I am well on the side of the single-player game. Those are the games I've enjoyed since childhood, and continue to adore. I don't believe single-player games are going away or that we need to lament the end of an era. I do, however, understand that we need to be more open-minded. Online games still have their positives and negatives, but we should be prepared for the eventuality that online games will be much more commonplace than they are now.
I can't help but be reminded of all the times always online games released and spawned massive outrage. I was very firmly on the side of those upset, as my Internet connection is just not what it should be in order to play such titles. I'd rather play one that's local and enjoy it, than suffer through insane load times and a few minutes of laggy gameplay. Even still, I know this is the way of the future. As we move into age of more easily accessible, faster Internet, online-only games will become the norm.
Once Internet speeds and accessibility catch up, I feel gamers will be much more willing to hop on the bandwagon. That's the biggest downside that's holding them back right now, which makes pushing online games difficult. Take Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It was announced that it would not have a single-player campaign, only multiplayer. This sucks for those who don't want to have to be online to enjoy Black Ops 4, but also for those who would just rather play alone. I'd honestly be surprised if we don't see some single-player DLC down the line, b there's always the chance that that will never happen, at which point we need to accept that some games will be online and/or multiplayer only.
Another example is Fallout 76. Here's a game that looks fantastic, and is in a franchise that is already well beloved by the public. Hearing that you can also play it solo if you like does a good job of helping to sell the online only aspect of it. The fact remains however that it's an online multiplayer game at its core. A large amount of people are either not going to buy it, or will struggle along with it before eventually caving. I've had contact with a ton of people already who are tentatively excited for it, or who have no interest at all, simply because of the online factor.
I think there are plenty who will vote with their wallets on this one and not buy online games to protest the moves the industry seems to be trying to make. However, I feel that those unwilling to go along with it will be outnumbered by those who are. I imagine more people will want to play a new Fallout game (online or not) more than those who won't be swayed away from it. The industry will move forward with its online-only march, and any who don't agree will have to follow along.
It's prudent now to come to terms with the fact that this might be the future of the industry. We're headed for cloud-based gaming and digital sales rather than physical media. (PC gaming has already made major shifts in this direction.) Online-only games might suck now for some, but they won't always.
How do you feel about the subject though? Will you resist as long as you possibly can or are you on board from the beginning?