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Creative Assembly: "No Fundamental Reason" Why Total War Couldn't Come To Next-Gen Consoles

Matt Gardner
Console games, Creative Assembly, Mike Simpson, Strategy games, Total War

Creative Assembly: "No Fundamental Reason" Why Total War Couldn't Come To Next-Gen Consoles

The Creative Assembly, responsible for the excellent series of Total War strategy games, reckon that the next generation could well see the series make the jump from PC to console.

Strategy games aren't particularly big on consoles, it has to be said, but studio head Mike Simpson suggested that "there's no fundamental reason" why strategy games can't work on those platforms, it's just that no-one's really done it terribly well before.

"We've probably always talked about [Total War on console]," studio director Mike Simpson said in an interview with Eurogamer. "I've always said that there's no fundamental reason why that kind of game couldn't work, but there are various problems that have to be overcome. You can't just take Total War on PC and then port it over to console."

There are technical factors that certainly come into play - Simpson mentions memory concerns being one of them - but he also says that games would need to be specifically tailored towards the nature of console platforms, and that many previous PC strategy ports seem to have been conducted with little thought having gone into the process.

"The current generation of consoles just can't cope - they don't have enough memory, by a large factor," he continued. "Those technical reasons are probably the only reasons. A lot of people think that UI's a problem, because no one's really done it well before. I don't think that's a fundamental thing - I just think it's simply that no one's really done it very well before. A lot of the games have been ports of PC games without too much thought having gone into it."

Simpson acknowledged that the strategy genre was hardly thriving on console currently - although it's worth noting that Halo Wars did quite well, but again that was designed by Ensemble from the ground up to be a console game. Simpson is rather of the opinion that changes could well be seen next generation.

"It's not a huge genre on console right now," said Simpson. "But I think that's likely to change, for all sorts of reasons. The next generation of consoles, whenever they appear, will be more powerful than the current generation."

"The way people play on console is different to the way that you play on PC. You don't sit down for four or five hours at a time, generally. It's much smaller play sessions, but we do have some very clever ideas in the pipeline for things we could do to make that happen. That applies not just to console, though - that's more about broadening the appeal of the game in general."

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