Erika's Unpopular Opinion Time!
I don't mind playing online. My computer is literally always connected to the internet, unless it's off, my internet goes out, I'm resetting something, or my cat decides to attack the wifi card hard switch on my laptop. Even if my laptop is off, odds are good my tablet and/or phone are connected to the internet. I'm just always connected. It's an addiction, I'll admit it.
So, for me, I honestly don't even notice if my game is connected to the internet or not. The exception being if it's a game with an obvious online component like an MMO. Personally, I just really don't care one way or the other if a game is connected or not. I'm clearly not one of those people who has every privacy blocker and whatever else installed on my computer. I know there are risks to that. I used to be that person, but I decided I just didn't care enough after a point. I'd rather expend that energy campaigning to fix some of the issues with online privacy and the like, to be honest. That and again...there are just other things that I care about way more. And maybe that makes me part of the problem or a hypocrite or whatever. I don't know.
Either way I think that there are multiple issues here that are getting rolled up into one big issue when that really shouldn't be the case.
Based on what I understand from talking to people, researching, etc, the issue isn't so much that games have multiplayer or that games have online / social capabilities. It's when those things get taken too far. And sure, there are people who absolutely don't want those things in their games and there are people who absolutely will only buy games with those things, but more people tend to cluster somewhere in the middle.
Diablo III is a great example. The issue wasn't so much that there was online capabilites and multiplayer. The multiplayer from Diablo II was wildly popular and there is a core dedicated fanbase that wants that. And then plenty of other people who don't. The big issue came when Blizzard assumed that because some people really wanted that thing, that meant everyone wanted the thing, and that thing should then be forced into the game. Because then that can be used as DRM and so on and so on.
In regards to Chapters, this Social / Online capability is optional. If you don't want it, turn it off. I'm sorry if this comes off as bitchy, but the assumption that everyone doesn't want this in the game and that it should be default set to off or otherwise relegated to the corner based on your personal views and preferences is annoying me. Because I want it in my game. I'm looking forward to it. Whether or not the default should be on or off is arguable, I guess, but if RTG is putting a bunch of effort into the feature and really wants it in the game and is proud of it, then why the hell not have it be part of the default game? I'm not saying they should hide turning it off. Maybe have it be a question during set up or have it be obvious on the main menu or something. I'm not encouraging sneakiness or anything. Quite the opposite. I totally respect everyone's right to engage or not engage a feature that they feel may or may not diminish their game experience.
But it's optional. So if you don't want it, turn it off. That's all there is to it. I don't think it's fair to take something away from people who want it just because you have a problem with it and having options isn't a good enough solution. You know?
For me, all I really play are single player games. But so many of my friends play multiplayer games and I'm so SO jealous. I'm just bad at basically every multiplayer game ever invented I get very little joy of of them. So for me, being able to see what my friends are playing or see how far they've gotten in a game or with Chapters see if they've made certain choices even sounds like fun. I look forward to getting that message from someone like "Oh my god, I just got to X part, I can't believe it! I see you got there, too! What do you think? You made Y choice, I made Z choice. What happened for you? What do you think will happen?" Commence fan squeeing. I love games and I so rarely get to share the games I love with people that this sounds really cool to me.
But I totally get that some people want to game in solitude. They don't want social aspects. For whatever reason. Maybe it's a privacy issue, maybe it's a "This is me time and I don't want anyone involved." Whatever. That's totally cool and that's your right. So I'm not going to campaign for them to force you to take advantage of a feature you don't want.
But don't whine at me and tell me they should take out a feature that I want just because it existing in the game, even shut off, bothers you.
I don't think every game should have a multiplayer. I don't think every game should have social aspects or whatever. I don't think we should shoehorn these things into games. But if they're optional and they make sense and they're not forced then what's the problem? Clearly whether or not a mechanic makes sense or whether or not it feels forced is totally a matter of opinion, but I feel like there's a lot of room to play with these ideas and integrate these things in ways that get it right. The number one way in which companies repeatedly get it wrong is by forcing them on people. Based on everything we've been told. Chapters isn't forcing anything on anyone. So I just really can't wrap my mind around why it's still a problem.
But again. These are my opinions. I respect everyone's right to disagree and to stand on their own principles.