“The money’s on console,” according to Epic president Mike Capps, but the Unreal Engine developer’s heart is still on the PC, says vice president Mark Rein.
“But I think that’s a myth that we’ve abandoned the PC, it’s just not true. I mean, Bulletstorm is coming out on three platforms; we’ve just been in this situation where our biggest franchise [Gears of War] has been published by a console-holder, and was a very console designed-IP,” Rein told Rock Paper Shotgun.
“I wouldn’t want people to mistake that for our intentions or our interests, because we’re very much into the PC game business… Don’t confuse Gears of War with everything we do. There’s a tendency to think that because we wanna do one thing really, really well and not a hundred things really poorly or just okay that we’re less committed. Bulletstorm is PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 and you’ll see when it comes out, it will be a full-blown, oh-my-god amazing PC game. I wouldn’t draw the comparisons there.”
Epic, of course, used to be a PC kingpin, using the ever-evolving platform to show off its flashiest tech. Despite Rein’s reassuring words, however, recent years have seen a definite shift in Epic’s priorities, with games like Gears of War 2 and low-priced, incredibly high-quality sidescroller Shadow Complex conspicuously absent from the PC.
The reality of the situation, of course, is that between rising development costs and a rapid upsurge in piracy that makes Mount Vesuvius blowing its top look slow and entirely avoidable, triple-A developers cannot live on PC alone. Epic didn’t sell out, so much as it decided not to commit financial suicide. Rein’s definitely right about one thing, though: Bulletstorm looks fantastic. Could it be a bit prettier if it was a PC exclusive? Sure. But we’re not too broken up over the whole thing. Meanwhile, some of the best , most creative indie devs and modders in the business carry the PC-exclusive torch that Epic once bore, so we win no matter how you look at it.
Unless you spend of all of your time in the basement of the rock you’d have to be living under – never emerging, except for the occasional food/water run – you’ve probably heard something about the recent Shadow Complex controversy. For those who aren’t in the know, though, the story goes like this: Shadow Complex, a Metroid-like game for the rough, tough, gray-loving modern gamer, recently released on Xbox Live Arcade to rave reviews. Trouble, however, soon reared its ugly head when famous – and sometimes infamous -- author Orson Scott Card parked his own float in the Shadow Complex promotional parade, licensing the videogame property from developer Chair Entertainment and writing a series of books that take place in the game’s universe.
So, where’s the problem? Why are gamers tossing their virtual copies of Shadow Complex into their equally virtual Xbox fireplaces? Well, let’s just say that Card didn’t settle down and clam up after he wrote “Ender’s Game.” In fact, these days, when he’s not penning best-selling sci-fi literature, Card puts his silver tongue to use in vocal opposition of gay rights. For example, he's written the following: “The first and greatest threat from court decisions in California and Massachusetts, giving legal recognition to ‘gay marriage,’ is that it marks the end of democracy in America” and "Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down."
However, as tempting as it might be to crank a patriotic orchestral soundtrack, stand behind a large, billowing USA flag, and rant about tolerance and love (both platonic and, well, you know) of your fellow man, that’s not what I’m here to do.