by Joseph Leray
When "Thief," the Eidos Montreal-developed fourth entry into the iconic series, was formally announced earlier this year, it was slated for the PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4. The game's E3 trailer, released as recently as last week, did little to disabuse fans of that notion, ending with the expected set of boilerplate platform logos.
Today, Eidos community manager Adam Badke and "Thief" senior producer Stéphane Roy announced that their game is also in development for the now-quotidian Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Here's the salient bit, pulled from Eidos' community blog: "Yep, it’s official! 'Thief' is now confirmed for PS3 and Xbox 360 – in addition to PC, PS4 and Xbox One! And, as importantly, the game will ship for ALL platforms simultaneously."
The current-gen versions of "Thief" are being handled in-house at Eidos Montreal according to the short interview embedded above -- horrible intro music included.
The same can't be said for its PC version, which was outsourced to Nixxes Software, a company based in Utrecht, Netherlands that has handled most of Square Enix' PC conversions of late, including "Tomb Raider," "Hitman: Absolution," and "Deus Ex: Human Revolution." That's not strictly here nor there, but I digress.
At one point in the video, Roy mentions that a huge gap in processing power exists between the Xboxes 360 and One, and the PlayStations 3 and 4, respectively. Eidos are restructuring their development process to more efficiently spread their resources, especially when it comes to visual and aural quality for the current-gen versions of "Thief." "We have to really, really smart," he explained. "We have to change the way we plan."
The upside is that Roy and his team have been working on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 for seven years -- they "know exactly how to squeeze the last bit of power out of this platform," he says.
It's not exactly an industry secret that games start to look better as the given console cycle lingers, as developers become more familiar with the platforms, processes, and architectures that control game development. "Thief" will have seven years of 360 and PS3 experience behind it, and I'm skeptical of the idea that there will be a large graphical disparity between current- and next-gen versions of the game.
Fun fact: in the run-up to E3 2010, the rumors mill was already mulling over a PlayStation 3 version of the game, then still known as "Thi4f" (which, jeez, whose idea was that?). Three years later, we can pat ourselves on the back for a job well-done.
"Thief" will launch simultaneously for the Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PC in 2014, with a much-improved title.