Bethesda’s Redfall needs to be online for single-player mode

Bethesda’s Redfall needs to be online for single-player mode

Enlarge / Artist’s conception of a single player (foreground) trying to access Redfall without an internet connection.

Bethesda’s next supernatural shooter, Redfall, will require “a persistent online connection” even for the single-player experience. That’s according to an FAQ posted by Bethesda last week, which also confirms that players will need an active account to play the game.

Many modern single-player games require online registration (or even SMS confirmation) the first time they are played, and some require periodic online anti-piracy checks. Games that require a persistent online connection to play solo are rarer, although there are significant exceptions.

Although Bethesda did not respond to a request for comment on the decision, game publishers often cite hacking or cheating issues as reasons for requiring players to connect to the Internet to play single-player. In 2013, for example, Blizzard’s Mike Morhaime said an online connection was “critical to the long-term integrity of the gaming experience” for Diablo III and its controversial real-money auction house (and removed later).

But such online requirements can cause problems when servers inevitably crash or crash, as we’ve seen recently with the extended outage of Gran Turismo 7 and less recently with SimCity’s massive server congestion issues. at launch. These requirements can also be a major barrier for players without stable Internet service, including those in rural or international settings. Microsoft-owned Bethesda’s always-online requirement also echoes Microsoft’s original decision to require daily online check-ins to play games on Xbox One. While Microsoft reversed that decision before the console launched, the damage was already largely done from a public messaging perspective.

These decisions are not set in stone, however. Zombie shooter Back 4 Blood launched with an online login requirement in 2021, but a completely offline mode was added just two months later. And EA’s SimCity finally got an offline mode nearly a year after its disastrous online-only launch.

Redfall is slated for release on May 2 on Xbox Series X/S and PC and will be available through a Game Pass subscription.

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