Many folks over at our affiliate Game Replays
have been very critical of EA recently, fearing the alleged focus on singleplayer will reduce the quality of multiplayer. Some of their criticisms, in my view, have been valid enough, while some have been quite off-base. Predator, the current community manager, responded
Let me be blunt in saying, you guys are being near ridiculous in your assumptions, and no offense or disrespect to anyone and their opinions, but let me say again, just because the single player experience is being treated as our #1 focal point of the game, does not mean for a single mili-second that multiplayer is going to get any less focus.
It simply means, we recognize the single player in Generals and BFME 1&2 was not up to par with expectations, and especially for a C&C game where story is paramount, we realize that we need to make a kick-ass single player campaign with a very compelling story. Ladies and gentlemen, I know you guys are hardcore multiplayer, but Starcraft, Wacraft, Age of Empires, C&C - classics of the genre, would not have been nearly as successful at their release if not for a good single player experience to capture the hearts of many gamers. Sure you can argue that the multiplayer kept the life of the game going...and good post support, but single player (proven by research) is what drives a huge chunk of the RTS audience initially. You don't tell your friends to see a movie because the visual effects were cool and your seat was comfortable, you tell them because it had an awesome story and kept you entertained. Unless we're talking about an MMO or game that is built specifically for multiplayer (like Counterstrike, Team Fortress, etc), then single player must be considered as a paramount feature for the game to appeal across all audiences.
It goes on much longer, so if you're interested, read on
. Predator makes some good points; singleplayer is critical for success as a C&C game, if not for an RTS game in general. But there comes a point when the singleplayer campaign has been beaten (many times), and it's time to play online--a total different, yet very engaging when done correctly--experience. EA has to address both. It is simply part of creating a game that's compelling and has good replay value, two things that should be primary goals for C&C 3. For now, EA has responded to those critics. However, the criticisms will be much louder, and the wallets closed, should they not make good where it counts.