Epic Games wants to wait and watch with the PS Vita

By on December 8, 2011

Developer unsure if the handheld will do well in the west.

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While many developers have jumped aboard the Vita-wagon, Gears of War makers Epic Games doesn’t feel the need to just yet.

In an interview GamesIndustry, president Mike Capps seemed doubtful over the success of the handheld system in the west, which is its primary market, and believes it will be hard for it to compete against smartphones that are now more than capable of producing high-quality visuals.

“We’re not currently making a Vita game; I’m not sure how well it’s going to be accepted in our Western market which is primarily where our games sell,” he said.

“It’s a really cool platform, but I have a phone, and it’s really hard to compete with that. So I’m not sure if it will be successful or not, I hope they are, it’s good for the games industry.”

Even despite having an Unreal Engine code ready to deploy for the Vita, Epic will not fully support it for its licensees due to the lack of experience with the system themselves.

“We were, I think, one of the very first people to get one and work with it and we were on stage at the launch, because we have a lot of licensees who are curious about it and so we did the first part,” Capps continued.

“But we can’t really fully support that platform unless we’re shipping our own games, that’s how we know we know that platform, and it’s really important for us to do that. And so with Vita we’re not planning on shipping a game and so that means we’re pretty honest with folks and say ‘you can have the Vita code we’ve got but this is not the same as us having shipped on Xbox or iPhone.’ It’s the same business decision I think that anybody makes, is this a platform for me?”

“The first year is always bad, it’s always hard, and so we just prefer to wait. And with Xbox we shipped a year after it came out and had a better install base.”

Epic also doesn’t feel the need to be on every platform, although it’s Unreal Engine has been ubiquitous on mostly all of them.

“My god, if you make World Of Warcraft and you also have to have an Xbox version, you won’t ship World Of Warcraft,” he said.

“And there’s a lot of great entertainment that’s a really good fit for the phone, but, Infinity Blade on the Xbox? Maybe it would be cool with Kinect, but I think it’s great where it is.

“And then you get port-itis, which really irritates the hell out of, well, you pick! PC gamers hate it, console gamers hate it.”


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Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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