For many years now, some people have been quick to claim that single-player games are dead or dying. But we continue to see the release of excellent and successful titles that lack a multiplayer element, including God of War, whose director has been sharing his thoughts on the matter.
Speaking to IGN, Cory Barlog said that games which offer only solo experiences aren’t in trouble—far from it. "Single-player games are the phoenix at this point," he said. "We go through the ebb and flow. Games change by the different creatives that get involved and say, 'I have this crazy idea.'"
The incredible rise of the Battle Royale genre, including PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite: Battle Royale, combined with weak sales of titles such as Prey, Dishonored 2, and Deus Ex: Mankind Divided has worried those who prefer story-driven, single-player games. But Barlog says they can both exist alongside each other, and that there shouldn’t be a rivalry.
“It’s not about a competition between multiplayer and single-player,” he continued. “It’s not about any of them being alive or dead, right? It is Schrödinger’s cat. We are alive and we are dead at the same time, right? And we will always be that way. And it will be an ebb and flow throughout time.”
As for whether Barlog ever intends to work on a multiplayer game like PUBG, it sounds like that isn't going to happen. “I don’t want to work on any games that don’t have some kind of story component because that is the draw for me,” he said. “Competition doesn’t drive me. It’s not to say that competition is bad, it’s not to say that competitive games are bad because I love that those that exist, but it’s not my thing.”
Sony announced recently that God of War had become the fastest-selling PlayStation 4 exclusive to date, having sold 3.1 million units within three days of its release.
Barlog hit the headlines last month when he posted an emotional video on YouTube, which showed his initial reaction to God of War’s Metacritic score. Seeing it called one of the best games ever released on the PlayStation 4 while boasting a Metascore of 94 moved him to tears of joy and relief.