There has been talk for a while that story-driven games are on the out. AAA games are in decline or stagnating at least, while live games are in the ascendant. While there is truth to this concept, the picture is not quite so clear cut. What is clear is that attitudes are changing, along with the game development landscape. There is no doubt live games are booming, but does that necessarily mean single-player story-based games are dead?

Story Driven Games
There has been talk for a while that story-driven games are on the out

Story-driven games in flux

In a nutshell, story-driven games are those where one or more players take on characters in an ongoing narrative. Not all games use or need a story to move the action, relying on the gameplay itself to keep players engaged. For some popular games boasting strong narratives, here are a few examples which are bucking the sliding figures:

  • The Way
  • The Uncharted Series
  • Witcher 3
  • Legacy of Kane: Blood Omen
  • Half-Life

There are plenty of great games that have successfully blended strong storytelling without conflicting with game mechanics. However, players are getting negative waves from inside the industry. EA Games chief, Frank Gibeau had this to say – '…fire-and-forget, packaged goods only, single-player, 25-hours – and you're out. I think that model is finished.' These are devastating words for players who like to immerse themselves in new worlds, unraveling complex narrative webs.

Live games are powering along

On the flipside, live gaming is blowing up and shows no signs of slowing down. It seems gamers just can't get enough of this style. From MMORPG, shoot em ups, to live online casino gaming, the numbers are showing solid growth. As such, developers are adapting to meet the demand. The quality of live games is matched only by its depth and includes thing like:

  • Call of Duty
  • DOTA
  • Counter Strike
  • Online poker
  • Roulette

Growth has been powered in this area not just by player demand. Live streaming on services like Twitch means fans can watch the best compete in real-time. This could be from home, or in massive tournaments like The International, which offers prize pools in the tens of millions.

Cod Modern Warfare
Live gaming is blowing up and shows no signs of slowing down

When it comes to winning money, online casinos have been quick to spot the live gaming trend too. It is now possible to play any card and table game online, hosted by live dealers. Most rooms allow a virtually unlimited number of guests and provide all the thrills of casino gaming across any device.

An ever-evolving industry

Whether you consider story-driven games dead or simply stagnating, one thing is clear - live games are in the ascendency. Of course, the gaming industry is always changing according to advances in technology and gamer tastes, so it makes predicting the future difficult. For now though as Frank Gibeau said, online is 'where the innovation and the action is at'.