Quake Champions was one of Bethesda’s big title announcements at E3 2016, an online multiplayer shooter throwback to classic Quake but with a modern character-based structure. It’s id Software taking inspiration from titles like Overwatch and Paragon to rebuild Quake with their updated technology from Doom‘s latest remake. There’s another part of Quake Champions that’s a throwback not often seen these days — Quake Champions is a PC exclusive.
Why Quake Champions is a PC exclusive title is a question many game players have been asking, recently. After all, Overwatch and Paragon are both on consoles. Of course, these questions are mostly coming from younger gamers who aren’t familiar with multiplayer Quake‘s gameplay. Luckily Bethesda marketing guru Pete Hines was willing to explain the answer in a straightforward manner to GameSpot: “There is not a console that supports our vision for [Quake Champions].”
“You know, Quake Champions, maybe anybody else would’ve been like, ‘No, you have to do it, and it’s got to work on every platform.’ We were like, ‘No, it’s a PC-only thing. It’s this kind of game. It’s got to have this kind of performance, and it’s going to be on PC full stop.’ We feel very comfortable in making those calls.”
Succinctly put, Hines states that Quake Champions all but requires a level of performance that only a PC can deliver. Current consoles like the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, whose games often have to decide between 1080p graphics or 60fps, simply can’t deliver that level of performance.
Hines remains optimistic about future platforms, including the PlayStation Neo and the Xbox Scorpio half-step platform iterations. He makes clear that Bethesda will give each platform as much consideration as is due, but remains adamant that Quake Champions is, “full stop,” a PC game:
“I guess theoretically there’s a chance. Who knows what future consoles look like? But this is full stop a PC product: 120Hz, unlocked frame rate. That’s the experience we want folks to have.”
For those unfamiliar with classic Quake multiplayer, it was one of the original 3D twitch shooters. “See and react” defines the gameplay, though strategic knowledge such as map layouts, weapon and armor spawns and techniques like strafe jumps created an insanely high skill ceiling. It’s not strange to see Bethesda embracing the only platform that can deliver the type of technology allowing for the best experience. While Quake Champions may be very different from classic Quake multiplayer in very meaningful ways, platform expectations is not one of them.
And so Quake Champions is a PC exclusive — a victory for the developers whose vision would be muddied by forced console ports. Expect the multiplayer shooter to hit beta in 2017 and expect more information in the months to come.