Worlds Without People: Persistant Online Worlds in Console Mech Games

When I push Start on the title screen of Armored Core V, I am greeted by my mecha’s female computer voice saying “Good morning (Regardless of what time it is). Main system: Checking pilot data.” as the game connects to the server. The computer voice speaks again, “Main system. Normal Mode activated. Now resuming mission. Welcome back.” and on the screen appears a world map, where I can see what territories have changed hands since last I played. From here, I can launch a single-player mission, join a teammate on an invasion into enemy territory, or make some money by hiring myself out as a mercenary.

I never selected a thing. All I did was press start, and now here I am, thrust into an ever-changing online world.

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