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PopCap: Working on multiple platforms at once leads to “lowest common denominator thinking”

Thursday, 2nd June 2011 10:14 GMT By Nathan Grayson

360-PS3-PC. It’s the simultaneous game release Holy Trinity, and without it, all our goat sacrifices would be in vain. Also, business models. PopCap worldwide game development head Ed Allard, however, isn’t quite so gung-ho about the industry standard. After all, what’s the point of developing for multiple platforms if your game only fits one of them?

“Well the rolling platform release strategy has been something that’s evolved out of, not out of a business plan – although it turned out to be pretty good from a business perspective – but it’s more about being able to approach these platforms with such individual care and attention. Releasing them all simultaneously, well, we worry about that forcing us into a kind of lowest common denominator thinking,” he told GamesIndustry.biz.

“When the console industry started hitting a point where everything was coming out multiplatform, you started feeling that. If you’ve got Wii, 360 and PS3 day and date, you kind of end up playing a Wii game on your PS3 as opposed to playing a great PS3 game, because that’s sort of what it takes from a development perspective.”

PopCap, Allard explained, doesn’t just stagger its releases to slowly-but-surely drive you mad with desire. Quality comes first, and each platform deserves equal attention.

“I really fear the lowest common denominator approach,” he concluded.

We don’t blame him for feeling that way – although we’re not sure we can blame big-budget developers for the necessity of simultaneous releases either. Reality, why must you always be so harsh? Can’t you try throwing in a few more bunnies and rainbows for a change? People will definitely like you better.

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