Supergiant Games will be taking their highly successful game Hades over to PlayStation and Xbox, finally releasing it on the remaining two consoles. Set to be released on August 13th, players will be able to dive into what is essentially a complete version of the game (up to this point), with 4K resolution on next-gen versions. But before that happens, we got a chance to briefly chat with Greg Kasavin, the company's Creative Director, about the port and the challenges of making it work on console.
BC: How has it been for you to see the success of the game on PC and the response from players?
GK: The response to Hades from players around the worth has been incredible and surreal for our small team. While we had a sense that players were enjoying the game quite a bit during our Early Access development, we couldn't have expected how many new players would flock to the game after our version 1.0 launch in the fall of last year, or that it would end up earning dozens of Game of the Year awards, let alone be in contention! We are deeply grateful for all the kind words and support, and for knowing that Hades left a strong positive impression on so many people.
What kind of challenges were there porting it over to Xbox and PlayStation consoles?
Each time we bring one of our games to a different console, it presents its own unique technical challenges and needs to be closely tested and examined to make sure the game feels right at home on that console. We planned Hades from the start knowing it might find its way to the Nintendo Switch (which it did!), and even still our engineering team had to be super focused on performance and optimization to ensure the game ran as smoothly as possible. Consoles like the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X have much more horsepower than the Nintendo Switch, though on these platforms, the game is running at a much higher 4K resolution and needs to be silky smooth. Each platform also has its own certification process, an important behind-the-scenes step where each game is tested to make sure it's up to the console's standards. This can be a rigorous process, even for a game like Hades that has been available for other platforms before!
Additionally, we have all-new physical editions of Hades for PlayStation and Xbox, which will be sold in retail stores worldwide. Creating this physical edition with our publishing partners at Private Division was its own involved process, as we collaborated on every aspect of the packaging as well as the bonus inserts, including a full-color character compendium booklet plus a download code for the digital soundtrack. This type of project represents a big undertaking for our small team!
For those who have played on PC, what kind of changes or additions can they expect to see in the console version?
Hades for PlayStation and Xbox is essentially the same game as last year's PC and Nintendo Switch versions, and should feel right at home on the new consoles. The PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S versions run at 4K resolution, while the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions run at 1080p. The PS5 version also makes some use of the unique DualSense adaptive triggers in a couple of specific contexts. We hope these new versions of Hades introduce the game to many new players who've been looking forward to trying it on their console of choice!
Do you have any plans for further expansions of the game after this release?
All our focus lately has been on the launch of Hades for PlayStation and Xbox. We don't have anything else to announce at this point, as we put everything we had into the full game! Our goal was to create a complete-feeling game that could keep players occupied for a good long time, which meant not leaving anything on the cutting-room floor that we didn't think was better off not being in the game!
Aside from anything Hades-related, what are you guys working on for the future?
It's too early to say what's next for us as yet, though we really appreciate the interest. We tend not to even start thinking about what's next in terms of new game projects until things have settled on the one we've currently been working on, and even then it tends to take us a while before we have something we think is worth talking about it. That said, what I can say for sure is that we want to stick together as a small team and keep making games that are true to our style. Supergiant Games has been around for more than ten years now, and our 20+ member team includes the seven individuals who created our first game, Bastion. We want to keep making games that spark players' imaginations for as long as we can!