Arkane Studios’ Dishonored 2 was in pretty poor condition when it came out. It was no Arkham Knight, but it wasn’t good. Just six months later, people are rightfully wary of the condition Prey, from the same studio, as its May 5 launch date approaches. But Arkane’s president, Raphael Colantonio, says they have everything under control this time.
The team “doubled [its] thoroughness,” as it relates to testing, Colantonio told GameSpot.
“First of all, it’s not like we do the game on console and then in the end suddenly port the game to PC. It starts on PC. That’s how game development works,” he explained.
Computers are complicated
While most computers mostly work most of the time, the truth is they’re basically user-customized Rube Goldberg machines. In addition to the thousands of vendor-built configurations available, there are literally countless user-customized builds running a variety of different versions of drivers, operating systems, and other software. Every time I build one, I’m reminded that it’s kind of a miracle these things work at all.
Developers have to account for that when building demanding games for PC. If they’re building for PlayStation and Xbox, a game releasing right now has to account for two systems each with two configurations. That’t a lot easier than “literally countless.”
That’s the biggest cause of these problems, Colantonio said.
“The real reason why PC games often have problems is because there are so many permutations of hardware,” he explained. “Sometimes it’s timing. Drivers come out the same time as our game. Something happens that makes it more challenging.”
Colantonio can’t promise that Prey will work flawlessly on PC out of the gate, but it sounds like the team is doing due diligence to make sure we don’t get a repeat of Dishonored 2. I have a lot of sympathy for any developer trying to put out a big game on PC, but all these precautions are still a reminder that pre-ordering games is still a bad idea.
With that said, Prey hits PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One on May 5.