WoW Lead Designer: Single Player Gaming Is Dead

Rob Pardo, executive vice president of game design and lead designer on World of Warcraft believe that single player gaming is dying gradually as it is becoming harder to sustain as a business model.

"I don't see there being a great business model for it these days. It's really sad; there are just a lot of elements out there that conspire to make those games difficult to make now," he explained. "Between pirating or the ability for people to rent games, it's hard for publishers to pour millions and millions of dollars into a game and not necessarily see the return they need to make those budgets realistic."

It is no secret that publishers are increasingly pushing developers into tacking in multiplayer modes to games that are traditionally single player only. But does that mean that multiplayer will take over entirely? Then what about blockbuster single player titles such as Skyrim? Are they really the last of a dying breed? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.

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I dont see a reason for

I dont see a reason for single player games to die nowhere in the near future. This statement is very bold as i think that not everyone wants to be connected to others over the internet all the time, because a game doesnt always need to include competition if its story and gameplay is compelling enough. I for example need to occasionally rest from the competitive field and therefore play a more slower paced single player games where you can just take your time and relax. Todays Multiplayer cant really bring us the depth and atmosphere that singleplayer ones can. For example the stereotype of mmorpgs like WoW can only describe its story through mindless numbers of quests and texts and are not able to use more effective and personal ways to describe it like cutscenes. Everyone can just buy a book of the game and get the same feeling of the game without even needing to play it. This is what makes single player stand out of multiplayer the ability to express its world from more than just plain text.
You voted 'no'.

Jizzard attacking freedom

Jizzard attacking freedom with a ninety foot pole again? I don't think single player games are going away anytime soon, its just like how the same industry nutheads predicted computer gaming to be dead because of console sales. Well looky looky Steam, Origin, GOG, to name but a few, the real question is why the hell should we believe anything coming from a company that designs care bear games for a living in its own backyard. Even your average indie game dev has more ground covered using digital delivery services.

Most of you should try reading the article

DOH! Seems like 90% of the people commenting didnt even read the article! What he says is 100% true and is not the fault of the devs but as he said but the publishers. It is very sad, but in an industry currently based on huge budgets and stake holders means that nothing innovative will be done in the near future, and only things that pull the money which currently is more or less MP gaming and cash shops. Its all well and good saying that Skyrim sold well but then these sales will be dwarfed by the yearly FIFA/MW sales. Also now we wont see another Skyrim game for at least what 2/3 years. How far apart are true GTA games? 4/5 years? Now if you are a business would you rather have MW or GTA? If i wanted to make money i would choose MW as i will release 5 titles in the space they release 1, 5 times the money and i bet about the same production costs. I had MW but as a businessman appreciate how well it makes money.


I only play Single Player Games. Eighty percent of all Android, Indie or Cellphone games are single player for the most part. Single player dead, my ***. Single player might be dead for his company, not for the majority of game company though. If all games became Multiplayer only, gaming would be dead. As I see it, when games become Multiplayer only, gaming will die off.


WHAT it hell they are talking about. it ? Valve made BIllions of Dollars on single game player.all the Half live games that they did .SO I suggest ROB PARDO get your fact straigh before you start open your non sense mouth.


Since they don't do SP, it must not be viable, or have any merit whatsoever. No different than a console gamer claiming PC gaming is dead. My buddy did that, now he's all over the PC again. When movies are dead, single player games will still live on & movies aren't going anywhere anytime soon. People like stories, people don't like monthly subscriptions for D&D varieties of them. Movie studios make plenty of money after millions are spent to tell a story that someone can rent or resell when they're done with it, or "pirate" if they like. Games are no different. GFY Blizzard.

lol to the wow designer

Single player games are still strong and have the better graphics compared to mmo. I will never ever play wow due to the fake graphics. I love mass effect 1, 2 and 3. I love Gears of war because it has co op-. Single player games will live on because there all going the way gears did, having CO OP in the single player story like dead space 3. Whats wow going to do forever?? just release expan pack after expan pack and never updatew the graphics or even make a decent game like far cry 2, 3? crysis 3? list goes on. wow is old and over done and over and over people sink cash into a recycled product. IF single player games like Gears and Halo have co op in the singleplayer story then how can that turn people away from single player games? single player games to me is like watching a movie in the cinemas... thats a single player exeperince, a movie is not Mulitplayer. I'm right, I want to play real graphic games like, CRysis 3, Farcry 3, and games like Halo, Gears.. Mulitplayer games have: 1 bad average graphics with no narative that makes one want to keep on playing.. PVP is boring, shoot, kill shoot kill.. OMFG.. I want a story like a block buster movie has with emotion! not a shoot kill experince with basic graphics and lag lag lag CONNECTION LOST... Pirating is not killing games.. if the games are good people BUY the game. this designer thinks online games will control consumers and help them get Ritcher.. all about the money hey boys. dead island is awesome with friends... If we lived in this designer world we would be playing online games with crap graphics and NO narative, no music, no emotion...just the same old repeat of mmo.. MMOs repeat themselves all the time. hippocratic.

How bout no

Saw this giant paragraph, was looking forward to reading it. Then I saw "Single player games are still strong and have the better graphics compared to mmo." and stopped reading.

single player

I love single player games,matter of fact it is the only one i play ,single player games those are my favorite. I do not like online game or multyplayer I do not play those.

Time for a change.

People always talk about how great skyrim is even though it's a single player ONLY game. Think of how much better it would have been if your friends could join in through a local network? It's bad enough Skyrim is a Console game with poor graphics then thrown into a PC with the same poor graphics. Even with the graphics packs and such it's still so far away from all the high graphic games are these days. Re-used slightly upgraded oblivion engine does not make a new game. Sad enough each new elderscrolls game they made after Morrowind (A PC GAME!) they get more and more simple for consoles sake. Screw consoles! Games these days don't need to be ONLINE multiplayer. Just give us a LAN multiplayer. Tired of see'ing the same old old old single player only games being made over and over when it's just the same dumb thing as the previous one. P.S. "WoW" Sucks!

wow lead designers have no

wow lead designers have no business talking about singler player games. anyone working for blizzard and voices an opinion on the longevity of single player games is more aloof from the industry than their games are.

**** OFF

Another American tard saying single player is dead is just muppet talk. I enjoy playing single player and not have to link goddamn facebook or twitter or oh **** "Hi" a window popped open as I was trying to do a quest. **** OFF, I dont give a ****. Let me play the game I paid for, I dont give a flying rats **** to chat with any of you bastards. Period.

Misleading article title

Rob Pardo has never said single player gaming is dead. The article quotes him as saying that it's tough to make a single player game with a big budget because many things need to happen first, and it's tough to convince invenstors to fund something that might not get them their money back and more, when a multiplayer game typically generates more revenue due to having a wider audience. TL;DR: The single player experience isn't dead. It's just a harder sell.

smoke and mirrors

it`s not dead, it may well be dying but that`s hardly the consumers fault. Single player campaigns have become an excuse for developers to remove gameplay in favour of massively costly cutscenes with a movie style budget. As a single player myself I don`t need all that extra crap. In game cutscenes are enough and stories are fine but don`t need hollywood budget if ganeplay is good enough. It`s all become about this `immersive` experience where you feel like you`re part of a movie. People never wanted that, it`s a fallacy. Rmemember Dragons Lair and Space Ace. Feeling part of the action works because game dynamics are good, not because some amazing pre rendered movie I have no control of tells me so. If i want a movie I`ll watch a movie. I didn`t buy Torchlight II for the cutscenes, I bought it because I like finding good loot, it tickles my loot addled brain because there`s so much of it. A good example was Alan Wake, very cinematic with a good but cliched Stephen King` style story and yet it got dull waiting for something to do. Don`t even get me started on Mass Effect 3 where the game went sometimes for half an hour or more without me doing anything. It`s been their choice to do this, not ours. Doom needed no story. Do we need Michael Bay to give us a Manic Miner PreAmble. ? i think not.

wow really

tyhat coming from a guy who doesnt know his playervase. gta series mass effect series dragon age series elder scrolls series half life series doom series quake was a singleplayer untill quake arena you see there usa a vast wanting for singleplayer but that dumbsh*t is only thinking of pc games, the only multiplayer games that work on consoles are racing and shooters, maybe if his lame company spent time and made a game like wow for consoles then we might see the end of it but OOPS warcraft IS a online RPG and NOT and MMO. lets look at warcraft, a person does quests which is SINGLE PLAYER only raids use multiple people so 95% of one game is singleplayer. si in essence he is calling his player base a bunch of idiots

This again

The first game that comes to mind is Skyrim which is a SP game and sold very VERY well imo. Mass Effect 3 was also a good game even if it has various multiplayer modes too. In other words singleplayer games are still around and they will always be, personally I like games with both SP and MP which I think that's the best way to go.


I do not know who Rob Pardo is, but his comment, was actually smart. Just because you do not agree with it, it does not make him a ******. Your comment clearly labels YOU as a ******, you do not even elaborate or anything, just go on calling people's names. His comment is right on, piracy, renting and the selling of pre-used games make single player games especially difficult to extract any monetary value for the developers. And thus, it is no longer a sustainable model as the return on investment is rarely enough on those games these days. As much as i like single player games, the release rate of good one's has severely decreased lately, further evidencing the fact that they are a dying breed, but as other posters have commented, it is unlikely they will ever be completely gone.

His claims assume that every

His claims assume that every single player game is developed the same way, with the same budget, teams, release and scope. Given recent evidence, big single player releases have been more sustainable than large multiplayer ones (see comments below). How many multiplayer shooters get looked over each month compared to story-driven single player games? And how do those issues (piracy, renting, used games) not affect multiplayer titles? If you want to play WoW for free, people run huge communities around free servers. Not to mention the no-steam community for the Counterstrike/Left 4 Dead series which is still going strong.


A really well made single player games will continue to be relesed. Look at GTA. The problem comes when things like Call of Duty start getting amss produced with little difference from the previous title. Call of Duty would die a death if it was not for its multiplayer. Where as games like GTA, multiplayer is something to do once you have completed hte single player.

Uh. No.

Whatever craptard posted this article needs to come out of the closet and admit they have an agenda. You've completely and utterly misrepresented Pardo here. How? You committed the worst possible crime in quoting an interview: you freaking LEFT OUT THE QUESTION. Hey folks, want to actually be informed and know what Pardo was responding to? Read the actual, original interview, at the source this poster felt wasn't worth sharing:


Well I see this site doesn't let you share URLs. Well, do a google search for "Game Industry Legends: Rob Pardo". The interview will pop right up.

Deus Ex 3 sold over 2 million

Deus Ex 3 sold over 2 million copies in one quarter, and combined with the sales of the latest Final Fantasy game, Square Enix made almost 2 billion dollars profit from of it's two flagship single player only games. Perhaps in the US the market for single-player games is shrinking, but in the rest of the world - Europe, Asia, Oceania, the rest of America - the market and sales are only getting stronger.

The Success of WOW was not

The Success of WOW was not the game, it was the money it made. People stupid enough to pay 10-100 times what is traditionally normal ($50-$60) is fueling game degradation. Why make an original game when people will pay so much more for an MMO? And now they are crazy about making MMO's and don't even try to make epic RTS games or quality RPG's. Same goes for 360 Gold membership, how many retards do you know that payed monthly for nothing, absolutely nothing...

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