Rockstar Games Won’t Abandon the Single-Player Experience

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Image: Rockstar Games

Despite the incredible success of Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption’s multiplayer modes, Rockstar Games won’t be pivoting from the single-player games that made it a household name. The developer’s commitment to delivering narratively driven experiences was confirmed by Take-Two Interactive CEO Strauss Zelnick during a recent earnings call last week, in which he responded to a participant’s query and surprise as to how GTA Online’s latest major update, The Cayo Perico Heist, was being enjoyed by so many players as a solo rather than multiplayer venture and what that might mean for the game’s future. Zelnick pointed out that this was Rockstar’s goal all along and took the occasion to remind investors that the studio remains laser focused on single player despite having branched out to other types of experiences.

“Well, no, this wasn’t coincidental,” Zelnick stated in a transcript provided by Seeking Alpha. “I mean, the folks at Rockstar Games intended to create a powerful single player experience a story driven experience. And Rockstar has always been known for great stories and great single player experiences and then developed in addition, a massive multiplayer opportunity over the past years. And I think it’s a reminder not that we needed one, the Rockstar Games can do both of those things at the highest possible level of execution in our business.”

“There was a, I think there was an argument just a couple years ago, not around here, not in this shop. But in some of our competitors offices, that single player is dead, that it’s all about multiplayer. We didn’t believe that I said specifically and publicly that we didn’t believe that, our labels don’t believe that. And we deliver an array of experiences that range from hyper casual mobile, to the most complex, the most robust, single player and multiplayer experiences. And we intend to continue doing that.”

While GTA Online continues to set new records and serve as an important pillar of support for GTAV, encouraging players to return to the seven-year-old game, Zelnick’s comments seem to cement the theory that the next installments of Grand Theft Auto, Red Dead Redemption, and other hit Rockstar franchises will follow closely on the heels of their predecessors with a solid single-player experience that won’t be marginalized by multiplayer.

Tsing Mui
News poster at The FPS Review.

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