The PlayStation 4 does not have any kind of early access system, and this appears to be a pain point for some developers. Back in 2016, Ark developer Studio Wildcard said the lack of an early access-style system on PlayStation 4 was part of the reason why PlayStation gamers had to wait longer to play the title. And now, another developer has spoken out to say the lack of such a program on PS4 was at least a part of the conversation for why it chose to partner with Xbox instead.
The survival game Vigor, the new title from Arma studio Bohemia Interactive announced at E3 this week, is launching on Xbox One’s Game Preview program this summer before a full launch in February 2019. Creative director Lukas Haladik told GameSpot that it was “obvious” for Bohemia to partner up with Microsoft.
“We have a very nice partnership with Microsoft,” Haladik said. “It was obvious for us to go with them. And also, Sony doesn’t have a game preview.”
The existing partnership that Haladik referenced is likely about how Bohemia’s DayZ is due to launch on Xbox One before PS4 because Xbox One has a game preview program and PS4 doesn’t. “We’re still excited to have DayZ in the hands of PS4 players, it’ll just happen a bit later than the Xbox release,” Bohemia said at the time.
Sony has not explained why it doesn’t offer an early access program on PS4, but it could come down to the company being uncomfortable with pre-release software on the system. Unfinished games are often buggy and unstable, and that might make Sony uneasy. We’ve contacted the company in an attempt to get more details on this matter.
Vigor is a third-person survival game set in Norway during an alternate history 1991. It may look like a battle royale game, but Haladik stressed to GameSpot that it is not. Eight to 16 players enter a map to play an “engagement,” as Bohemia is calling them. You can find loot all across the map or kill other players to get theirs. Supply drops fall from the sky and the main objective is to escape with the package alive. Once you grab the package you become marked, making it easier for people to find you. Alternatively, you can find one of Vigor’s handful of exit points to escape the map, keeping all your gear for the next engagement.
There is no kill feed and the HUD is very minimal. Matches have a 20-minute cap, but they can also end after players get wiped or everyone escapes. Vigor will be available through a paid founders pack this summer, while the game will become free when it launches in 2019.
Another interesting note about Vigor is that it runs on the Unreal Engine as opposed to Bohemia’s proprietary tech that powers Arma and DayZ. Additionally, with DayZ still unreleased on console, some are upset that Bohemia is releasing Vigor before that game. Haladik told GameSpot that he’s aware of this concern, but he stressed that the game is developed by different Bohemia team and as such the projects are on different schedules.
For more on Vigor, check out the announcement trailer above. We’ll have more on Vigor from our interview in the days ahead, so keep checking back for more.