Despite the massive popularity of multiplayer online games, a leaked report from Sony seems to suggest that gamers prefer single-player games instead.
This is according to documentation distributed by Sony to developers in 2019, as obtained by Vice, which features internal tracking data that showed PlayStation 4 users spending more time on offline games compared to online modes. “Single-player is thriving,” Sony claimed in the presentation.
The company’s research also noted that the single-player game experience did come with its caveats, and players pointed out four key issues:
- “No idea how long I might need, don’t play unless I have 2+ free hours”
- “Takes a lot of time to scan through long help videos when stuck”
- “How to engage socially without risk of spoilers”
- “Forgot what I was doing in this game last time, hard to get back in”
“In reality, most people have jobs. Or kids. Or school. Or all of the above,” Sony added. “Often, free time comes wedged between other obligations. An hour before bed. A 30-minute break between homework assignments. A few minutes before your online [multiplayer] match.”
It appears that the data seems to have likely influenced the creation of the PlayStation 5’s Activities feature, which allows users quick access to specific stages, quests and locations of a given game. The feature had been designed to “remove barriers to gameplay”, according to Sony, when it was first announced.
The PS5 was officially released last month and has since become Sony’s biggest console launch ever. In a glowing five-star review, NME’s Jordan Oloman described the PS5 as a console that “feels like the true next-gen experience”, thanks to “he haptic wonderland of the DualSense [controller]”.