Cliff Bleszinski’s Boss Key Productions has confirmed that it is bringing the wildly popular PC game LawBreakers to Sony’s PlayStation 4 Pro. It means the class-based online shooter will no longer be exclusive to PCs. The PC version is currently in closed beta. CliffyB hasn’t announced a release date, but Boss Key Productions said the PC and PS4 versions would be launched at the same time.
Boss Key developed LawBreakers for PlayStation 4 Pro in-house
For a long time, Boss Key was hesitant to offer a console version as it believed it would need a “really great partner” to develop a console version. But the company said during a roundtable with media that they later realized that the best way to develop a console game was to handle it internally because there are things that “nobody else outside of us” could do.
Boss Key COO Arjan Brussee said bringing the PlayStation 4 Pro version did not distract their team from the development of the PC version. In fact, “synergies” with the console version helped make LawBreakers run a lot smoother on PCs. The PC version has been in beta since April 2016. The prolonged beta testing gave developers enough time to figure out what makes their games unique.
A major challenge before developers in bringing LawBreakers to PS4 Pro was to adapt the keyboard and mouse controls for a controller. Since it’s a skill-based game, Boss Key wanted the players to “earn their kills” rather than feeling like “Oh, the game helped me.” Brussee told reporters that the console version plays “slightly differently” because you can’t directly compete against the keyboard and mouse, but it feels excellent on PS4 Pro.
No cross-play because it’s dumb
When asked why they are bringing the game only to PS4, Boss Key said other consoles such as Nintendo Switch and Xbox One haven’t been ruled out. Boss Key is still a small studio of 65 people, so they decided to start out only with a single console. It means we can see the Xbox and Nintendo Switch versions of LawBreakers in the future.
CliffyB said in a tweet that LawBreakers would run at 60fps on PlayStation 4. However, PS4 users won’t be able to play with PC players. Cliff Bleszinski believes cross-play is a “dumb” idea. Also, the game won’t have a free-to-play model for consoles. You’ll have to shell out a starting price of $30 for the whole game. It also entitles you to all the future content upgrades for free, including maps, characters, and modes.
— Cliff Bleszinski (@therealcliffyb) May 22, 2017
Brussee said Boss Key would also be offering cosmetic items for weapons and characters that you can buy. LawBreakers has often been compared with Overwatch. CliffyB said it might look similar to Overwatch, but it will be distinct enough to stand apart. The developer has planned a series of online tests before launching the final version for the PlayStation 4 Pro.
Sony requires frame rate parity
Separately, game developer Bungie recently revealed that its upcoming Destiny 2 title for the PlayStation 4 and PS4 Pro will run at 30 frames per second even on the more powerful Pro console. It sparked speculations that the developer might have deliberately limited it to 30fps. Sony requires frame rate parity between PS4 and PS4 Pro for multiplayer games. It means if a PS4 game is 30fps, the developer has to restrict it to 30fps for PS4 Pro as well.
However, Bungie clarified that Destiny 2‘s frame rates were not restricted to achieve parity between the PS4 and PS4 Pro. The game will run at 30fps on PlayStation 4 Pro because Sony’s console isn’t powerful enough to support it at 60fps. The developer said the console’s GPU is impressive, but its CPU isn’t capable of getting Destiny 2 to 60fps.
PS4 Pro vs Project Scorpio: Who’s going to win the battle?
The PlayStation 4 Pro is going to face stiff competition from Microsoft’s upcoming Project Scorpio, which is dubbed as the world’s most powerful console ever. While games like Destiny 2 will be restricted to 30fps on the PS4 Pro, Microsoft clarified that it has no policy on parity. It means developers are free to choose how they want to use the power of Project Scorpio to offer the best gaming experience.
Xbox Chief Phil Spencer said the Scorpio was supposed to be the ultimate tool for developers to offer the best versions of their games. Since Project Scorpio will feature an incredibly powerful custom CPU, experts believe that Destiny 2 would be able to run at 60fps with 1080p resolution on Scorpio. Microsoft will show off its next-gen console at the E3 event next month.
However, some believe that the PlayStation 4 Pro might still manage to beat the Project Scorpio in terms of sales despite the latter being more powerful. That’s primarily because Sony’s console has a huge library of exclusive games. The number of exclusive titles for Xbox One lags far behind those available for PlayStation.