Tom Clancy's The Division is a next generation game that is being developed by Massive Entertainment and released by Ubisoft. We are featuring a segment this week with Massive Entertainment's Managing Director David Polfeldt. This segment focuses on how the PS4 and Xbox One will help development times and processes.
Polfeldt seems to believe everything will be easier and better for development, and he's excited about it too. With both the PS4 and Xbox One sharing the same system architecture, this will make developing much more efficient. The previous generation offered two different architectures, and he states that time was wasted as the focus would be on achieving equal results on both systems.
"Yes. I would say this is one of the things that excites me the most with the new generation. On the previous generation, the consoles were so different that we spent a lot of our time just making sure that you’d get the same result on both platforms. If you’re a gamer, that’s just a waste of time because imagine that 25% of the dev time is done just to reproduce the same effect on another console. Whereas now when they’re so similar and they’re also very similar to PC, it means that we don’t need to spend that much time on creating duplicates."
"So in theory, we have 25% or 20% more time to put into the game and into the experience. That’s one of the things that I’m super excited about, not just for our own sake, but also for playing other games from other companies. I think we’ll feel and notice that the developer has more time to put in more content."
Polfeldt also states that delays happen for other reasons, but the separate hardware in the previous generation did not help. He also says the difference in the amount of time put into developing the game results in higher expectations from customers.
"Theoretically, it should be easier to get things done faster, but a game that is delayed is usually for a bunch of different reasons, and I think the technology side is maybe just one of those. There could be content problems, there could be brand problems, there could be process problems and sometimes you have large HR issues within a team or a very bad social dynamic situation. Those things will also delay a game. So I’m not sure it will be an obvious improvement when it comes to releasing games on time, but at least on the tech side, there’s a bit less redundant work to do, so that’s easier. Then again, people also get more ambitious with games. It’s an arbitrary number, but say we have 20% more time to put into the content, you can also see that expectations on the games and the volume is increasingly probably more than 20% at the same time."
Polfeldt is quite possibly speaking for all developers when he states that having the same hardware architecture across the board will only improve development cycles. Anytime anyone can accomplish more with better tools and resources should always bring better results, which means The Division should be top quality on any platform it releases on.