The Banner Saga PS4 & Xbox One Release Date Is January 12, PS Vita Version “On the Back Burner” (Update)
Gio Corsi, Director of Third Party Production & Developer Relations at PlayStation, revealed that they’re working with Versus Evil and Stoic to release the PS Vita version of The Banner Saga in 2016:
— Gio Corsi (@giocorsi) December 23, 2015
An “epic Viking RPG strategy game,” The Banner Saga uses your choices in travel, conversation, and combat to determine the outcome of your personal story, as well as the survival of an entire civilization. Already available on PC and mobile, it has won numerous awards.
Stoic Founder and Technical Director John Watson talked about the console release:
We have been working on porting Banner Saga to consoles for some time. Porting the game certainly presented technical challenges that we needed to overcome, and gave us an opportunity to redesign the user experience for console controllers. We have managed to merge the story and gameplay from Banner Saga with a refined controller interface to make it a very enjoyable console gaming experience.
The Banner Saga is localized in French, German, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, and Italian.
If you’re wondering about the PlayStation Vita version of The Banner Saga, Watson went on the Stoic forums to say it’s been put “on the back burner.”
Chronicling the development issues with The Banner Saga on consoles, Watson revealed that “our console and Vita porting has been more expensive and time consuming than we had originally expected.”
They actually started console port development work at the same time as iOS/Android, with an initial deadline of November 2014. By January, the porting company hired more programmers and took on the PS Vita version, which was given a deadline of July 2015.
Unfortunately, the porting studio underwent numerous personnel changes before shutting down for good in May 2015, without completing the project. “All of the expenses sunk into that project were lost, with no realistic way for us to recover them,” he says.
After scrambling to find another porting company, the PS4 and XB1 were completed after four months, but the PS Vita version wasn’t so lucky:
The side effect of this is that we have had to put the Playstation Vita port on the back burner. I have been excited about the Vita port since day one, and I would love to see the Banner Saga running on my own Vita. The realities, however, of a very small team and a limited budget, put an immutable check on the speed of our progress. Stoic is composed of only 4 full time internal team members, all of which are currently working 100% on Banner Saga 2. Our initial budget for porting to Vita has been burned by essentially having to pay twice for the console ports. Once we can recover the substantial costs of initial console porting, we can consider our strategy to move forward with Vita.
If you want The Banner Saga on PS Vita, Stoic is holding a poll on Twitter right now.
As for The Banner Saga 2, that’s scheduled to release in 2016 on PS4, XB1, and PC. Since it features an upgraded version of the same engine as the first game, “all of the porting work so far is directly applicable to our next game. This means that porting should be much, much faster than initially.”
Additionally, save data from The Banner Saga (caravan, character, story choices) can be imported into The Banner Saga 2 when it launches.