Tom Quirk plays a lot of video games, but when he isn't, he is reading fantasy novels and watching way more television than is healthy.
Godfall, one of the more intriguing upcoming upcoming releases, will apparently require a constant online connection to function. Eagle-eyed viewers noticed on the PS5 store page that online play is required. Unfortunately, the developers’ attempts to clarify matters have only made things more confusing.
Godfall is not a service game, but does require an internet connection to play.
— Godfall (@PlayGodfall) October 2, 2020
On Twitter, Godfall’s developers, Counterplay Games, have stated that although Godfall is not a “service game”, it will require an online connection. For PS5 players, a PlayStation Plus subscription will also be required. This presumably means no offline options for single-player gamers, unlike in Borderlands or Anthem. Although the game might not be a live service title by the developer’s own definition, it is based around loot. Requiring an online connection is not uncommon in games like Diablo III and Destiny, to facilitate online play, as well as moderating loot drops and preventing cheating.
That said, there are many players for whom requiring an online connection could prevent them from playing. For a game that boasts that players can go it alone, mandating an online connection can feel like a tall order. This could mean that players cannot play Godfall if the servers are down or when they are eventually taken offline. Many commenters have pointed out that other games that have a strong co-op focus, like the Dark Souls series, still provide offline play options.
Mind, Godfall has not yet been released, and things could change later down the track. SimCity (2013) memorably had its unpopular mandated online connection patched out a year after release. We will have to wait and see how crucial the online component is to Godfall’s gameplay. It will also be important to see how the servers hold up when the launch day players log in. Based on how fast the PS5 sold out (for which Godfall will be a launch title), Godfall’s servers may see more traffic than they were anticipating when it releases.
Hopefully Counterplay Games will provide more clarification about how Godfall’s online components work. I am sure that there are many gamers (particularly with Australia’s particularly unreliable internet connections) who want to know if they will even be able to play Godfall when it comes out.