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Are MMOs killing single player RPGs?

Chris Chester

With MMOs springing up like weeds in every corner of the game industry, some are beginning to wonder if this recent trend isn't spelling the end for old-fashioned single-player RPGs. Just a decade ago, turn-based Japanese RPGs reigned supreme on consoles, and Western-style RPGs in the vein of Baldur's Gate were the big sellers on PCs. Nowadays, these titles are becoming few and far between. Sure, you've got your occasional Mass Effect and your Final Fantasy XIII, but for some, the writing is already on the wall.

At Massively, we think the landscape is considerably more complicated than that. For our part, we've noticed how MMOs are increasingly focusing on single player content, allowing the casual player to solo his way through entire games in some cases, if he so chooses. Instead of single-player games dying in the face of their multiplayer counterparts, it looks to us like the two are just learning from each other and moving towards some of homogeneous hybrid. There's room for debate (when isn't there, really), but we don't think it's time for doom and gloom just yet.

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