Obsidian Entertainment has taken nearly two years to bring Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire over to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. There were several challenges in the way, and one particular major reason why the developer had to wait so long to start chalking out a port for consoles.
Speaking with SegmentNext in a recent interview, production director Alec Frey revealed that Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire was never meant to be released for any console. The subject was indeed brought up when the game was in early production. However, a certain degree of uncertainty and a full-blown focus on PC meant that Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire was never built to support consoles.
Hence, Obsidian Entertainment had to start off from scratch to create a new codebase for the game. However, even that process had several hurdles. Frey explained that trying to develop a console port while the PC version of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire was still in development was “extremely difficult” because the console division had to wait for changes from the main development circle on a regular basis, making the whole process tedious.
This also covers the post-release expansion packs, meaning that Obsidian Entertainment had to wait until the PC version was fully packed and functional before going full speed ahead with the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire.
Working on this while the base game is still in development is extremely difficult as the console team needs to accept integrations from the main development team on a regular basis. Since we wanted to make sure that we could create the Ultimate Edition for the console users, this makes it very difficult to even start on the console versions until the base game has had all of it’s DLCs and updates.
Frey also added that ensuring stable performance on consoles was another factor in the delay. Due to the limiting hardware as compared to a desktop rig, the developer had to “pay close attention” to the optimization of Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Frey mentioned that the development ended up creating a lot of new bugs and issues in the game, which will hopefully not be present in the live version.
The consoles have significantly less processing power than most computers these days, so we must pay attention to the optimization of features that use that power such as AI. This can be a challenge to do without creating new bugs and issues in the game.
Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire is scheduled to release for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One on January 28, 2020. This will be the Ultimate Edition, containing every piece of content and update released for the PC version in the past two years.
Obsidian Entertainment now hails as one of Microsoft’s first-party studios. Following the success of The Outer Worlds, especially on Xbox Game Pass, the developer announced Grounded as its next in-development project. However, Xbox boss Phil Spencer recently hinted the existence of another mystery project that’s apparently in Obsidian’s pipelines right now.