‘Thief’ Reboot Won’t Have Competitive Multiplayer

Published 2 years ago by

Garrett as seen in the latest trailer for Thief

It’s become fairly common practice in recent years for games, even those from traditionally single-player franchises like Mass Effect and Tomb Raider, to have a multiplayer component included in order to improve their marketability. With a limited amount of resources – both in terms of time and money – available to developers, some gamers feel that the pressure to include multiplayer diverts focus away from the main campaign, leaving games with a shortened or unpolished single-player experience and a bland multiplayer experience.

The recent success of games like Skyrim and Dishonored however, has proven that games with single-player only can sell exceedingly well even without a bolted-on multiplayer. It’s perhaps because of this that Eidos Montreal has confirmed that they won’t be including competitive multiplayer in next year’s long-awaited reboot of the Thief franchise.

In an interview with Eurogamer, producer Stephane Roy assures fans that the development team’s focus is entirely upon the single-player campaign, and that there definitely won’t be any competitive multiplayer in the game:

“Right now, let’s say competitive multiplayer, like the example you just gave us – Tomb Raider – there is no plan for that. We are looking to see if there is maybe a challenge mode with some online component, but I’m going to be very honest with you – our main goal with this team is to give you the best single-player experience, just to bring back this franchise, to convince you we’re part of the future and not something holding onto the past. It’s really demanding, so I don’t want to see my team wasting any energy… I want to see them focusing on that.”

Though officially the game will be the fourth in the series, the title has been shortened from “Thief 4” to just “Thief“, since it’s a reboot rather than a sequel (though the recent CG trailer showed that Garrett has his mechanical eye, meaning that the game must take place after Thief: The Dark Project). It also appears that Stephen Russell, who has been the voice of Garrett the Master Thief since the first game was released in 1998, has been dropped and been replaced by a new voice actor. With that in mind, it’s probably for the best that the developers are at least maintaining the unique focus upon a single-player story campaign that the games are known for.

An unsuspecting guard from the Thief trailer

As a fan of the Thief games who views “change for the sake of change” with an exceedingly wary eye, I can’t help but feel encouraged by Roy’s words. In many cases, added multiplayer campaigns can feel tacked-on, uninspired and poorly-implemented, and the Thief universe doesn’t lend itself naturally to multiplayer. After all, the prime appeal of the Thief games is sneaking around unnoticed all by yourself, getting increasingly more creeped out by the surroundings, and keeping an ear to the ground for passing guards. Having a team of people scurrying along behind you would probably detract from the atmosphere.

That’s not to say that multiplayer in a Thief game would be impossible to implement; though Garrett generally doesn’t play well with others, there’s always potential for a game where players take on the roles of the different factions of the city, or perhaps setting up a Thieves Guild in which players help each other to raid houses for loot. After all, I was sceptical when they introduced multiplayer to the Assassin’s Creed games, but the stealth-based, back-stabbing mechanics of the single-player campaign were actually transferred over rather well.

In short, multiplayer might not be the worst thing to happen to the Thief franchise if it does eventually come along, but right now I don’t think there are any fans clamoring for it.

Thief will be dipping into your pockets some time in 2014.

Source: Eurogamer

TAGS: Eidos Montreal, PC, PS4, Square Enix, Thief, Thief 4

  • Archaeon

    GOOD. I don’t need multi-player…just a great single-player gaming experience. My friends and I prefer to do other, more interesting things when we get together, and I have NO interest in engaging in digital combat with obnoxious twelve-year-olds.

  • DarthMalnu

    Very awesome… keep the multiplayer snubbing a-comin’ guys! Thief 4 is shaping up quite nicely so far. Perhaps the end isn’t nigh for the single player game after all (I’m still keeping my Rorschach mask handy just in case).

  • Joe

    if the game is fun and not bogged down by cutscenes and minimal effort gameplay… it could be ok. but, with the current direction the other systems are going, it will be an expensive movie with no choices that make a re-play enjoyable. Glad Wii-U came along. good GAMES will still be around for a while more.

    • Archaeon

      Yeah…God forbid the new systems NOT be kid-centric with gimmicky features that add no value to the actual gameplay or game design…you are right on the ball. Mmm-hmmm…

      I’ll stick with my PS3 and upcoming PS4, thank you very much…fun games that look like more than mere interactive cartoons.

  • Icarus

    I prefer to buy a game base on the single player than it’s multiplayer.
    Story all the way for me.

  • Jonathan

    No MP you say?


    I’ve never really been a Thief fan but just hearing that it will be SP only is enough to get me to buy it, too much MP BS these days.