This is where things get interesting for developers. You continue to hear how bad the stories are in these games and you continue to hear that people don't even play the single player in comments or blog posts. Overwhelmingly, the research shows that FPS gamers view story as the lowest priority. Not surprising, but it also shows by the end of a players life cycle in an online shooter over 95% of time they spent playing the game is spent in multiplayer. In fact, I saw a recent report that less than 25% of players actually fully complete the single player campaign and barley even 70% make it past the first hour.
So publishers and developers take this data (which hasn't really had much deviation for the past 10 years) and have moved to models where the production cycle is heavily focused on multiplayer and/or the single player campaign is cut entirely. But then what happens? The public flips their **** saying that you're giving them an inferior product. Titanfall tried it and it totally backfired. They thought they were giving the public what they wanted and people felt slighted about no single player. COD gets **** on because it has a lot of modes but "none of them stand out".
People in this thread have commented about how Battlefront is a rip-off because of no single player. However, it's not like the team spent less hours on the game because it's lacking a campaign. The multiplayer, assets, and it's engine are better for the fact that every person on the team was focused on it. I can certainly agree with the point that Battlefront would have been a better experience if you had a single player campaign with great classic Star Wars set pieces to playthrough. However, Battlefront was only given the green-light when Lucas Arts was restructured and they were told that it had to be out right before The Force Awakens. Having that supreme hard deadline and a semi-short dev cycle certainly contributed to single player getting cut. I'm not saying that not having a single player, or having a weak single player is the main cause for these games not being AMAZEBALLS. But it's certainly one of the quickest things that gamers will complain about.
You just have to think about it this way, video game development is not full of infinite resources even if you are EA or Activision. If you spread time/people/money out across a whole bunch of modes whether that be multiplayer, single player, zombies, mini games, co-op, whatever, they're all going to suffer in overall quality because you have the same amount of people and resources split between five things instead of one or two things.
I definitely see this point of view. However, I still don't think it excuses mediocre efforts. Where I can respect a developer coming out and saying "look, we wanted to focus on single player/multiplayer". Planetside 2 is MP only but owned that. Witcher 3 is SP only and owned that. Using Battlefront as an example, they cut 1 or 2 of those 5 features and STILL skrimped on the 3 or 4 they focused on!
EA announced Battlefront was online only and then came back and said, "Oh no no no, we have a BOTS mode! It's single player....basically!" Bots mode is a throw-away feature that several MP games have in standard, and here is EA touting it as their single player. They then proceed to cut features that were staples of the franchise over a decade ago. Now, I am not naive enough to believe advances in hardware equate to an easier development cycle; in fact in most cases it's proven to be the opposite. However, if you can't do the source material justice, why cling to it other than for sheer brand recognition to drive profits?
Ok, so EA and DICE decide to go Multiplayer-centric with the game. Isolated, that is a bummer, but not a huge issue. You then start seeing reports of the previous mentioned features cut that existed in the last iterations, the lack of content (which I understand is subjective, but hard to argue), the throttling of players when their engine can hold twice as many, and the blatant portioning of DLC rather than include it with the original title.
To top that off, then they release a $60 ($80 in Canada) multiplayer game that DOESN'T WORK when it releases.
At the end of the day, I am not going to start to temper my expectations of releases simply because it has become more difficult for a developer or publisher to bring a product to market, their focus groups have dictated their product doesn't need certain features, or release cycles have become shortened to maximize profit. EA isn't exactly a first-timer when it comes to this type of business model, and I'll be damned if I feel sorry for them because they're flawed business model isn't working out like they'd hoped.
The developer is in a hard place, for sure. However, DICE already stumbled on their last release, so EA decides to throw them a bigger franchise (arguably) with less time to work on it and probably close to zero re-usable assets? Again, sucks for the developer, but I'm not parting with my hard earned cash out of pity.
I'll say right now, I will buy another EA game, I will buy another DICE game. When they show they at least remotely care what the consumer wants. Until then, I'll continue to pass on their titles.
Sorry @HybridSoldier23 this isn't directed at you at all, just another opinion on the matter. I know you have a unique perspective on this stuff and I absolutely respect that.