Amy Hennig Comments on Single-Player Sustainability

Amy Hennig has been in the news a lot lately. Famously a huge part of the Uncharted series, and infamously recently leaving EA as part of the Visceral games/Star Wars fiasco, Hennig has been a hot ticket for interviews, especially on the state of the AAA games industry. One of the most pressing topics right now is about the sustainability or lack thereof for AAA single-player games outside of first party efforts, and Hennig spoke to that in a recent interview with Geoff Keighley.

The question came from the audience, asking for comment on the “death of single-player” concept. Here’s her response:

It’s not that we’re looking at the death of single-player games, or that players don’t want that. Some publishers are going to fall on one end of that spectrum or another based on their business plan. Fair enough. It’s just that the traditional ways we’ve done that are getting harder and harder to support. That’s why I’ve talked in the past about feeling like we’re in an inflection point in the industry.

We’ve talked about this for a long time. How do we keep on making games like this when they’re getting prohibitively expensive? We don’t want to break the single-player experience, but there’s pressure to provide more and more at the same price point games have always been. That isn’t sustainable, I believe. I think it breaks the purpose of a single-player game. I was saying to some people here, I play games because I want to finish them. I want to see the story. I like the arc of a story. I don’t see the ends of most games.

How crazy is it that we say it’s about narrative, but we make games where a fraction of the audience sees the end of the game? That’s heartbreaking. I hope that we see more shakeup in the industry. We’ll open up the portfolios — maybe with a subscription model — so we can see that there can be story games that are four hours long at an appropriate price point. We have digital distribution. That should be possible. We shouldn’t be stuck at this brick and mortar price point and trying to make more and more content, breaking the spirit of these games.

This question was answered as part of a talk between Hennig, Keighley, and Mark Cerny, which took place at Gamelab in Barcelona.

[Source: Venture Beat]