Are Always Online Games The Future?

Monty's Mintue 25

This week on Monty’s Minute, a viewer asks Monty his opinion on online only game requirements for traditionally single-player games.

With all the issues that EA‘s been having lately due to the Always-Connected feature in SimCity one viewer wants to know when the gaming industry will realize that forcing online only game requirements into games that are primarily single-player is not beneficial. And, that is often annoying to gamers who may  not be able to be online all the time.

Monty addresses the online only game requirements that many game companies are turning to and explains the reasons that companies would find it beneficial. He also discusses how companies could work to make something that will work for both them and their customers, such as allowing players to play when not connected but keep them from gaining achievements without it.

How much does a free-to-play MMORPG need to make in order to be considered successful?

We all know that for pay-to-play games the standard monthly sub sits somewhere between $10 and $15 a month. So one viewer would like to know what f2p games have to make in order to be considered successful.

Monty discusses the various factors that will affect  the success of a f2p game and what companies consider acceptable.

What do game companies think of internet data caps?

Several US based internet companies have started capping the amount of data consumers can use monthly — generally at about 250 gigs for broadband users. One viewer has noted that with things like steam, game videos, MMO usage and other content it can be easy for some people to reach this limit.

Do game companies keep this in mind?

For the answers to all of these questions and more, watch the video above.  And as always. if you missed last week’s episode be sure to check it out here.

Don’t forget to send your own questions in to Monty’s Minute via monty@gamebreaker.tv.  Be sure to tune in every week  to see the answer to your questions.

GBTV General Manager
  • http://twitter.com/Critzkreig Cody Moody

    Someone needs to do “Online Only” correctly before people realize its strengths. Right now it’s being demonized, but there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that style of game. MMOs work fine and rake in billions per year. We just need to find the right amount of connectivity in our other games.

    • http://www.facebook.com/trevor.kidd.75 Trevor Kidd

      Missing the point. I want a selection of games available for when I CAN’T play my MMO of choice due to some sort of service interruption. That could either be my ISP conking out on me, my comm hardware cooking or the game provider suffering some kind of service failure. I want games that will be there when the online ones are not. This is especially important since I don’t have cable television and use Netflix exclusively (by choice). When I’m offline, that’s an enormous chunk of my home entertainment options gone.

      Online only is being done correctly right now — for games that need to be online. Those that don’t need to be online, shouldn’t be. There is NO correct way of doing that because the end result is a reduction of freedom and choice for gamers, with no value being added. By the way, slapping some superficial MP layer onto a game that doesn’t need it, is NOT adding value (looking at you SimCity).

      Lastly, some of us do deal with bandwidth caps, which can become problematic. Personally, I get 100GB of download/month and I’m nearly always pushing my cap. When I go over, it’s something like $5/GB (welcome to Canada’s communications monopoly). It would be nice to have options as to gaming that won’t hit my bandwidth.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jim-Bergevin-Jr/1393526370 Jim Bergevin Jr

    Thanks for taking the question guys. Obviously, realistically speaking, it seems that “Always-Connected is not going away for the reasons Monty stated, but as Cody below says, it needs to be done right. There needs to be modes that allow for normal gameplay when no Internet connection can be had. I’m fine with not getting extras like Achievements and special “power-ups”, but the games need allow for that basic normal gameplay (and game saves) on your local system. There is just no excuse to force on-line requirements for a single-player experience. Let the gamers decide how much multi-player experience they want – don’t force it on them. In terms of the city size and resource sharing, that could have been solved simply by allowing the off-line player to play their own region off-line, thus creating multiple cities in their play session that would in fact perform the same function as other people playing those other cities on-line.

    Again, I have no problems with MMOs, obviously that is the requirements of the genre, and we know that going in. But when you are taking an established franchise that is based on a completely different model, you had better make sure you are making the gamers very well aware of what you are doing – Elder Scrolls is doing it, NeverWinter is doing it, Wizardry has done it. It’s just another in the long list of mistakes that EA and Maxis has made with this release.

    Ultimately, I want a sense of ownership of my games. It took me a long while to jump into the MMO genre, because I want to own my games when I spend money on them, and not feel like I am “renting” them. Having a game dependent on outside servers that will one day be taken down is not where I want to see the industry going. As I mentioned in the e-mail with the question – I still find pleasure in firing up my games that are 15, 20, and even 30 years old at this point and playing a few rounds. To think that something like that will no longer be possible is very disappointing. It’s like throwing away antique pieces of furniture and decoration just because something newer has come out.