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Image of The Death Of Co-op In Gaming

When did competition and one-up-man-ship become the foundations of gaming? Practically every major title released today features some form of competition, whether that be in direct PvP or via high scores and leaderboards. Even MMO games have evolved to a point where players spend weeks and months grinding purely to compete against other players in PvP. What happened to enjoying the experience alongside friends? Without the concern of the inevitable nerd rage that follows competitive game play.

I can totally understand the appeal of testing your abilities against other players as I've invested hundreds of hours into titles designed purely for that purpose but at the same time, I'd really enjoy a break from the competition and just experience a game for what it's meant to be, fun. There are still a few developers today that don't feel forced to bend to the will of the mainstream. Warframe is one of the most recent, a third-person action MMO that pits groups of players against intelligent AI enemies. But that's just a single title in a massive sea of MMO choice.

The technology of the MMO game has made huge leaps and bounds in recent years. What was once only possible in a 20gb client can now be experienced instantly via your browser. The graphics that were once reserved for only the most expensive of gaming rigs are now far more widely accessible, but why haven't these advances been used to build on the core foundations of gaming itself?

Back in the early days of console and PC gaming, the idea of playing alongside millions of players was little more than a concept. I don't think the Atari or Nintendo generations ever expected things to evolve to the level they have, but in doing so, gaming has lost what made it so appealing in the first place.

Past days of 3-4 player co-op experiences could potentially now feature thousands upon thousands of players. Imagine an MMORTS style game where you play the role of a single unit. The enemy is AI controlled and you're placed alongside thousands of players as you all communicate to outwit and defeat your opponents.

I'm sure you guys and talented developers could come up with far better ideas to utilize modern technology to bring players a new coop experience. Do you think competitive play will ever take a backseat to a true gaming experience? Or will the very nature of human society ensure competitive gaming sites at the forefront for generations to come?



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