When Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 went live earlier this week, it was missing one rather significant component: multiplayer. Developer CI Games had given no indication prior to release that multiplayer wouldn't be available at launch, but it told Eurogamer after the fact that it had been left out so the studio could focus exclusively on the single-player game.
"The first [priority] is to provide the best possible single player experience in our most ambitious game in the Sniper Ghost Warrior series to date. This has always been our goal and we are extremely proud of all the work we have done, and that we share with you. The second emphasis from us is to provide regular content updates post launch, focusing on content that enhances the gaming experience," the studio said. "Therefore, we have chosen to release the multiplayer update (that will be free for our players) after launch (the third quarter of 2017) for precisely the above reasons, that is not to dilute any potential from the single player experience."
Whether anyone will still be interested in diving into Ghost Warrior 3 multiplayer by that point may be a matter of debate, but it's starting to appear as though it might take a little longer than expected to get it out the door anyway. There aren't many reviews of the PC version of the game to go by, but the response on Steam is "mixed," with numerous users complaining about a range of technical issues, including animation problems, freezing, bad controls, missing saves, and the catch-all "poor optimization."
Steam reviews are best taken with a grain of salt, but CI Games today issued a statement effectively acknowledging the problems, and saying that it won't move ahead with anything else—including multiplayer—until the core game is running properly.
"The game is being received well in the market and we are collecting valuable feedback from players and are actively taking steps to make sure that Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 is even better moving forward," CI Games CEO Marek Tymiński said. "So, I wanted to explain what our plans are in support for the game."
- Before we release any more content for the game, we have dedicated staff working diligently to further optimize Sniper Ghost Warrior 3 to ensure fewer issues with framerate and loading times.
- Only once we feel that proper headway has been made on the system performance, will we begin adding extras such as the much-requested multiplayer component.
"We’re 100% committed to making the best game we can," he said. "Thanks again to all of the people who have supported us so far. We couldn’t have done this without you."
The practical impact of the new focus will hopefully be minimal: Multiplayer is a few months out anyway, and the second batch of season pass content (the first went live when the game launched) isn't expected until an even more vaguely-defined "later this year." But it ultimately comes down to how deep the game's technical issues really run. CI has released two patches for Sniper: Ghost Warrior 3 over the past two days, adding an FOV slider and a motion blur toggle, and fixing problems ranging from "extreme navigation issues" to "wolf sound."