“Single player is not dead, not even close”

“Single player is not dead, not even close”

Take-Two CEO Strauss Zelnick has stated that single player games still hold immense value for players.

The publisher behind Red Dead Redemption didn’t field its biggest hitter at E3 this month, but Zelnick had much to say regarding the state of the publisher and the industry.

As fellow single player studios like Bethesda and BioWare announced their move into multiplayer, Zelnick defended that all-too-frequent concern - are single player games dead?

"Historically, in entertainment, people take positions like that, but there are also people saying that it won’t work if it’s not a free-to-play battle royale," said Zelnick, speaking to GamesBeat. "People really are saying that, and not even tongue-in-cheek. I don’t buy that.”

“Single player, in my opinion, is not dead, not even close. Companies that feel like they’ll just avoid the hard work of building a story and characters and go right to where the money is in multiplayer, I don’t think that’s going to work. I’d be surprised."

Zelnick isn’t averse to multiplayer modes in general, though. Grand Theft Auto almost became the most profitable game ever at $6 billion in revenue, largely on the back on a constantly-updated online component. The CEO believes a strong single player is what brings users in - the multiplayer is what keeps them.

“I think that’s what happened with Grand Theft Auto Online. We certainly feel like there’s no evidence that people don’t want a single player, because they’re still playing Grand Theft Auto V.”

Take-Two’s stance on chasing trends has been made clear before. Zelnick stated last month that the publisher wasn’t in the business of chasing the battle royale bandwagon.

Staff Writer

Natalie Clayton is an Edinburgh-based freelance writer and game developer. Besides PCGamesInsider and, she's written across the games media landscape and was named in the 2018 100 Rising Star list.