Single Player Games Will Surge In Popularity Vs Multiplayer, Says Gabe Newell
Valve's Half-Life: Alyx launched just last week and seems to be doing well, despite the pretty hefty price tag associated with the VR equipment needed to play it. In fact, it's done so well that Valve CEO Gabe Newell is apparently excited by the future of single player games - a very distinct shift considering Valve's successful multiplayer games of the past few years, such as CS:GO and Dota 2.
But in a recent interview with Edge magazine (via Wccftech), Newell spoke about the recent advancement of AI technology and how that could help shape single player games in the future. Essentially, he talks about how multiplayer games rely on other players to form the entertainment value of the game - to a certain extent, at least.
"If you think of lots and lots of people on the Internet as a way of generating entertainment experiences, there was a point in time where it became easier to connect meat than it was artificial intelligence." he told Edge. "We're starting to head towards a period where that's going to reverse again, driven by what's happening with AI. Right now, the OpenAI bots are better than 99-point-some percent of all the Dota players in the world."
Newell doesn't think it will be long before we'll have fairly advanced artificial intelligence. But even so, how does that specifically tie in with single player games? Geben seems to think that if that intelligence can be harnessed in a game, it will make them "a lot more interesting."
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"If you could build a single player game that just never ended, where I could play 20 hours a week and it just keeps growing and getting richer, and I'd be having as much fun 400 hours into this experience as I was in the first 20 hours... I think that is a way more likely scenario looking forward five years than it would have been looking forward five years ago. That's going to be a tectonic shift in the industry, with AI becoming way more useful, and it shifts the value-optimisation inflection point between multiplayer and single player games."
This isn't the first time recently that Newell has spoken about the future of gaming. In a recent interview with IGN, he spoke about how "we're way closer to The Matrix than people realise" because of the ongoing research on brain-computer interfaces.
And while Newell is clearly thinking about how advancing technology will affect gaming in the future - I'm sure it's part of what makes Valve so successful, after all - you may be finding comfort in the fact that this is all a long way off. But don't get too comfy just yet because according to Newell, "over the next several years - and if you ask me, my little spreadsheet calculation is it's about nine years - we'll have artificial general intelligence that can do anything a smart person can do."
Featured Image Credit: Valve