Hi-Rez Studios has no plans for a Tribes: Ascend console port
It appears that Tribes: Ascend‘s chances of getting ported over to consoles are all but dead. Speaking in an interview with Gamasutra, Todd Harris, CEO of Hi-Rez Studios, stated that the developer is not currently planning on bringing the free-to-play FPS to either XBLA or PSN. Though no official announcement of a console version(s) had ever been made, Harris stated last year that “an eventual XBLA version, and even [a] PSN version, is not out of the question.”
Yesterday, however, the CEO sang a somewhat different song. “We do not have any plans for Tribes on console at this time,” he said. “…The way it went is that we wanted to do the free-to-play model, and there wasn’t a clear path to that on consoles early on. Based on that, we optimized the game around the strengths of the PC, and specifically a keyboard and mouse control.”
While a console port of Tribes: Ascend is now almost certainly not going to happen, Harris isn’t ready to completely rule out bringing console gamers freemium games developed by his team at some future date. “We’re still interested in free-to-play on consoles,” he explained, “but at this point, we have nothing specific to Tribes on console. I do expect the consoles will see more and more free-to-play, certainly the new generation, and possibly the existing generation as well.”
The likelihood that the shooter would make it over to home consoles seemed dubious at best from the moment Hi-Rez revealed that Ascend would go the freemium route. Microsoft currently does not permit such games to be released on the Xbox 360, but many gamers and developers are holding out hope that the console maker will eventually throw open its tightly sealed doors and allow freemium games to come on through.
For its part, the publisher’s Global Marketing Manager for XBLA, Michael Wolf, said in February that he was unable to confirm whether or not the Xbox will ever be home to free-to-play software. However, he did say that “we will if we have content that makes sense for that.” And while there is no telling at this point whether or not there is any correlation between the two, the news that the firm has a plan in place to further increase its 360 revenue stream slipped out last month.