The Witness may launch on PC and iOS alongside PS4
Will it ever come to the next Xbox?
Indie developer Jonathan Blow has insisted Sony didn't pay for The Witness console exclusivity.
Blow took to the stage during Sony's PlayStation 4 conference on Wednesday night to announce that The Witness would come to the console exclusively.
In a follow-up interview Blow told Kotaku this means The Witness is a PS4 console exclusive, and may come to the PC and mobile platforms at launch also - if the developer can manage it.
"Our deal with Sony is a limited-time exclusivity that applies only to competing console platforms," Blow said. "Basically it is that you will see the game on the PlayStation 4 before you will see it on the Wii U or the next Microsoft console, if the game ever appears on either of those (whether it appears on those consoles eventually is purely up to whatever future arrangements might happen between us and Nintendo/Microsoft/Random Publishers/Whoever)."
Blow said he signed the dotted line with Sony as a natural progression of the interest the company showed in the game, not because they paid him.
"People have been speculating that I got a money hat for this agreement with Sony, or that we needed to do this in order to fund development of The Witness. Actually, no money was involved at all," he said.
After deciding the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U weren't powerful enough for The Witness, it came down to the PlayStation 4 and the next Xbox. That's when Sony stepped in.
"There were people at Sony who really liked the game and were keeping in touch with us about it, and so we naturally started going to their PS4 developer events, got a dev kit, and started playing with it.
"I don't have good communication with anyone at Microsoft right now, and haven't been disclosed on their next console, but all our technical people like the PS4 specs a lot more than the leaked Durango specs, and we like the positioning of the PS4 (it's about games) a lot more than what we perceive Microsoft's positioning is going to be.
"So we just found ourselves doing a PS4 port. And once we are doing that, it is not practical for us also to think about another console port. We were going to be a de facto console exclusive for Sony no matter what. As I mentioned, there are people at Sony who are very interested in The Witness, so they somehow percolated up through the ranks the idea of showing the game in the launch show.
"Of course, Sony wants that show to point out things that are going to be exclusive or special to their console. So to be in the show we signed a timed exclusivity for competing consoles. But this was just a formalisation of something that was already de facto. We like the PS4 and we like the people at Sony we are working with, so it was an easy choice to make the agreement."
Described as "a game about epiphany," The Witness will be open world and will take at least 25 hours to complete.