As the world has become more digital, offline modes for games and the availability of split-screen capabilities have rapidly diminished. The emergence of better tech should not equate to the dismissal of beloved features that gamers still enjoy.
The Halo series, in particular, comes to mind. Fans had enjoyed years of playing co-op and split-screen multiplayer on those titles, only for Halo 5 to abandon the feature. After a substantial outcry from fans, Developer 343 promised that its sequel, Halo Infinite, would have the beloved feature.
It is extremely positive that Borderlands, Gears, and Halo series all show a commitment to the feature. But they are outliers, unfortunately. Many marquee multiplayer franchises have abandoned offline modes and split-screen, or have made them available with caveats.
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For example, the game Outriders is a constantly online game and does not allow split-screen. For a game focused on playing with friends, it feels quite limiting to remove the option of local play. Add to that the fact that the title is having substantial connection issues at launch. The absence of an offline mode looms large.
As someone who personally prefers split-screen multiplayer and offline play, this is a cause about which that I am particularly passionate. Playing a game offline with friends in local co-op, or even playing with A.I., is a fun experience that more games should enable.
Yes, split-screen and offline modes bring their own challenges developmentally, but they are greatly appreciated by the fans who use them. Much like how Backwards Compatibility preserves games and brings them forward, studios should also preserve and maintain classic styles of gameplay as well.