a mediocre multi experience (I'm looking at you, Quantum of Solace). I thoroughly agree with this guy's logic.

mke3567
mke3567

I'm a MP person. I could care less for single player, and won't touch a SP only mode game, having said that, I think if a game has MP added then it should be done right. As mentioned before it should be decided if MP would add value, if not do not add it.

ROBBYBEAR1985
ROBBYBEAR1985

He is right when he says the majority of gamers who play Multiplayer only play the best ones. Who would spend much time in Wanted's Multiplayer (If it had one) if you had a CoD or Halo around?

Inconnux
Inconnux

If a game doesn't have multiplayer, I generally don't buy it. Replay value is added when multiplayer is done well.

Imspecial345
Imspecial345

It's all about length. I'm not interested in spending 60 dollars for something that only lasts 10 hrs. RPGs take more time so no MP is no problem. Shorter games with no MP I feel like I'm wasting my money instead of spending it.

jawshoeuh
jawshoeuh

Crappy multiplayer is a waste. Not much worse than going online and seeing like 2 people playing... (Legendary, I'm looking at you)

Noah-Phoenix
Noah-Phoenix

Its about time devs started to focus on giving us a top notch single player game, then if it warrants it, put MP in. You couldn't do an FPS these days without it, but no RPG should ever have MP, theres just no need. WoW and the like got that all tied up nicely, leave it alone! I remember some guy from the devs for Need For Speed saying the public demand one NFS game per year, who the hell did he ask that? We want decent games, no matter how long it takes. Apparently we also demand MP in every single game, and a game wont sell well without it. What a load of rubbish! We want decent games that have depth and replayability. That doesn't necessarily mean MP. It seems to me devs really need to actually ask US, not just assume what we want.

TheoleDominion
TheoleDominion

This guy just dont make sense! There are quite a few single-player games that are selling very well. Maybe he should focus on..um..I dunno maybe QUALITY! To prove my point here's some examples, feel free to add to the single-player titles if you like.. MGS4..sold well Force Unleashed sold well Oblivion..sold well Bioshock..sold well Mass Effect..sold well Ninja Gaiden..sold well God of War..sold well Fall Out 3..sold well These are just a few off the top of my head, I'm sure there's more IT's QUALITY that sells games, you dont necessarily need MP. There's only a few online multi-player games that trumps them. Gears of War, Call of Duty, and Halo other than that I can't think of any MP's in the "console" world that are MEGA hits.

smokeyf
smokeyf

This has long been a frustration of mine as well. Use the extra resources, money and manpower to tweak and perfect the singleplayer aspect.

YoJim8obaJoe
YoJim8obaJoe

I like how he whines about games having pointless MP yet if im not mistaken he worked on The Darkness which had one of the worse and most pointless MP's ever seen in a game