Backwards compatibility will always be a sticking point for the games industry, because it has proven to be a huge boon for players, but not so much for publishers and developers.
Historically, it’s taken players longer to adopt the new generation of games and platforms when backwards compatibility is available, and Take-Two’s chief executive officer Strauss Zelnick recognizes the line which players and publishers stand on opposite sides of.
In an interview with IGN, Zelnick called backwards compatibility across generations “a benefit to consumers,” even clarifying that when it comes to a “mid-cycle” generation upgrade (like a PS5 Pro), he’d be “surprised” if it wasn’t included.
Though he does also say he’s “not certain it’s a must-have,” all while Take-Two is getting ready to sell a port – not a remaster or remake, just a port – of a 13 year old game at $50.
That’s of course the upcoming PS4 version of Red Dead Redemption which is slated to release before the end of August, which finally removes some of the shackles that kept the original unplayable for many modern players, or anyone without an Xbox, really.
With this in mind it’s no wonder Zelnick doesn’t consider backwards compatibility a necessity – how else could Take-Two sell its over a decade-old games at premium prices today?
And Red Dead Redemption isn’t the only title it could do this with. A remaster or remake of Bully along with a sequel has been just as requested as one was for Red Dead Redemption, and it would be no surprise if Take-Two did the same thing with that game.
Backwards compatibility is definitely a great thing for consumers, but it’s also important in terms of keeping games around for new generations of players to experience them, instead of them being inaccessible due to a publisher’s own greed.
Source – [IGN]