Multiplayer has steadily become the rule, as opposed the exception, when it comes to modern gaming. In our super-connected age, solo experiences alone simply don’t offer enough to keep players interested. There’s no question that adding real people to the fray offers a degree of chaos that can’t be replicated by AI and helps to make games more exciting. But MMOs have come a long way from their usual haunts in role-playing games and can now be found in a wide variety of genres that includes shooters and beyond. One of the best examples of this multiplayer mayhem can be found in Bungie’s MMO, shared-world shooter, Destiny.
When Destiny was released in 2014, it was an ambitious title unlike anything anyone had ever seen. Featuring jaw-dropping graphics and first-person shooter gameplay on top of a massively multiplayer world, this was a far cry from World of Warcraft. While the game definitely had some wrinkles to iron out in the beginning, the developers have done an excellent job of fixing these problems through consistent expansions and most importantly, listening to players.
Among these upgrades has been the addition of private matches, which has greatly helped to renew interest in the game’s head-to-head multiplayer. Previously, the shooter only allowed for players to pick their specific game mode when it comes to matches while the new, private matches greatly expand the available options. The Rise of Iron expansion has also added a new social space to the game where players can interact with each other and earn new loot. These social spaces serve as larger hubs for player-to-player connections and are the closest thing you’ll find to a traditional MMO town within the game.
But it’s far more than shooters and RPGs embracing massive multiplayer gaming. Casual games have also begun to embrace the necessity of a dynamic multiplayer experience as an excellent way to attract new users. Gameplay simply isn’t enough anymore to keep players around, and creating a welcoming atmosphere with a number of different players goes a long way to enhance the experience. Among these casual multiplayer titles are online bingo rooms shared with hundreds of other players where users are able to play, chat, and interact with each other. This idea of a dedicated larger gaming community is crucial to the continued success of a game whether it’s a big name title like WoW: Legion or a free-to-play, online browser game. Without people to play and a community that keeps them coming back many games fall by the wayside, as seen in the tumultuous case of Tribes: Ascend.
These days, it’s vital for games to not only attract, but retain audiences. Arguably the most effective way to achieve this is by creating a vibrant and engaging community of players. In the end, it comes down to the age old question: If a game is release online, and nobody plays it, is it any fun?