1080p Debate Is A "Weird Echo Chamber," Far Cry Dev Says
Alex Hutchinson adds that people don't buy games for resolution alone.
Far Cry 4 creative director Alex Hutchinson is not interested what a game's resolution is--1080p or otherwise--so long as what he's playing is fun and feels new. Fresh and unique experiences sell games, not necessarily 1080p resolution, he says in a new interview with Total Xbox.
"It's certainly not something I care about in a game," Hutchinson says, also confirming that Far Cry 4's target resolution is 1080p across Xbox One and PlayStation 4. "It feels weird to me that people are cool about playing a sort of retro pixel game, and yet the resolution somehow matters. It's like: is it fun, is it interesting, is it new, is it fresh, are there interesting questions?"
"It feels weird to me that people are cool about playing a sort of retro pixel game, and yet the resolution somehow matters" -- Alex Hutchinson
Hutchinson went on to say that some people might not even be able to tell the difference between 1080p and 900p in certain circumstances. "I'm just in it for the experience, I'll play a SNES game if it's cool," he said.
He added that creating new gameplay experiences, instead of just boosting graphics, is where he wants to place his focus. "If our thing is 'woo, the same exact thing you had before, at twice the resolution, instead of a new thing'... A new spin or an evolution, I think is much more interesting," he said.
Asked when he thinks gamers will stop caring about a game's visual performance above all else, Hutchinson suggested that, in a way, they already have.
"I think they already have secretly," he said. "Think about how things used to be--it used to be the graphics on the back of a box that sold a game. And even since the Xbox 360 and the PS3, that sort of era, like early 2000, I feel like 99 percent of the time it's gone away."
The topic has resurfaced of late, Hutchinson said, due to the conversation about the relative power of the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. "It's [only brought up] because of the disparity, the idea that one version is being held back. I don't think that has sold consoles for a while now, he said.
Overall, Hutchinson said just because 1080p might make headlines frequently, it doesn't mean it's a topic that's actually a meaningful one for a large percentage of gamers.
"It's the same challenge we had all across the business, where five percent of the audience is online commenting, and 95 percent are just buying them or not buying them," he said. "We create these weird echo chambers for those issues, and sometimes I wonder, I don't think this is real."
Far Cry 4 is in development for Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC. The game launches on November 18 across all platforms, and the PS4 version has a special multiplayer perk. The game's release next month could be followed up with a Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon-style spinoff, too, according to previous comments from Hutchinson.