Though Microsoft originally intended for the Xbox One to be a nearly always-online console and continues to push the benefits of cloud gaming, they are still committed to supporting single-player, offline games. That's according to Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Studios, who spoke on the subject in an interview with Gamespot.
“Single-player gameplay remains a cornerstone of gaming,” said Spencer. “Looking at this last year, my personal game of the year right now is Brothers [A Tale of Two Sons]. I thought it was just a fantastic XBLA game this summer. I had a great time, and it wasn’t an online game at all. [Microsoft] will continue to invest in those games. I have a controller in my hand, I’m looking at a screen, I don’t need to compete with somebody, I don’t need a leaderboard, I just simply want to play through the game.
Spencer also mentioned the possibility of some single-player games adding a online component, but stressed that it wouldn't be necessary.
“It’s true that for some of those games, if you have a connection, they might take advantage of that in some way, and I don’t see that as a bad thing. But the heart and the soul of a single-player game remains in providing a quality experience when you’re sitting on your couch playing….Even a game like Forza, with 16-player multiplayer. If pulling the gas trigger and hitting the brake and steering don’t feel great, whether I'm connected or disconnected, the game’s going to fail.
“Having great single-player games for people that are disconnected, purely disc-based customers, will be a huge part of our business," Spencer continued. "We’ll continue to support that. And we’re signing games today where the heart and soul of that game is an offline experience. If there are connected experiences [the developers] want to augment in the game itself, I think that’s great, but so many games really live or die based on how much fun you have with...the single-player experience.”