Hi-Rez Studios co-founder Todd Harris has said the firm is starting to put a stronger emphasis on developing its titles on PC first and consoles second, due to the fact the former is a more open platform. Harris believes PC is more open, therefore free-to-play multiplayer games such as Global Agenda will continue to thrive on the platform, due to the inability to release timely patches and updates on consoles.
Speaking in an interview with GI.biz, Harris said PC is the lead development platform on Tribes: Ascend not only because it is the platform most people associate the Tribes series with, but also because it is easier to release updates on the device as well.
“Our first initial focus is the PC as far as what we’re developing on, testing on, and as far as availability we’re focused first on the PC,” said Harris. “Because that’s where people associate the franchise, that was its home. And because we do want to be able to deliver updates for it… we think that’s the strongest platform for it right now.”
Back in April, Hi-Rez announced that it’s MMOFPS, Global Agenda, would be going free-to-play, a business model and development plan Harris feels more console manufacturers and developers should embrace; however, success can only be achieved in the F2P space on consoles if there is a way to speed up the process of content releases.
“I think that is possible, and yes we’d like to see [free-to-play] expand,” he said. “It’s not quite as far along as obviously the PC, so we continue to look at the PC as our focus in the short term. Until the console allows for faster, more frequent updates and alternate business models then it’s less of a sweet spot for us than PC.
“I do think it’s realistic in this generation. There have been rumours of free-to-play on the Xbox – which I don’t know anything more about than you do – but it feels like there’s no reason that faster updates and specifically free-to-play models or alternate pricing models, those should be able to be developed on this generation consoles, and those things would be very interesting to us.
“I think a platform that lets the developer update the game frequently will continue to win out. The PC and the mobile platforms are very strong in that regard and we’d like to see the consoles move in that direction also.”
You can read the full interview through here.
Tribes: Ascend is slated for release later this year on PC and XBLA.