In the transition from GFWL to Steam, Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition lost some code that allowed modders to enable splitscreen support.
Resident Evil 5: Gold Edition ditched Games for Windows Live for Steamworks recently. The new release however lacks splitscreen support as well as some code that allowed modders to add it themselves. The release notes file that comes with the game has mistakenly listed a few development changes, which are usually kept from the public.
The file contents ended up on Pastebin and one of the notes mention "ripping out" the splitscreen code. Needless to say, users expecting this release to be the definitive Resident Evil 5 version have been disappointed.
The change was noted by a few NeoGAF members which resulted in a Capcom representative responding to the matter to try and clarify the reason behind this omission.
"To clarify though, the split screen code that was ripped out from the PC build is from the console version," said wbacon. "As some of you may know, MT Framework is our multiplatform development tool/engine that is utilized across several platforms. The aforementioned split-screen code is an orphaned code base from the PS3/Xbox 360 SKU which simply does not work on a PC.
"The crux of the issue is that the PC code base has no concept of multiple controllers. In other words, if you plugged in two Xbox controllers, RE5 has no way of figuring out which gamepad controls which character -- or what happens if one player uses a KB+M versus a gamepad. It's a difficult problem to solve since the original game's logic wasn't designed with multiple controller devices in mind."
Two of the modders who worked on enabling splitscreen support however did not agree with that statement. "I don't understand why you claim the code 'simply does not work on a PC'. As I was one of the key people who worked on the split-screen mod that enabled it on the GFWL initial release version for PCs. I can confirm that all the code is FULLY functional and it worked flawlessly for the GFWL version," said one modder.
"We did not add anything extra to the game at all, it was simply enabled. The game has no problem at all distinguishing between two controllers. Evidently the game knows to assign PAD1 to Player1, PAD2 to Player2 vise versa. Otherwise no characters would have moved at all."
Another modder agreed with the first saying, "PC version does at least have some code for handling multiple controllers. There's an array defining which controller ID each player is using, and if you change player two's ID from -1 to 1, then you'll have two controllers controlling player 1 and 2.
"I was able to get splitscreen coop working fairly well except for a major problem with the game thinking player two is supposed to have their own savegame. I have no idea how difficult this would be to get working overall, but it's a shame the feature isn't there. I really wanted to play through the game in splitscreen with my girlfriend like I did with Rev 2."
Capcom later told Eurogamer that some of the code had to be changed in the porting process.
"As the original Resident Evil 5 release on GFWL didn't officially include local co-op, the mode is therefore not supported by the recent Steam release.
"Some game code from the original GFWL release did have to be changed in the porting process so both Resident Evil 5 and the new Untold Stories Bundle add-on content worked seamlessly together. Unfortunately this has meant the latest release currently does not work with the previous local co-op mod."