Single-player games as online
Single Player Game as Online is a design choice that forces players to connect to the internet despite the lack of a multiplayer component. While a typical fixture in mobile gaming, this practice has seeped into mainstream gaming. This design choice often results in a single player game having all of the technical issues typically found in an online game.
- Asphalt Xtreme
- Forza Street
- Gangstar Vegas
- Mario Kart Tour (pre-version 2.0)
- Need for Speed: Rivals - was widely criticized for its always online nature, which prevents the players from pausing the game.
- Need for Speed (2015) - same as Need for Speed: Rivals.
- Need for Speed: No Limits
- SimCity (2013) - was extremely controversial for its always online functionality, which not only caused severe gameplay issues at launch, but most players couldn't even play the game due to the servers being unable to handle the massive player base.
- The Crew - despite having a full fledged single player campaign, you still need to be connected with Ubisoft's servers just to play the game. As a result, disconnecting from the servers while playing will boot you back to the title screen.
- The Crew 2 - more of the same thing as its predecessor.
- Gran Turismo Sport - while a good game for the most part, it still requires a constant internet connection for the majority of the game to function; without a connection, only the Arcade mode is playable, and players cannot save any progress made until a connection is re-established.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2013 mobile version) - Again, a good game, but it still requires a persistent internet connection just to play it in the first place.
Why This Practice Sucks
- First of all, single player games are not intended to be played with a constant internet connection.
- This can irritate many gamers.
- In some games, servers aren't all that stable which can cause a myriad of issues, including (but not limited to) lag, input delay, and even glitches.
- For this, a server scandal may occur, SimCity 2013 is a prime example of this.
- You can't even pause the action in some of these games, which is a major inconvenience if the player has to leave the game for a few minutes.
- Some games that require constant internet often tend to hold progression hostage until a connection is re-established. A minor example is Crash Team Racing: Nitro-Fueled, which requires players to be online in order to obtain Wumpa Coins.
- On PC, some publishers often sneak DRM restrictions in their games, like Sega did with Sonic Mania (though it's a bug caused by Steam DRM due to Sega not implemented the DRM properly), and Ubisoft with Assassin's Creed II. The excuse is that it's an anti-piracy measure, but it is still a massive inconvenience for the player regardless of whether or not that's a valid excuse.
Whether the game itself is any good or not, the forced online nature often gets criticized for causing issues during gameplay, and for being an inconvenience in general.