Last week, a report suggested Dead Space 3 wasn't getting more than a bare-bones port for its PC release. While developer Visceral Games has rarely offered enhanced PC versions of its games, many other developers are taking advantage of DirectX 11 and new hardware to deliver a higher fidelity experience for PC gamers.
Even publisher Electronic Arts has been aggressively pushing PC development, with Battlefield 3 and Crysis 3 being notable examples. When asked about his decision to not make a PC optimized version of the game, executive producer Steve Papoutsis went on the defensive.
"It's confusing to me that this question even comes up," Papoutsis told us. "It's by no means any less important to us; it gets a lot of attention. The PC is a very different platform. As developers, you want to deliver an experience that's as similar as possible on different platforms.
"In Dead Space 2, I felt we made some great strides in terms of controls, responsiveness and even the visual improvements we got into it. We continue to evolve our games as we develop them, but we certainly don't target PC as something that's going to be significantly different. We aren't trying to create disparity in the experience that our gamers enjoy; we want to make sure everyone's having that same experience.
"At our studio, we've always made console games," he pointed out. "The biggest thing is we want to make sure the quality of the experience is consistent across all platforms so we don't have one userbase saying it's better on their system."
On PC, Dead Space and Dead Space 2 could easily hit 50 and 60 frames per second, and featured advanced rendering options for better shadows and anti-aliasing. While we don't expect that to change for Dead Space 3, the decision to not make a fully optimized PC version nonetheless sticks out.
"The fact that we're allowing you to control the game with a mouse and keyboard immediately makes the game feel different," Papoutsis said. "Working with the community, we found some people wanted to map the controls a little differently because of disabilities and we supported that [in Dead Space 2]. It's a confusing question and I hope my answer brings a little bit of light to it. We seem a little bit discredited for the amount of effort that goes into it, quite honestly.
"We want it to be great on all systems, that's our approach."