i think publishers have come to the realization that a mix of SP/MP is the best marketing plan available to them, and i would tend to agree. not that i *want* that, but i can agree with the logic. (this is not being a dick, im genuinely curious:) i would like to know the top-selling SP-only game for the PS3? we dont even need to compare it to COD, because its probably not even 20%. but what if we compare it to a decent FPS w/ SP/MP (KZ2, UC2, etc.). im pretty sure that these FPS, of which there are so many out there, still beat out the best SP games. i mean, im sure there are ppl who could easily claim that the Uncharted series would be that much better if they didnt have MP, and the SP would just shine even more. thats probably true, but at the same time there are XX-amount of ppl who enjoy the game for both the SP and MP, and many who bought the game because it has a good blend of both. this was my feeling for RDR as well. would i have bought the game if it were SP only? most likely no chance. did i think the MP was fantastic? no - then again i did buy it a year after the game was released, same as i did with BFBC2, and by that time the general player count and player interest has drastically declined, so thats just as much my fault for being so slow. anyway, did i think RDR was a very enjoyable SP game? yes. i think they were both very well done, and without both, they would not have had as many sales or people embracing the game. so in this sense, i think the SP-MP mix is essential to certain games.
however, like i stated, i would be absolutely fine, and actually a little surprised that certain games that are just massively popular dont just throw away SP and work on MP only. i think the only reason they dont is because they will be seen negatively, and the "lack* of a main feature, even if in the minority, would cause bad press. i think in time, this will happen though. when i see my friends online, i dont see them playing FPS in X-campaign stage - i see them in X-map playing X-online game mode. i would like to see the stats for the top games, showing what percent of time people spend playing MP vs SP. i could only imagine it would be completely lopsided in favor of MP. 75 v 25? 90 v 10? would be an interesting stat.
back to being subjective: i can see how forcing the construction of MP would detract from the overall greatness of the SP, and in that respect i wish good SP games were left alone. sure is a shame, since the SP could be that much better without having to waste resources, so that definitely sucks. but i have to say, as a huge fan of MP, i appreciate that certain games that may not have been on my radar were given a decent MP that i could enjoy. are too many games being forced to include MP? probably. but i can only imagine that this trend will continue as more and more games with MP continue to rule the market.