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The industry gets multiplayer wrong again. Splitgate tanking...

Men_in_Boxes

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This seems to happen regularly now.

Games media hypes up a particular multiplayer game. Anoints it as the next great multiplayer game. Then, a month later, its player base leaves in droves because it doesn't have the depth or longevity of truly great multiplayer games.

Splitgate seems to be jettisoning players daily ever since it was hailed as the next big thing a few weeks ago. (Currently #102 on Steam)


Meanwhile, a game like Naraka Bladepoint which came out last month, seems to be fairing significantly better despite the industry mocking it as "just another Battle Royale."

Why is games media so bad at assessing multiplayer games in particular?
 
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MiguelItUp

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I respected and dug what I played of Splitgate. I have a lot of other friends that were big into it that all kind of slowed down on it. Their reasoning was that they were waiting for more content just because they put SO much into it.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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I respected and dug what I played of Splitgate. I have a lot of other friends that were big into it that all kind of slowed down on it. Their reasoning was that they were waiting for more content just because they put SO much into it.

I don't buy it. Naraka Bladepoint is light on content as well, but it seems to be gaining players, unlike Splitgate.

The issue is that arena shooters have died off for a reason. The 7 second gameplay loop, testing players reflexes and aim, rinse and repeat came and went for a reason.

It's cool that two guys made such a success, but to me it was obvious from the start that the game wouldn't last. Multiplayer games have gotten so much better at attracting a larger player base and keeping them entertained for longer.

I'm just trying to understand why the industry is so bad at understanding multiplayer. There's such a divide between what critics claim is good and what gamers claim is good. That doesn't really happen with single player games.

Splitgate would have been great in 1999.
 
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SlimeGooGoo

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Why is games media so bad
happy drag race GIF by Robert E Blackmon
 

CamHostage

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This seems to happen regularly now.

Games media hypes up a particular multiplayer game. Anoints it as the next great multiplayer game. Then, a month later, its player base leaves in droves because it doesn't have the depth or longevity of truly great multiplayer games...

Meanwhile, a game like Naraka Bladepoint which came out last month, seems to be fairing significantly better despite the industry mocking it as "just another Battle Royale."

Why is games media so bad at assessing multiplayer games in particular?

 
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LordOfChaos

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I thought it was fun enough, combining Halo sandbox fun with Portal makes for some chaotic fun moments, but there's a definite dearth of content, just very few maps and it didn't take long to feel like you'd done it all.

I'd like to see them continue to develop it and keep the content fresh. The flip side to lack of longevity is that I also never felt the need to grind or any bs mechanics that try to keep you on the platform every day, yeah there's the daily lootbox and all that regular stuff but pure time retention can be a double edged sword.
 
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LegendOfKage

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This seems to happen regularly now.

Games media hypes up a particular multiplayer game. Anoints it as the next great multiplayer game. Then, a month later, its player base leaves in droves because it doesn't have the depth or longevity of truly great multiplayer games.

Splitgate seems to be jettisoning players daily ever since it was hailed as the next big thing a few weeks ago. (Currently #102 on Steam)


Meanwhile, a game like Naraka Bladepoint which came out last month, seems to be fairing significantly better despite the industry mocking it as "just another Battle Royale."

Why is games media so bad at assessing multiplayer games in particular?
Splitgate will live or die based on how many battle passes they are able to sell, not how many people are playing their game at a given time. It only makes sense that the "big new thing" would attract people who will try it and then decide that it's not for them.

Either way, Splitgate has received 100 million in funding. The developers are still completely independent, they consider the game about 1/4 of the way finished, they've now hired former Bungie employees to work on the art direction of the game, and they're building a level editor like Forge mode. Don't expect that you've seen or heard the last of this game.
 
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Splitgate is a good time but I can see why people drop off it so quickly.

This might be a touchy subject but in my opinion part of the problem I think is gamers tend to over consume. If something doesn't feel fresh after 10 hours of constant play then it gets shelved. BR games are probably so popular because the experience is relatively different each time it's played.

Serious question, has anyone done a study on this?
 

Men_in_Boxes

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Don't expect that you've seen or heard the last of this game.

I don't think any game based on arena style PvP is going to retain many players. Best case scenario, it'll attract players during it's big updates but will lose them quickly after.

Maybe they have something crazy planned that I'm not seeing.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Splitgate is a good time but I can see why people drop off it so quickly.

This might be a touchy subject but in my opinion part of the problem I think is gamers tend to over consume. If something doesn't feel fresh after 10 hours of constant play then it gets shelved. BR games are probably so popular because the experience is relatively different each time it's played.

Serious question, has anyone done a study on this?

I assume every major publisher did their own studies on this back in 2018 when BR changed the industry. I predict the results of those studies will produce something pretty specific in 2022/2023.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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The people who were playing Splitgate daily are currently playing the CoD beta. Splitgate will do just fine.

If you look at it's daily drop over the last 30 days you'll see that it's pretty steady. It doesn't look like the arrival of the CoD beta had much impact.
 

MiguelItUp

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I don't buy it. Naraka Bladepoint is light on content as well, but it seems to be gaining players, unlike Splitgate.

The issue is that arena shooters have died off for a reason. The 7 second gameplay loop, testing players reflexes and aim, rinse and repeat came and went for a reason.

It's cool that two guys made such a success, but to me it was obvious from the start that the game wouldn't last. Multiplayer games have gotten so much better at attracting a larger player base and keeping them entertained for longer.

I'm just trying to understand why the industry is so bad at understanding multiplayer. There's such a divide between what critics claim is good and what gamers claim is good. That doesn't really happen with single player games.

Splitgate would have been great in 1999.
Fair, but that's how they felt, haha.

I wouldn't say they "died off for a reason", I think it's primarily because the industry didn't really do much to make the genre evolve, unfortunately. Which, I guess could be blamed on the industry in the end. Especially if communities are saying they'd love X and Y, but then it's all completely neglected. I mean, they tried to change up Halo's multiplayer with 4, and the majority weren't a fan of the changes. That vibe continued with 5. So now Infinite is coming, and a lot of those that were disappointed are more excited that it appears to be more of a "return to form."

It's not too surprising as Battle Royales have been incredibly popular over the past few years, especially more than anything arena-like. Naraka also has a "slightly" different approach to it all. Well, and honestly had some pretty solid marketing as well compared to Splitgate.

I played Splitgate for awhile, and while it felt like a solid game a lot of it also felt very generic to me. It was clear they were inspired by Halo, and they weren't hiding it. Tack on the pretty generic art and design style, it just felt kind of safe or phoned in, in a lot of ways IMO. After awhile I personally put it down because I felt like I experienced everything I needed to. They added a Battle Pass, which helped, but the end results for me were the same. The weapons were fine, the maps were adequate, and that was about it. After a few hours I personally didn't feel a reason to go on. Funny enough I uninstalled it this morning when I came to that realization.

I don't necessarily think it's that the industry is "bad" at understanding multiplayer, there is just a clear number of divides. Players that like BRs, players that don't, and players that dabble with both. I personally would love to see more arena-like experiences, or just anything that ISN'T Battle Royale, or at least JUST Battle Royale. Hell, or just anything new in general, the problem is that would require risk taking, and a lot of devs aren't about that these days, especially in the AAA realm.

Hell, anything with portal tech would've been insane in 99, but I honestly feel like if the game had better maps, art, design, etc. It'd go even further. To me, what it's always been is a fairly solid free to play Great Value Halo game with portals.
 
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hangdang69

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I dunno, the whole portal thing made it kind of difficult to keep track of things to me. It was *fine* but nothing really special at all. Just another multiplayer-only shooter as far as I'm concerned
 

baphomet

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If you look at it's daily drop over the last 30 days you'll see that it's pretty steady. It doesn't look like the arrival of the CoD beta had much impact.

that is true, but I will say out of maybe 15 people I've been playing Splitgate with daily with we're all basically devoting any fps time to CoD.
 

LegendOfKage

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I don't think any game based on arena style PvP is going to retain many players. Best case scenario, it'll attract players during it's big updates but will lose them quickly after.

Maybe they have something crazy planned that I'm not seeing.
What does that say for COD or Halo Infinite, then? Xdefiant will be another interesting game to watch in this space, but I do think there's room for arena multiplayer games to find success. With all the people that complain about BR, there's definitely still an audience for area shooters.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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What does that say for COD or Halo Infinite, then? Xdefiant will be another interesting game to watch in this space, but I do think there's room for arena multiplayer games to find success. With all the people that complain about BR, there's definitely still an audience for area shooters.

If I'm not mistaken, traditional CoD multiplayer is finally getting less popular with the rise of CoD Warzone.

Halo Infinite, I'm hearing a ton of positive buzz on, by the same exact people who I believe don't understand multiplayer. I think Halo Infinite will live or die based on how it's big team battle (or Warzone mode) is designed, and we haven't seen that yet.

XDefiant might do OK but it won't be a multiplayer GotY contender.

I just find it interesting how the public more or less agrees with critics when it comes to single player but the divide couldn't be wider when it comes to multiplayer. Rocket League, PUBG, Fortnite, RS Siege...were basically ridiculed by the press pre release. Those are arguably the four best multiplayer games of the last 10 years.
 
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MiguelItUp

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What does that say for COD or Halo Infinite, then? Xdefiant will be another interesting game to watch in this space, but I do think there's room for arena multiplayer games to find success. With all the people that complain about BR, there's definitely still an audience for area shooters.
I wholeheartedly agree, the correct form of evolution just needs to be found for arena shooters. But unfortunately we're in this period of the industry (especially AAA or AAA-like) where it's less about innovation and risk, and more about success and money.

What made multiplayer arena shooters noticed in their prime was the weapons, game modes, pick-ups, and maps. If any of those things didn't deliver, then its success was impacted. The biggest long running IP that we have that provides the closest thing to an "arena-like" experience is COD, and there's a reason why some people love some iterations of multiplayer more or less than others. Some have better weapons, perks, maps, etc. than others. It's not the most consistent outcome, but on that same note, it's also so incredibly similar.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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The game isn't complete, and I don't think they are hiding that fact.

Also they just got a huge injection of cash to make their dreams come true:

Here's a few games that launched incomplete, and grew because they were amazing multiplayer games....

DotA 2, Minecraft, PUBG, Rust, Fortnite, Siege, Rocket League, Dead by Daylight, FF XIV...

Many of those incomplete games were ridiculed by press near their release. It didn't matter because the disconnect between press and gamers is so wide when it comes to multiplayer for some reason.

I don't see an arena shooter ever getting that big anymore. If they want to be the next riot games they're going to need to figure out how to appeal to gamers who don't like arena shooters. That seems like a tall task.
 
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MiguelItUp

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Here's a few games that launched incomplete, and grew because they were amazing multiplayer games....

DotA 2, Minecraft, PUBG, Rust, Fortnite, Siege, Rocket League, Dead by Daylight, FF XIV...

Many of those incomplete games were ridiculed by press near their release. It didn't matter because the disconnect between press and gamers is so wide when it comes to multiplayer for some reason.
To be fair, a lot of those games are ALSO connected to AAA developers and publishers. Which means larger teams, more funds, etc. Or they received more funds from partners much earlier in development, etc.

Splitgate is not that whatsoever. It's why the project has been in development for so long and just really got noticed a couple of months ago. They JUST hit like, what, 20-25 people on their team? For doing what they've done with what they had is honestly pretty impressive, but only time will tell what the funds brings the game and team.
 
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TransTrender

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Here's a few games that launched incomplete, and grew because they were amazing multiplayer games....
DotA 2, Minecraft, PUBG, Rust, Fortnite, Siege, Rocket League, Dead by Daylight, FF XIV...
Many of those incomplete games were ridiculed by press near their release. It didn't matter because the disconnect between press and gamers is so wide when it comes to multiplayer for some reason.
I don't see an arena shooter ever getting that big anymore. If they want to be the next riot games they're going to need to figure out how to appeal to gamers who don't like arena shooters. That seems like a tall task.
Right, but everything I knew about how this entire planet works went out the window over the last two years, so maybe this one will work out.
It's absolutely a different time and place than the days of games like Hawken or Massive.
People don't need to hang around this game right now since they've already seen enough and will move on until it's out.

I openly wonder what TemTem will look like when it goes official release.
 
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Knightime_X

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IN my opinion, one of the biggest problems with Splitgate is the maps.
Some are too large and more complex than needed, making them not as fun as they should be.

While pacing is high on one map, and a bit of a chore on another is offputting.
Kinda makes you not want to play as much.

I wonder how many feel the same.
 

MiguelItUp

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IN my opinion, one of the biggest problems with Splitgate is the maps.
Some are too large and more complex than needed, making them not as fun as they should be.

While pacing is high on one map, and a bit of a chore on another is offputting.
Kinda makes you not want to play as much.

I wonder how many feel the same.
I wholeheartedly agree.

Great maps are a HUGE beat for success in any arena shooter. I mean, ask anyone about their favorite competitive arena FPS, or similar that had outstanding maps. They can name their favorite map, or a few of their favorites. They remember those map names for a reason.

With Splitgate, there were times where I didn't know if I was or wasn't playing on the same map. The only give away was the theme and textures. Some of their "best" maps still feel a bit lacking as well, IMO.

Are they horrible? I don't think so at all. But they're most certainly not memorable, nor are there any that are obvious/known favorites. It felt painfully obvious when map voting pops up and it felt like people always just kind of reacted in a "whatever" kind of way.

The whole portal mechanic thing is neat, and really, it's the ONLY unique thing about the game as we haven't seen such a thing in another competitive FPS. But the weapons, aesthetic, sounds, music, etc. It doesn't stick with you. But as a free to play title, it's kinda hard to really get too critical about it.

That being said, like I mentioned earlier, they've been working on this for a LONG time. What they were able to put together with such a small team is actually really impressive. I'm happy for them to receive such solid funding, and I look forward to seeing what they do with it.
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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Conversation shifted to reasons Splitgate is hemorrhaging players. Fair enough...

Thread topic was about why media constantly gets multiplayer wrong. The game was already annointed by many as being great. Clearly it's not.
 

LegendOfKage

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Conversation shifted to reasons Splitgate is hemorrhaging players. Fair enough...

Thread topic was about why media constantly gets multiplayer wrong. The game was already annointed by many as being great. Clearly it's not.
I think the real answer is because the media mostly doesn't really play a lot of multiplayer games. They're too busy reviewing single player games.
 

elliot5

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Conversation shifted to reasons Splitgate is hemorrhaging players. Fair enough...

Thread topic was about why media constantly gets multiplayer wrong. The game was already annointed by many as being great. Clearly it's not.
You know split gate came out a long time ago and was pretty DOA but had a glow up and console release which garnered such attention. Who's to say something like it won't happen again?

Why is the "industry" suddenly wrong as if Splitgate is some brand new title loses some luster after a resurgence? For what the game is it's doing totally fine and they got $100M in funding. They'll be ok despite your concern
 

Thirty7ven

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There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of room for new multiplayer shooters.
 

jaysius

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Splitgate is oldschool fun, the microtransactions mean nothing.

I have a ton of fun with it on Series X, I hope I'm not just fighting bots though.
 

Men_in_Boxes

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You know split gate came out a long time ago and was pretty DOA but had a glow up and console release which garnered such attention. Who's to say something like it won't happen again?

Why is the "industry" suddenly wrong as if Splitgate is some brand new title loses some luster after a resurgence? For what the game is it's doing totally fine and they got $100M in funding. They'll be ok despite your concern

You're trying to steer the conversation to an area I'm not particularly interested in.

Splitgate was made by 2 people. It's done unbelievably well for those 2. Good for them, and I mean that honestly. But this isn't that.

This is a criticism of the larger media who whiffs on so many multiplayer games. They regularly missed on last generations best multiplayer games and they routinely miss by calling mediocre multiplayer games good or great.

The media does far better assessing single player games for some reason.
 
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I recall you hyping Valheim to the ends of the earth too

Very few multiplayer games are able to remain in relevancy. Nothing to do with the media
 

LazyParrot

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How is the game doing on consoles? I wouldn't expect a game that's essentially a Halo clone with portals to have its biggest fanbase on PC.
 

bender

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Why is games media so bad at assessing multiplayer games in particular?

The vast majority of the media never stay with a game very long as they are chasing clicks with coverage for what is new or what is next. That makes them particularly ill suited to cover online focused titles.
 
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It seems pretty on par with what gamers seem to want these days. Just needs more content.
 
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Bragr

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Meanwhile, a game like Naraka Bladepoint which came out last month, seems to be fairing significantly better despite the industry mocking it as "just another Battle Royale."
That's because they spend a lot of money paying streamers to play it. Without that, it would not be doing too well.
 
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CitizenZ

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The only, and i do mean, only reason it was even "reported" was it was starting to blow up on Steam(as everything does) and other plats because of cross play. When the urinalist was handed the assignment, they all said " Whats Splitgate?, i was working on this awesome article about [insert remake/ remaster/ sequel #20] for next gen consoles"
 
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This might be a touchy subject but in my opinion part of the problem I think is gamers tend to over consume
Bingo. Look at the playerbase for Avengers and Fortnite. Or any MMORPG. They burn through content by playing nonstop and then complain there's nothing to do. Maybe, I dunno, take some time inbetween sessions to do other things? If you wanna burn through it all in a week or two, fine. Just don't bitch about it.
 
Jan 16, 2020
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Bingo. Look at the playerbase for Avengers and Fortnite. Or any MMORPG. They burn through content by playing nonstop and then complain there's nothing to do. Maybe, I dunno, take some time inbetween sessions to do other things? If you wanna burn through it all in a week or two, fine. Just don't bitch about it.

Send em to China. They'll have pletny of content to look forward to during their 165 hour downtime
 
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Men_in_Boxes

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I recall you hyping Valheim to the ends of the earth too

Very few multiplayer games are able to remain in relevancy. Nothing to do with the media

There's a few differences between Valheim and Splitgate...

- PvE games naturally have worse replay value because AI is naturally a bore to fight. So the expectation that Valheim would stay on top, when the top is full of PvP games, wasn't really there.

- Valheims heights were higher than Splitgate and it's player retention was significantly better than Splitgate despite being $20 vs free to play.

- Valheim was also exploring a relatively new genre, whereas Splitgate felt like a retread from the year 2000. I have considerably higher expectation with Valheims relevancy than I do Splitgate, which I predict will fade into obscurity.

- I also think multiplayer can be reviewed based on two rubrics. One, how long does it hold player interest? Two, how high are the highs during the honeymoon period. Among Us and Neptunes Pride were awesome for a few weeks. Splitgate was nostalgia more than anything else.

The medias perception, or lacktherof, is very much a media issue.
 
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