Blow: The Witness will skip consoles, specs for 360 and PS3 “are over five years old now”

Wednesday, 28 September 2011 20:18 GMT By Stephany Nunneley

Jonathan Blow has said his next project, The Witness, will only be made available on PC and iOS due to consoles being a bit outdated.

Speaking in an interview with Edge, Blow said the specs for Xbox 360 and PS3 “are over five years old now, and that’s a lot in computer years.”

“The kind of tricks we’d have to perform to get this game working on those platforms are such a lot of work that to port it over at this point is just not worth it for us,” he said. “The budget of this game we would hope to make back through Steam and iOS, plus I would like to make a profit. But breaking even is most important as it allows me to keep making games, and I can do that without consoles.

“Maybe this time next year I’ll be singing a different tune because I found out I was wrong, but I don’t think so. By the time this game comes out in a year or more, we might be on an iPad 4.”

Blow went on to say releasing The Witness in the early stages of development like Notch did with Minecraft would be an “interesting approach,” and a fun thing to do, but in the end it would spoil the game for everyone.

“Anyone who followed it would have nothing to play when it’s finished, so that’s no good,” he explained. “I don’t know what I’m going to do after this, but certainly some of those online games that are open in terms of the experience, and less spoiler prone, and that are more amenable to releasing something early that’s primitive and then revising it – I’m really interested in that.

“Devs who work on those games know who their customers are, and they can email players and say, ‘Here’s what we’re doing with the game now’, or whatever. I can’t do that. If people on XBLA or Steam buy my game, I don’t know who they are. I just know how many they are. I can’t talk to them. Plus, these types of games only really work on PC and iOS platforms because consoles aren’t open to constant updates.

“I wonder what those console platforms are going to do when this type of development becomes more widespread, because I think it will. But we’ll still have both types of games – the finished article that’s perfectly tied up, and the exploratory type where you, the player, are along for the development ride. If I worked with consoles I’d be wanting to find out how we can make that more possible on my architecture.”

The Witness, an exploration-puzzle game, is to be released sometime in 2012.

Thanks, Blue.

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