EA is among the first major publishers to have sped up its transition to current-gen-only releases, with Dead Space having skipped PS4 and Xbox One last month, and when Star Wars Jedi: Survivor launches in April, it’ll be doing the same. Why exactly was that decision made though, especially considering the massive install bases of previous-gen consoles?
Developer Respawn Entertainment recently touched on the same while speaking with PLAY magazine (via MP1st), with director Stig Asmussen explaining that with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor not having be optimized for old-gen machines, Respawn was able to “create much larger maps” for the game that boast “more detail, greater density, broader enemy/NPC variety, and overall fidelity.”
“You’ll experience the benefit of the more powerful hardware throughout Survivor,” he said. “Bottom line, we learned quickly that we could take advantage of the faster processors, larger/faster memory, better loading times, etc, to create much larger maps, with more detail, greater density, broader enemy/NPC variety, and overall fidelity. These features aligned perfectly with how we wanted to push the game. We didn’t want to break what we did in the first game because it was well received, but we wanted to evolve/enhance the experience. This new generation allowed us to do exactly that, and I believe it translates to a true new-gen experience in the Star Wars universe.”
Asmussen also spoke about Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order’s upgrade for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S, revealing that though Respawn decided against implementing ray tracing due to technical reasons, it helped the studio figure out how to use ray tracing for the sequel.
“[It] was a good proving ground while we were considering how to enhance Survivor,” he said. “We actually considered ray tracing for the new-gen Fallen Order because we were already building it into Survivor, but we ultimately scrapped it, because the environment art authoring between the generations was pretty different. But the process did help us define how we wanted to approach ray tracing on our modified version of the Unreal 4 engine.”