The present state of the gaming world has certainly faced plenty of evolution since the days of early PC gaming — with Fortnite and its battle royale ilk dominating online play alongside MMOs like World of Warcraft — but that doesn’t mean that the old ways are dead. In fact, some throwbacks are coming into their own once again while the return of the single-player experience is having a resurgence of its own.
First up, let’s look at a game celebrating a quarter of a century anniversary. Yes, the original Doom turns 25 this year and its co-creator John Romero is bringing an add-on to the game that offers nine single-player levels and nine multiplayer levels to fans. Sigil, as the follow-up is called, can be free or hit a few different price points depending on the geekiness and dedication involved.
As Engadget reports, there’s a $40 Standard Edition, which comes with pretty box art, a Buckethead soundtrack, and a themed USB. If you’re a diehard, however, you can go for the Beast Box, which will run gamers $166 and adds on an autograph to the box, a pewter statue of Romero’s impaled head, a commemorative coin, a t-shirt, and a print by box artist Christopher Lovell.
The levels, both in their free form and in the collector’s editions, are coming to PC in the middle of February, but pre-orders start now and end on Dec. 24. And who could turn down the chance to showcase their Doom fandom with props?
On the receiving end of props rather than the giving end is the PS4’s record-breaking Spider-Man game. The single-player superhero phenomenon raked in the cash while proving to video game companies that not everything has to be a deathmatch to be a success. And that may have impacted some corporate strategy.
According to an interview in MCVUK magazine, Warwick Light, Vice President & Managing Director for the UK, IE & Australasia at Sony Interactive Entertainment Europe, ran through the PS4’s year — of which single-player games played a large part. “While 2018 was indisputably a big year for Fortnite, Light said, “it was also a year which saw us really act like a publisher and focus on our exclusive titles whether it was God of War, Spider-Man, Detroit or VR titles such as Astro Bot.”
The impact of these genre games helped prove that offering them as single-player experiences isn’t just a way to make good games, but a savvy business decision. “There’s still a huge audience for games that offer the best in single player narrative with stunning gameplay, as witnessed by the enormous popularity of both Spider-Man and God of War in this year’s charts,” Light said.
Enhancing that market means turning to upgraded tech in the PS4 Pro, which Light explained after talking up the genre games leading the charge. This link could lead to more and more exclusive, genre-based, AAA single-player experiences on the console as the company has seen returns on their investments in a few significant cases — though fans may need to entertain themselves with Spider-Man DLC until another genre game comes to usurp Spidey’s throne.