War Thunder interview: Cross-Play, Tablets and more
Eastern european developers are becoming quite popular amongst fans of war games, mainly with the exploits of titles like World of Tanks (developed by Belarusian company Wargaming.net) and War Thunder, developed by Russian Gaijin Entertainment. We have reached to Gaijin’s International PR Alexander Trifonov to have a chat about the game’s future on PC and PS4, learning in the process that a tablet version is being developed as well.
Your ultimate goal is to fully extend the battles on air, land and sea. Are you considering the opportunity to add infantry combat as well at some point, though? Or do you prefer to limit War Thunder to vehicles only? Truth to be told, in terms of realism infantry should be included in a WWII setting.
The focus of our game are large-scale military operations and simulation of different war machines. Controlling the infantry, even in some squad-formations, will require a lot of reworking of the game-logic and balance. So we don’t have such plans.
There’s a lot of speculation on the super-secret “World War Mode”, which according to the information we could find should be implemented before the official release. Can you tell us anything about it? Certainly, the title alone fuels the imagination; while matchmade battles are fun, a persistent World War II between the super powers with territory control based on the performances of the single battles would be awesome.
We can’t share more information about this game-mode at the moment. Right now all of our resources are dedicated to Ground Forces Expansion, so prepare to hear some news about World War in 2014!
Do you have any project other than War Thunder under way, even in the concept stage?
Yes, a separate internal team is working on the tablet version of War Thunder at the moment.
It was your goal to have simultaneous updates and therefore, cross-platform play between PC and PS4. However, this isn’t currently the case; are you still planning to achieve this at a later date, and if so, how do you intend to overcome the QA patch obstacles on PS4? Are you working with Sony to give you more freedom?
This is still in our plans, and SCE is as interested in cross-platform capabilities as our company. Hopefully, all of us will have more resources after initial launch hassle and the holidays. And we have to release PS4-version of War Thunder in North America as well.
Speaking of updates, you recently released War Thunder 1.37 on PC, which features enhanced graphics; in the future, the PC version will likely get even more enhancements of this kind. I’m wondering if you will release graphics improvements for the PlayStation 4 as well with patches, or are you already happy as it is?
If you look at the past generation, developers were getting better and better with hardware each year, and this will be the case with new generation as well. We have a lot of experience in console development already, so War Thunder on PS4 will be getting only prettier.
You recently launched the closed beta of Ground Forces on PC. Are you planning to have a closed beta on PlayStation 4 as well, and if so when can we expect it to be deployed?
No, the Ground Forces will be released on PS4 when the open beta starts on PC. The console players aren’t very accustomed to the idea of MMO-games in general, so we’ll provide them with more polished version of Ground Forces after CBT is done on PC.
Speaking of control scheme, how much will it be different to play with tanks as opposed to playing with planes with the release of Ground Forces?
Well, we had to invent the intuitive control scheme for DUALSHOCK 4 akin to mouse-aim on PC, and it works wonders for new PS4-players who never tried flight games before. On the other hand, every console gamer knows how to control ground vehicles with a gamepad, so there will be no need to invent the wheel here, figuratively speaking.
I know that you’re currently not planning to release War Thunder on Xbox One for a number of reasons, but I assume you might have looked at their hardware and development environment nonetheless. Which advantages do you see as most important in terms of hardware on PlayStation 4 over Xbox One? Some are convinced that by using eSRAM correctly the difference between the two might be lessened, do you agree with this assessment?
As we stated before, the absence of War Thunder on Xbox One has nothing to do with hardware itself. This is a very capable machine, and our team has a long history of developing games for Microsoft systems. But the policy of the platform-holder (no cross-platform allowed and a very strange view on how free-to-play should work) makes it impossible to have War Thunder on Xbox One.
Thank you for your time!