If you were to study my gameplay history, the games I play, and how long I play them, there's an overwhelming trend pointing to my preference for single player experiences. Where I do engage in multiplyer, it's cooperative far more often than competetive.
The idea for this blog post popped into my head during a round of Call of Duty: Black Ops (a game I enjoy in moderation, though I can't get my K/D ratio to even to save my life).
A recent editorial on x360a (I believe Dan wrote it) talked about how more and more formerly single-player only franchises are branching off into multiplayer, as well. So long as the SP doesn't suffer, I don't really care. But I'd rather see more games go the cooperative Horde mode or L4D routes with coop than throw in competitive MP modes that will be popular for the first few months after release, then quickly fade to obscurity, with only small communities (if any survive). For example, will anyone be playing Dead Space 2 MP six months after that game's release? What's the shelf like of AC: Brotherhood? (Don't know, haven't played it, to be fair.)
I perfer single player for a variety of reasons:
1- It ends. Once I have completed a game and the end credits roll, I feel like I've accomplished something. Or finished something, at the very least. Multiplayer never 'ends.' Sure individual matches are won or lost, but there's no real end point, no final threshold to cross to say "I've done it." To go along with this, when I'm playing multiplayer, I'm often thinking about the other games I could be working on, unless I'm working toward an achievement or, heaven forbid, I actually like the MP.
2- No online douchebags, racists, kids rapping in the mic, etc. etc. etc.
3- I find no satisfaction in online play, win or lose. I won! So what? I'm not even going to remember that match tomorrow, unless it was something rare and epic indeed. Playing with a bunch of random people who don't talk against other random people holds no thrill factor for me. Playing with some friends who communicate is more entertaining. Playing with one group of friends against ANOTHER group of friends is when multiplayer kicks ass, because I know the players and there's a little actual rivalry. Sadly, that rarely happens, as most of my friends are fellow achievement junkies, who you have to prod into any non-scoring gaming session, or I don't have enough people around who have the same game. So, 95% of the time I'm with randoms, against randoms. YAWN.
Coop is a different beast. It's like single player in that there's an ending, but you can take a friend along for the ride. Halo, Gears of War, L4D, Rainbow Six Vegas, Borderlands - all are great games that I played in coop. But coop, like MP, is only fun if I know who my partner or partners are. Playing Borderlands with my brother - awesome. Joining a random session - not-fun-city.
I'm not opposed to joining groups for some MP shenanigans from time to time, so don't hesitate to send an invite if you're considering it, I'm just saying, 95% of my time I spend in single player, and that isn't likely to change.