Destiny Won’t Launch For PC and This Is Why
Bungie says that developing a PC version of Destiny is a “pretty complicated” process, and right now it’s got more than enough on its hands just making the game for consoles.
Destiny: It’s coming for the PlayStation 3, the PlayStation 4, the Xbox 360 and the Xbox One, but not the PC. This may strike you as rather odd, given that both next-gen consoles are x86-based units and thus, in a very simplistic sense, highly-specialized PCs, which would seem to suggest that porting the game to actual PCs would be less a hassle than making it for previous-gen consoles. And yet according to Bungie, that’s not the case at all.
“The console SKUs are really important for us and that’s what we’re focusing on,” Destiny Design Lead Lars Bakken told Eurogamer. “We’re doing it all internally ourselves. That’s a huge endeavor. That’s not something we’ve ever done before. So when I’m playtesting and I’m trying to play PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3, that’s a lot of work. Adding another thing on there is just crazy. It’s crazy to think of right now.”
Bungie COO Pete Parsons insisted that “we’re all hardcore PC players” and that the studio cares a lot about the platform, but added that it didn’t want to take on “tons more risk” by developing the game for five platforms simultaneously, instead of just four. “It is not nearly as simple as you think,” he said. “It is one central world no matter what the platform, and so that requires lots of intensive thought.”
Not that I’m disinclined to take them at their word, but I suspect that Parson’s “one central world” comment is perhaps closer to the reality of the situation than any worries about developing for the PC alongside everything else. Mixing mouse-and-keyboard players with controller-equipped gamers is fraught with risk; in 2010, Rahul Sood of Hewlett Packard claimed that Microsoft pulled the plug on a PC/Xbox 360 cross-platform project because 360 players with controllers were repeatedly destroyed by lesser-skilled players on PCs, thanks to the advantages in precision and speed of the mouse.
A PC version of Destiny would constitute only a small percentage of the game’s overall audience, but if that portion of the player base was repeatedly beating the peanuts out of everyone else, it would no doubt frustrate, anger and ultimately drive away an awful lot of players – an obvious kiss of death for a multiplayer game. Both Parsons and Bakken implied that a PC version could be released at some point – Parsons said he looks forward to “future conversations around PC” – but given the nature of the game, I wouldn’t hold my breath.