In the days of yore, circa the ’80s, developing a video game was a Herculean task. The first commercial video games for the very few home entertainment systems had some bare-bones gameplay elements tied with a simple story and pixel-based graphics. Nowadays, it takes a lot more than that to make a successful game. For a game to become a commercial hit, it needs to have some ingenuity that makes it stand out from the crowd: the soundtrack, the mechanics, the plotline, the graphics, or a mixture of all these. These games were effectively single-player games with some couch co-op elements thrown in the mix.
Not too long ago, single-player games were all the rage. As time went on, technology reached a level where it became possible for a party of gamers to enjoy a multiplayer session together without putting up with a lot of input lag. With games such as The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Devil May Cry 5, Nier Automata, Skyrim, Red Dead Redemption, and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim dominating the market, one might raise the question: where do multiplayer games stand in the gaming scene?
The answer to this question would be: multiplayer games are a big part of the gaming landscape. Although games such as Skyrim are smashing hits when it comes to bestsellers, it doesn’t imply that multiplayer games are lagging behind! This article is going to explain why multiplayer games have only gotten more popular with the passage of time; visit the website if you want to know more about the popularity of online gaming.
More and more games are adding multiplayer content
With the rise of player count in multiplayer games, many studios have diverted their focus from single-player games and have started making their games multiplayer only. Call of Duty: Warzone and Overwatch only support multiplayer game modes and do not have a single offline campaign mode. On the other hand, some single-player-only franchises have started incorporating multiplayer elements into their latest releases, like DOOM: Eternal and Persona 5.
Highly optimized for all devices
What makes it challenging to develop multiplayer games is that they need to be well optimized so that they can run on any system: be it a potato laptop from 2009 or a dedicated gaming PC with the latest jaw-dropping specifications. In fact, several games like the well-known Among Us, Apex Legends, and Overwatch have received several patches and updates to ensure that they’re playable on weaker, low-end hardware.
The feeling of being together inside the game world
Another point that multiplayer games score over single-player experiences is the interaction of people in them. While it’s true that the AIs utilized by single-player games have advanced to the level where they have become unpredictable (in a good way) like a human, at the end of the day, players only interact with a bunch of pre-programmed AIs instead of actual humans.
By playing games such as Monster Hunter World, players can fight enemies alongside their friends (or even strangers) instead of some generic AI companions, which add a layer of healthy human interaction that isn’t possible with said computer-controlled party members. The joy of meeting another player in one of No Man’s Sky’s millions of galaxies is unparalleled, and exchanging a few words with them is really refreshing after all mining for hours in space!
Different genres, different objectives
Just like offline games, multiplayer games have several genres to choose from: co-op action where two or more players assist one another to take AI-controlled enemies, capture the flag modes where several teams try to complete specific objectives to attain victory, or even deathmatches where every player fights for himself to become the last one left standing.
Fostering values by gaming together
In team-based games such as Dota 2, Counter-Strike: Global offensive, and Valorant, coordinating with one’s team is of the utmost importance when trying to emerge victorious. With several classes of characters ranging from ‘the defensive tank,’ ‘the agile assassin,’ ‘the reliable healer’ to the ‘area of effect magic-user,’ it becomes mandatory for players to cover each other’s weaknesses by coordinating with their way of playing to achieve sweet victory.
Playable on any device, anytime
Unlike games such as Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Arma 3, and Far Cry 5, which need a beefy PC even to run, the most popular multiplayer games can be played on Windows, Mac, and even iOS and Android. Most of the multiplayer games on the Android and iOS platforms are free to play, making them even more accessible to the general audience. Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds and Fortnite are a testament to the fact that you don’t need to possess a war machine or a rig to be a part of the gaming community!