Rare discusses risky decision

PD0 went right down to the wire.

Rare has revealed that it took a big risk with Perfect Dark Zero just so that we could all be sure of playing it on Xbox 360 launch day.

Speaking to US website Next-Gen, executive producer Jim Veevaer said: "Typically, we go through a certification process to get a game finished and then we release to manufacturing."

Which is what all developers do - after all, there's no point burning a game onto 500,000 discs only for the QA people to turn round and say there's a bug in it.

But time was so tight when it came to the end of the PD0 development process that Rare had to take a deep breath, cross its fingers and give the go-ahead to the manufacturers - a whole five days before the game's certification.

"If the certification had not passed, we would have had hundreds of thousands of disks on our hands. It was us taking a risk to get the game there day one and there for launch," Veevaer said.

Microsoft's certification process is notoriously tough, and there were no allowances made for PD0 despite the fact that it was down as a key launch title. But Rare still wasn't too worried, Veevaer explained: "The team had been going through the game over the last few weeks to get us to a point where we felt really comfortable.

"Rare does a lot of work in terms of polishing the game so we felt pretty confident it was time to let it go."

Microsoft has produced 700,000 copies of PD0 for the US alone, estimating that every person who buys an Xbox 360 will also buy Rare's flagship title. And that's just the beginning - it will be making more discs soon in ancticipation of that lot shifting pretty fast.

Now we understand why PD0 still hadn't appeared on the website of Germany's software ratings board at the end of last month, even though many other 360 titles had already received approval. It's a bit like something out of Lost, isn't it? Possibly.

Still, all that matters is that PD0 will be in the shops on launch day - in Europe as well as in the US - and we can't wait to give it a go.

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