It’s not really that frequently we see PC-quality MMORPGs make it into consoles. There has only been a few that have made the leap, such as Final Fantasy XI, Final Fantasy XIV, and The Elder Scrolls Online. Matt Denomme, senior product manager at En Masse Entertainment working on TERA, lately had some opportunity to go over his experience working on Tera Gold PS4 for console and gave us insight on a number of the challenges his team faced, and the chances that arose out of their job. Plus, we got some clarity on hot-button problems like crossplay along with a possible Nintendo Shift version.
Did the success of these games inspire the group to create TERA for consoles, or was there something else that had a greater impact on the decision to port TERA?
In the very first time we hooked a control up to a test build, we understood TERA could be a superb match for consoles. So in many ways, it was the success of TERA and it has action-focused MMORPG layout that drove us to make the leap, though we won’t deny that we spent some time watching and enjoying other names during the development process.
What was the greatest challenge in bringing TERA to consoles? Were there any significant differences between the development of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One variations of the match?
Once it supports gamepads on PC, it would be very hard, if not impossible, to interact with the full width of systems and ports in the PC version with a gamepad. Re-designing all of TERA’s systems and ports using a gamepad in mind was an enormous task and a substantial design challenge for the team at Bluehole since it was their first time working on a game for consoles.
Was PC crossplay with either the Xbox One or PS4 (we are conscious those two having crossplay collectively isn’t possible right now) something which the group considered? Were the exception based on not needing to radically alter the landscape of long-established servers?
There was some discussion when we first started, but it was quickly discarded when we made a dedication to creating the finest possible TERA console experience. This led us to focus our development efforts on a specific version of the match, and generate console-specific features such as a fully redesigned user interface with a menu that is x and smart inventory to facilitate usability.
Would a Nintendo Switch version of tera gold xbox be possible in concept or are there too many limitations, technical or differently? The first hardcore MMORPG to attain the console could be quite popular. In theory, it may be possible, and there’s a clear opportunity there, but we do not have plans for a Switch variant at this moment.