During E3 week, Back 4 Blood developers Turtle Rock were asked via Twitter whether their spiritual successor to Left 4 Dead could be played offline with AI teammates. The Turtle Rock account responded to say that, at launch at least, you wil need an internet connection to play the game.
Do you care?
Here's the Turtle Rock tweet:
We're looking into ways we could support offline for the future but you will need an internet connection to play at launch.— Turtle Rock Studios is Hiring (@TurtleRock) June 13, 2021
Videogames requiring an internet connection used to make people angry. Sometimes reasonably, such as when servers fell over, or when the pre-release marketing had created a reasonable expectation of a singleplayer mode. But just as often, the anger was unreasonable and, frankly, embarrasing.
Times have changed. Always online videogames have become commonplace and, by and large, developers and publishers have made their systems work better so that, for example, Assassin's Creed games no longer pause then lose your progress whenever your internet connection drops. An absent offline mode in a game like Back 4 Blood, which is predominantly designed for online co-op, seems to get attention but not outrage.
It seems to me that 'always online' is no longer much of an inconvenience, and it rarely feels forced into a game unreasonably. Back 4 Blood having no offline mode is a shame given it has bots - Left 4 Dead 2 let you add them to an offline game - and I can see why it might cause you to no longer want to buy the game. I struggle more to imagine objecting to always online on principle alone.
So I ask you: does a game being always online affect your purchasing decision? Does it bother you on principle? Are you just this minute reading our story from 2012 about how Epic Games are considering making Fortnite always online and wondering how that worked out?
Let me know in the comments, or via this weird poll thing I just made: