Is Single-Player Dead? 95% of Studios Bet on Live Service Future

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Live Service Deluge is Coming!

Story Highlights
  • A survey involving 537 studios has hinted at a major live service push industrywide.
  • Of these teams, around 95% are experimenting with the genre.
  • The report states live service projects require five years or more of development time.

The live service genre is currently gaming’s most profitable. Through a consistent stream of content and microtransactions, this genre has proven to be appealing to nearly every studio in the industry.

However, for all its benefits, this genre has been known to carry devastating consequences for studios that fail to stand out. Therefore, it might be concerning that a report states around 95% of teams are experimenting with such projects.

Why it matters: With studios worldwide focusing on the genre, the industry could suffer from live service fatigue, possibly leading to a devasting crash for this segment of gaming.

Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League
 

As reported by Gamesindustry, 537 developers recently responded to a survey worldwide. Of these teams, around 66% argued in favor of the genre, stating that live service projects are practically needed for success in modern gaming.

The report also notes that creating games in this genre takes more time, with development cycles stretching over five years compared to the typical three-year development cycle of a single-player release.

Moreover, the report elaborates that such studios are aiming for faster content releases to maximize engagement. Most studios are targeting weekly to biweekly updates and patches.

Meanwhile, they hope to churn out new content every month. However, this makes the genre incredibly challenging. Not only is it hard to break into this genre, but staying relevant presents a whole other dilemma.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3

Such a focus on games lasting over time might be harmful to the industry in the long run. Studios like Rocksteady have recently received negative feedback after focusing too much on live service elements in Suicide Squad.

Meanwhile, Naughty Dog has scrapped several years of effort after failing to create a sustainable online game based on The Last of Us. Making matters worse, there have been various instances of existing live service games shutting down in the last two years.

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