Wolfenstein 2 arrives in two days and the conversation is reaching a fervor in a couple ways. Bethesda doubled down on the Nazi-punching definitively, but now the developer MachineGames finds itself in a precarious position as a banner for linear single-player games. Should Wolfenstein 2 have embraced the tide and added multiplayer? Not if you want an un-diluted Wolfenstein experience, MachineGames says.
"The only way we can create these super immersive narrative experiences is if we can solely focus on the single-player," says Machine Games' Narrative Designer Tommy Tordsson Björk to GamesIndustry.biz. "Having a multiplayer component in this work process would just dilute it all. That's the danger if you try to do two things at once.
The news that Visceral Games was shut down and subsequent update on the linear Star Wars game the team was working on has sparked a discussion about triple-A single-player games. Are they on the verge of death? Are we, as players, doomed to loot box and microtransaction riddled mainstream experiences from here on? The answer is still up in the air, but many will be looking at the sales performance of Wolfenstein 2 as a sign of what is to come.
Is it fair to place this weight on Wolfenstein 2? Not really, but it will likely endure. Bethesda is built on strong single-player experiences and we'll just have to see how this all plays out.