Irrational's Ken Levine thinks developers should resist publisher pressure to create multiplayer components.
Speaking in an interview with VG247, the Bioshock writer claimed that the importance of multiplayer to sales is sadly exaggerated, and that providing you create the "right product", you can do without it.
"BioShock's a great example," he said. "We sold 4.5 million units. To some degree, that was a victory of, 'Let's make the right product - not what a marketing survey tells us.'"
"If we had a great multiplayer thing to say in that game, we would have made a multiplayer mode. We would have done it if we had something to say. But we just didn't, so I didn't want to do what I had done before. I didn't want to be forced to fill a checklist some marketing guy had about what a product should be."
"Most people tend to ignore a multiplayer mode that isn't compelling," Kevine went on. "That's way more common than anything else. People work all this time to create a multiplayer mode, and you can go on Xbox Live and you literally see - even in some good multiplayer games - six, eight, or ten people playing the game. Literally. In the world. It's heartbreaking."
"If you're going to do that, it'd better not be because some marketing guy is telling you to do it. It'd better be because you have something to say."
Irrational's next game, Bioshock Infinite, was announced last year. The developer is apparently experimenting with multiplayer but has yet to fully commit to the functionality.