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Why Are Multiplayer Games More Popular Than Single Player Games?

Why Are Multiplayer Games More Popular Than Single Player Games

There are a lot of debates within the gaming community. There always have been and it is very likely there always will be. It is hardwired in our human nature to argue with one another. And gamers especially are extremely argumentative.

Whether it’s the debate over which console is better, or an argument over which fighter is the strongest in smash bros, gamers love to share their opinions with one another. But there is one argument that has become increasingly heated in recent years. That is the question of what is better: Multiplayer or Singleplayer games.

The Debate

Multiplayer games have been around for as long as video games existed. Even the original game, Pong, had a multiplayer format. But multiplayer games mostly required the two players to be in the same room. The classic split screen game mode that defined a generation of console gaming is still a very strong image in my mind.

So the debate over what was better, single or multiplayer games, used to be a lot quieter. Sure, you had games that had a focus on multiplayer like fighters or kart racers. But single and multiplayer went hand in hand. Then everything changed with the introduction of online gaming.

Online gaming meant that people could game with one another without needing to be on the same console. It changed the way we game forever. Friends from across the globe could game together at any time. But this meant the debate got far more heated.

The Rise of Multiplayer Games

With the introduction of online gaming came a sharp rise in the number of multiplayer games that put the emphasis on multiplayer. Genres like MMOs started to crop up, which are online and multiplayer only. Soon we saw games like Fortnite appear which put an emphasis on the online multiplayer aspect of the game, with single player mode being mostly for creative playing.

And the gaming world welcomed these games with open arms. Even games that were originally only small scale multiplayer games started to put a greater emphasis on it. Look at Minecraft. Originally it was a singleplayer survival game with some multiplayer support. Fast forward and here is a list of games you can play on Minecraft servers ranging in the hundreds. This just goes to show how popular multiplayer gaming has become.

Are They More Popular Than Singleplayer?

So are multiplayer games more popular than single player games? Well this is a difficult question to answer. If we look at the most popular game on the planet, Minecraft, we have to take into consideration the fact it has a single player mode. The second most popular game ever made, Tetris, was originally single player only. But now there are multiplayer formats of Tetris. So clearly there is a constant demand for multiplayer content.

And this is a good indicator of if they are more popular than single player games. It is very rare these days to see people ask for a game to remove its multiplayer content. More often than not people are asking game makers to add multiplayer formats, or to improve the formats.

Why Are They More Popular

So why exactly are multiplayer games more popular than single player games? There are a few key reasons that are actually quite easy to explain.

The first, and most obvious, is that humans are social creatures by nature. For as long as we have existed we have been playing games with one another. In fact most creatures in nature play with one another. Just take a look at dogs and cats. So it makes sense that modern humans would prefer playing games with each other than alone. That doesn’t mean there aren’t people who love single player games. But overall people would prefer to play games together.

Another reason people love multiplayer games is because not everyone has the time to get really good at games. The Dark Souls series is a perfect example of this. It is a game series with an extremely high skill ceiling. It can be difficult to master. But the multiplayer functionality of it allows players to be summoned into someone else’s world to help them with tough bosses. This means players who are struggling can call for help. Another reason why multiplayer games are more popular than singleplayer ones.

Another reason is competition. While humans love to play with one another, they often love competing with one another even more. The ancient Greeks invented the olympics to celebrate this competitive spirit. And humanity has never lost it. People love to compete with each other, either in a friendly way or in a truly competitive way. And online gaming allows people to scratch their competitive itch. Plus, people love to win, which is a huge incentive for multiplayer gaming.



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