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Braid Developer Bringing New Game "The Witness" to PS4

  • Speaking directly to Edge, Braid developer Jonathan Blow explained why his next indie game, The Witness, will be releasing on the Playstation 4 first as a timed exclusive and Microsoft you better be paying attention.

"I’ve had a bad time working with Microsoft in the past. Maybe not super bad, but a moderately bad time in terms of business relationships. Other developers who are friends of mine have had a horrible time, so the idea of signing up again with Microsoft isn’t something I’d have ruled out, but there’s a certain amount of dread I have about doing that again. I don’t have that with Sony. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn out to be just as bad at the end! But I don’t think so. The people we’re talking to on a daily basis there are just really good people, and we’re happy to work with them. We’ll see how it goes."

Blow went on further to say that the next Xbox "is not strictly about games", that it is not the place to put a highest performing version of his game on, and that it just wasn't the "best choice". Ouch!

"Yeah, there were a lot of reasons why it was a good choice, Some were technical – we haven’t officially been disclosed on Microsoft’s next console, but we do see the same leaks as everyone else has, and they seem plausible. To me they talk about a console that is not strictly about games. It’s trying to be the centre of the living room device, which is fine and maybe it’s the right thing for Microsoft to do, business-wise. I don’t know; I actually don’t think it is, but they’ve certainly thought about it more than me! As a place to put the best, highest performing version of our game on, it doesn’t seem as good a choice.”

The Witness is a colorful 3D puzzle game set on an island and is labeled for release in 2013.

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Ouch indeed. I could see Microsoft not being the best place for indie developers. Plus, I have to assume they haven't even approached him about it if he has no details on their next console.

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Would have been seen as me favoring Xbox even though I game on PC and haven't touched a console in a long time. I just think Blow said a few revealing things that show he's been bought and paid for his endorsement of Sony/PS4.


If he truly wanted the highest performing version of his game, he'd release it to the PC first. Only problem with that is, no company is going to pay him to do that.


I also don't think the living room console argument is a thing. Xbox has been doing that since Kinect, Netflix, etc, and they're been leading sales over all consoles for 18 months straight.


Jonathon, don't get mixed up in the console wars. It'll leave you feeling empty and used. Make games and release them to any or all consoles you desire. Make them your desires, though. Don't let them parade you around and use you. You make great games and that's how most of us want to remember you by. Not as a console spokesperson.

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The thing that's funny to me about all of this is, how such a big deal is being made over the performance level of the system the game is being released on.  From the videos I've seen of the game, it doesn't appear to have ultra-realistic, super demanding visuals with all of its antiseptic environments, unless they're trying to run it at 16x or 32x AA for some outlandish reason.

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I mentioned that in the post I deleted earlier. Seems like such a non-issue to even bring up on his part. Which makes me think he's become some sort of spokesperson. Of course, there could be another element to the game which would rely on on something technical that only the PS4 is equipped with and we don't know about yet.

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"You will see the game on
the PlayStation 4 for a while before you will see it on the Wii U or the
rumored next Microsoft console... This exclusivity does not prevent us
from being on the PC or iOS at launch, for example,"

My guess is that it probably really is as straightforward as Sony approaching him about PS4 stuff and being left out in the cold about the next Xbox, plus bad experience with working with Microsoft before. He seems like the kinda guy who would want to burn MS a little bit given the chance and well he got the opportunity.

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Sounds legit. Poop on your fans on one entire console because MS did you wrong. Console exclusivity is just bad. Timed or otherwise. I'd never get caught up in that if I made games, because you should be making games for people to enjoy. Picking a side serves no one but the console maker and yourself. The fans ultimately lose.


I'd rather he just not stick a flag in any camp whatsoever. Just seems to me, if you were making games for people to enjoy, you wouldn't get caught up in console wars.

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