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Catan devs explain lack of local multiplayer

Posted on July 22, 2019 by (@NE_Brian) in News, Switch eShop

Catan recently made it to Switch, but players have been disappointed with one aspect about the board game. Online play is in, but unfortunately, local multiplayer is missing. Developer Asmodee Digital commented on the situation while speaking with Polygon.

Although local multiplayer was initially planned, “both technical and game design constraints” led it to being scrapped. Asmodee said that being able to see what everyone is working with wouldn’t allow for key Catan strategies. A pass and play option also wasn’t possible since the constant player interaction between turns “deteriorate the user experience and would excessively lengthen game pacing.” Apparently, not many players used the pass and play feature on mobile as well.

Arnd Beene, head of digital at Catan, added the following:

“To be honest, pass and play always felt clumsy and complicated because during a turn of Catan you’re interacting a lot with your opponents, so it was … more frustrating than fun handing over the device multiple times. And therefore after a lot of discussion we decided to drop that feature in favor of a campaign and additional Seafarer expansions so you’ll have more fun as a single player.”

“For us, the digital versions of Catan are never a [replacement] for the board games. It’s always a supplement; another way to enjoy it.”

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