With the latest news that Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 will be scrapping a campaign, it is apparent that single-player games are at risk. Bigger budget games seem to be aiming for games as a service as well as implementing a multiplayer aspect. Gamers just don’t seem to be as invested in a solo experience. Major publishers such as EA, Activision, and Ubisoft have been approaching this model in more of their major installments. If gamers continue to purchase these games in droves, then single-player experiences will most likely not be as readily available
Single Player Games Are At Risk

Games as a Service

More and more companies are favoring multiplayer-only experiences. Rainbox Six: Seige, Overwatch, and Destiny are just to name a few. Of course, these can be enjoyed without friends, but they still pair you up with other players to help complete a team. This multiplayer aspect is a major factor in creating games as a service. In order to keep making money, companies create a series of microtransactions, DLC expansions, and often times both. Even the popular free-to-play Fortnite was able to make over $15 million in its first three weeks on mobile. This model even had the developer, Rockstar, scrap a single-player expansion for Grand Theft Auto V in order to fully focus on their online mode.  It is clear that many major game companies see this as more profitable than just creating a solo story.
Single Player Games Are At Risk

First-Party Titles

First-party titles may be the future for single-player experiences. Sony has released God of War and Yakuza 6 this year alone and have many more planned such as The Last of Us: Part II. Nintendo has offered DLC expansions for their games but they don’t focus on multiplayer. Even the popular online shooter, Splatoon 2, is getting a story expansion. Only Microsoft has shifted its attention to an online focus. Sea of Thieves and their past Halo 5: Guardians have major multiplayer aspects. Halo 5 focused on microtransactions to create free DLC, while Sea of Thieves is online-only that requires players to have a team of pirates. However, Xbox fans have been clamoring for more solo-based games. It would make sense to see AAA devs shift to these online experiences with first-party being the silver-lining.
Single Player Games Are At Risk
Making single-player games is just not profitable. There is no reason for these developers to focus on solo experiences when incorporating an online aspect is what makes money. Developers, especially AAA ones, don’t have the incentive for this. First-party developers are the ones able to afford a potential loss if a single-player game flops. This is why single-player games are at risk. There just isn’t enough money to be made from them.