Would you buy Quantum Break if it included multiplayer? A few years ago, I would have said yes. Today? I’m not so sure. Not every game needs multiplayer. In fact, many games are better off not including it.
Anyone remember the multiplayer from the Tomb Raider reboot in 2013? Exactly. It wasn’t good. Fast forward to 2015 and Crystal Dynamics opted against multiplayer and focused solely on single player.
Should Remedy Entertainment push multiplayer in their games? Their most well-known franchises have shied away from it. Alan Wake and the recently released Quantum Break are single-player only. Remedy’s Creative Director Sam Lake touched on multiplayer in their games in a recent podcast with Xbox’s Major Nelson.
“Certainly there are discussions about multiplayer,” said Lake. “There are discussions about all kinds of things. We want to evolve with the times as well: try out new things that push ourselves, and always come back and question, “What is a Remedy game and how can we evolve it into something even cooler?”
What is a Remedy game? For the past six years, their games have been story-driven with strong characters and solid gameplay. I haven’t had a chance to play Quantum Break yet, but Alan Wake was fantastic.
The “evolve it into something even cooler” can be seen with Quantum Break. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen live action video weaved into a game. I’ll never forget the Command & Conquer Red Alert 2 live action segments.
Cheesy? Yes, but in a good way. Quantum Break took a much more serious approach to live-action.
Remedy Entertainment went with a live-action component to “evolve.” Could multiplayer be the next step? I see Remedy’s hesitance to jump into multiplayer as a good sign. Too many developers have tried to tack on multiplayer and pretty much all of them have failed. Even the ones that try something new don’t always succeed (Evolve).
Here’s what else Lake had to say about multiplayer. “A lot of this is happening all the time. So far we haven’t done that,” said Lake. “Some times it has been maybe considered and sometimes not even in the discussions, but you know, we’ll see what will be the next iteration or a Remedy game.”
I like the approach. Don’t force yourself into multiplayer if you don’t believe it fits your game or studio. No one remembers the tacked on multiplayers chasing Call of Duty. But they do remember Remedy’s stories. It might not make Call of Duty money, but then again – what really does outside a handful of titles?
Check out the rest of Major Nelson’s podcast with Sam Lake. They talk more about storytelling in Quantum Break and what could be next in the franchise.