Recently, Gamasutra had a chance
to speak with Mike Bilder, studio head of Midway Chicago. The most important
project at that studio is Stranglehold, which launched in early
September for Xbox 360 and PC and, finally, the release of the game
on PlayStation 3 this month.
The discussion, which took place at a recent launch event for the game, takes in the evolution of
that title, the difficulties getting it running on the PlayStation 3
hardware, and how movies and films could better influence each other,
among other topics:
We were just talking about
the PS3 build of Stranglehold. That was delayed a bit, right?
Mike Bilder: Yeah, a little
Why did that come about?
MB: Just, technical difficulties
in development, but it has a number of people dedicated to it in Chicago,
and they're working hard, and I think we're going to overcome them pretty
Do you really think that
it's going to be the same level as the 360? Or better? What is your
take on that?
MB: I think it's going to be
the same. And that's part of the reason why we're delaying it, is that
we want to ensure that the quality is the same on all platforms.
The 360 was the lead SKU,
MB: 360 and PC, actually, were
simultaneously the lead SKU.
Do you think that's part
of the reason why it's been somewhat difficult? Because I've heard that
if you go from PS3 to 360, if you have PS3 as the lead SKU, you have
compartmentalized stuff and you're bringing it into a larger playing
field. Whereas with 360 or PC as the lead, you're taking something big
and breaking it into chunks.
MB: Sure. You know, it's really
a tough thing to say. Hindsight's always 20/20, but we've kept all of
the builds in a similar development state all along. What we found,
though, when we tried to get some of it game-ready and fitting on the
disc and fitting in memory, in the end it was an easier endeavor on
two of the SKUs and it was a more difficult endeavor on one of them.
Just, to be honest, the hardware differences in memory and processor
on the PS3 vs. traditional PC and 360, it makes it a challenge, and
it's representative. Everybody's having a challenge in the industry
It's pretty ubiquitous,
yeah. What do you think you could have done differently from
the start, to alleviate that stuff? Because you said, hindsight...
MB: I think a lot of people
and a lot of focus as far as games that we have internally that are
going to be multi-SKU are trying to put the PS3 out in front now, make
that your lead SKU. And in the same way I think a lot of people put
the PS2 as their lead SKU in the last hardware generation, and then
Xbox came after.
The difficulty you run into there, at least in the
last generation, was that the Xbox was considerably more powerful than
the PS2, and you found that people didn't always take advantage of the
hardware. Whereas with the PS3 and the 360, it's certainly more of a
level playing field, so I don't think it's necessarily a negative to
put the PS3 first. But it does help mitigate some of that risk in framerate,
memory, technology, just the hardware differences.