Bungie explains why there's still no PC version of Destiny

"It is not nearly as simple as you think…"

On 9th September Destiny will launch on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360 - but not PC.

It's an unfortunate situation for many who had hoped to play Bungie's next first-person shooter with a mouse and keyboard. And for many it seems like a strange omission, given the game was built on PC in the first place. Surely it wouldn't take much time or effort for Bungie to release a PC version, then?

"The truth is it's not that simple," design lead Lars Bakken told Eurogamer during a recent studio tour.

"I wish it was that simple. It's pretty complicated. That doesn't mean it can't happen in the future, it just means it won't happen right now."

Destiny is Bungie's first multiplatform game in over a decade, and its first on a PlayStation platform. The studio handles development of all the versions internally, rather than outsourcing development to other studios. It even handles quality assurance itself - one of the many reasons there are over 500 people currently working on the game inside Bungie's Bellevue, Washington base.

"The console SKUs are really important for us and that's what we're focusing on," Bakken continued. "We're doing it all internally ourselves. That's a huge endeavour. That's not something we've ever done before.

"So when I'm playtesting and I'm trying to play PS4, Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PS3, that's a lot of work. Adding another thing on there is just crazy. It's crazy to think of right now."

Bungie COO Pete Parsons echoed Bakken's response when we quizzed him on the same subject.

"I think four platforms on day one is a lot, considering we've been a one platform team for a very long time," he said.

"What is also true is that, as you might imagine, we're all hardcore PC players. We play everything. It doesn't matter if it's a phone, PC or console, we play it. And there are 500 people up there. So we care a lot about the PC.

"But this is a huge and ambitious project for us, and just getting it on one console would be a momentous challenge. Getting it on four on the same day is something we've never even tried before. We wanted to get it right, and we didn't want to add in tonnes more risk."

Parsons also said creating and releasing a PC version of Bungie's shared world shooter would not be as easy as many believe, because all versions of the game connect to the same persistent video game world, which itself extends to multiple platforms.

"It is not nearly as simple as you think," he said. "It is one central world no matter what the platform, and so that requires lots of intensive thought.

"Frankly, it's not a thought we can spend time thinking about right now. Just building up the game and putting it across generations of platforms, and working on platforms we've never worked on before with the PlayStation 3, these are very big challenges. I'm thankful we have the engineering team we do."

While it seems certain that Destiny will not launch on PC alongside the console versions, what chance post-launch? Or, perhaps, what chance of a PC version of future Destiny games?

"I look forward to our future conversations around PC," Parsons said, cryptically.

"We love the PC. We hear it too. We ask the question of ourselves."

This article was based on a press trip to Bungie's offices in Bellevue, Washington. Activision paid for travel and accommodation.

Make sure you check out our recent hands-on Destiny preview.

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