When Bungie parted ways with the Xbox-exclusive Halo brand for the chance to start a new franchise, it was the studio’s first opportunity to develop a triple-A video game that spans multiple platforms. Their concept, revealed last year to be Destiny, comes to PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One all on the same day later this year. As for the PC version of the game, there’s been nothing but dodgy answers and ‘maybes.’
In truth, despite talk of the PS4 and Xbox One being easy to develop for compared to PCs – and certainly easier to port titles over – there is no PC version of Destiny in development. At least not yet. Bungie senior writer and head of community, Mark Osborne, wouldn’t confirm or deny, only explaining that “the more platforms [they] take on, the more work it ultimately becomes, and what [they] don’t want is to compromise the core experience on any platforms. ”
In the year since, questions raised about a PC version of the game have been danced around until a recent press event where Activision flew in media to Bungie HQ to answer these sorts of questions and get hands-on with the game. Here, design lead Lars Bakken told Eurogamer the cold, harsh truth that even if the game is developed and tested on PCs: “The truth is it’s not that simple.”
“The console SKUs are really important for us and that’s what we’re focusing on. We’re doing it all internally ourselves. That’s a huge endeavour. That’s not something we’ve ever done before.
“So when I’m playtesting and I’m trying to play PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3, that’s a lot of work. Adding another thing on there is just crazy. It’s crazy to think of right now.”
He did offer a little hope by reiterating that even though there are no plans for a PC version at the moment, that doesn’t mean there won’t be in the future. And if not, maybe for the sequels? Bungie COO Pete Parsons shared the same sentiment as Bakken, explaining his appreciation for PCs, but with the disclaimer that releasing four different versions of the game on the same day is quite a feat for the studio which has historically only developed its games for one platform at a time.
If Destiny were an offline game, that would make it easier for a PC version to be made alongside the consoles, but both developers explain that it’s more complicated than it sounds because of how each platform connects to the same “one central world.” It’s possible, but the 500-person Bungie studio can’t afford to spend time thinking and working on that with only a few months left until its September release date.
The title was designed from the outset with the consoles as the primary platform, but they do hear the fans and the talk, and just like they said a year ago, “look forward to future conversations around PC” – whatever that means. Destiny represents another major release that neglected the PC market, after the long-awaited Grand Theft Auto V skipped it in 2013 as well. Despite the recent news that the PC gaming just surpassed consoles in global video games revenue, most triple-A multiplatform titles see their best unit sales on consoles.
What platform will you be playing Destiny on or are you holding out for the chance of a future PC release?
Destiny releases September 9, 2014 for the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One.
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