EA president Frank Gibeau caused quite a stir on the Internet, saying he was “proud” he hadn’t approved any games that only had single-player development. As it turns out, his quote was misunderstood.
Speaking to Kotaku, Gibeau clarified his prior statement, saying that he was simply stressing how his company’s games are built with a focus on creating a “service” for a player, rather than a one-shot experience:
“You can have a very deep single-player game but it has to have an ongoing content plan for keeping customers engaged beyond what’s on the initial disc. I’m not saying deathmatch must come to Mirror’s Edge,’ he explained.
“I still passionately believe in single-player games and think we should build them. What I was trying to suggest with my comments was that as we move our company from being a packaged goods, fire-and-forget business to a digital business that has a service component to it. That’s business-speak for ‘I want to have a business that’s alive and evolves and changes over time.'”
In recent years, EA’s pushed several titles in this direction. Perhaps none were more decried than Dead Space 2 and Dead Space 3, which fans say abandoned the frightening isolation of the original game.
Gibeau’s original statement on the issue, taken from a brochure handed out at the Cloud Gaming USA Conference and Exhibition, didn’t seem open to interpretation:
“I have not green lit one game to be developed as a single player experience. Today, all of our games include online applications and digital services that make them live 24/7/365.”
Out of EA’s 2012 and 2013 core lineup, almost every single game has a multiplayer and social media focus in mind. Gibeau made sure to point out the success of titles like Mass Effect 3 and Madden NFL 13, which have the option to be played solely as single-player experiences—but still have a robust online community and support system.