Sure, but I could easily have nabbed a picture from any of the call of duty games, or battlefield games as well. People tend to go to those for the multiplayer, but they have the same kind of effort put into them for the singleplayer campaign too(for better or for worse).MiskWisk said:
Ah, but I did point out that assets can be reused. And I'm not underestimating how much re-use occurs. But it's a fact that most multiplayer games that re-use certain single player levels for their combat spaces don't use the entire SP level, instead making a section of it a walled-off arena(CoD does this a lot).2. Assets are re-used. Devs make things for single player then pull the assets over to the multiplayer. While the argument can be made that it still means the budget is mostly spent on the single player, a proper understanding of accounting practices would require the value of those assets to be apportioned appropriately between single-player and multiplayer departments or however the budgets are apportioned.
3. You are seriously under-estimating the amount of re-use assets will get. I will accept the argument in the case of The Last Of Us (however, see point 1) but the stuff Cliffy B is famous for is another matter.
Buildings, foliage, cars, etc can all get a re-use here, but given that large parts of the SP map won't be used in the MP arena space, those unused sections are still SP-only assets and therefore sunk-cost to the campaign.
This goes further for cutscene animations and dialog, campaign-specific dialog chatter, scripted set-pieces and so on.
Lets go with what you were saying about using a game that's 'MP focused' like, say, Modern Warfare 3. The Black Friday level at the start, as far as I can remember, doesn't really see a re-use much at all in the MP. Most of the mission - the various city streets, the office buildings you work through, the stock exchange, the rooftops, the underwater segment, the boat segment. All the exploding ships at the end, the scripted setpieces, the helicopter shootout, the various dialog bits occuring, etc.
Heck, even the loading screens are custom animations that provide a tidbit more story or faux briefing for that particular campaign level.
None of that sees re-use in the MP at all. And as was pointed out by others, actors are expensive, so any dialog or motion-capture animations done by them exclusively used in campaign sequences are big sunk costs for the campaign that won't ever get utilized by the MP.
See, now THAT is a different issue. However it's also really, really important too. That's more of a "We only spent 10 million on the game rather than 70 million" situation. I agree, one would think that the price tag would decrease, but 'maximized profits' and all that fun fun publisher shenanigans.4. Assuming this is all completely accurate, there is still one glaring flaw. If 75% of the budget goes to single-player, removing the single-player should see either a massive increase in the quality of the multiplayer or a massive decrease in the games price tag. We have seen neither.
$60 is the assumed price tag for a AAA game(or whatever the average cost is for your country of choice), so they don't really have any reason to NOT charge that. It just means they make back way more cash than if they went all-in on a full singleplayer campaign. That's honestly probably why MP-only games got so popular in the AAA space, even if it meant the rate of consumption slows.
Beat a campaign over a weekend, you're ready to buy and consume another game. But if you really like CoD's MP, you'll play that all year. MP-only games may have a slower rate of consumption, but they offset the potential loss in consumer spending by the higher price-tag to how much unique content is in the game. I mean, which is better to you? Make 100 million bucks after spending 70 million(30m profit) or make 100 million after spending 10(90m profit).
Disagreeable as it may be, not hard to see why the price tag doesn't budge.