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Former Rockstar animator explains why Rockstar games come to PC later

"This stuff is very complicated..."

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Of course, you could always fire off the accusation that Rockstar, with all their expertise, should be able to launch on PC, PlayStation and Xbox at the same time, but a former employee has now tried to explain why the developer usually wants to wait until a little later to launch their big games on the PC platform.

In avideo Mike York, who has worked as Lead Animator at Rockstar New England for six years, working on Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2, says this:

"This is very important for everybody to remember: one of the main reasons why a PC port will take so long is because it's different architecture and different components. They have to accommodate for all these different things that can happen. Because on a PlayStation and an Xbox, each one of those has one graphics card, and it's the same graphics card, it's the same architecture inside the box as every single PlayStation that's shipped to millions of people. But when it comes to a PC, every single person has a different PC. They're running it differently. They have different hardware in there. They have different CPUs and GPUs. The memory usage and the different things the game is doing in the background can sometimes hit a fail and mess up during different configurations. It's hard to explain, but that's what it boils down to."

He summarises again by explaining that it simply requires more resources to test on PC, which perhaps also explains why PC versions usually have more technical issues and more uneven performance, such as with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor this year alone.

"They need to test the game more on PC than they would on Xbox or PlayStation. If you think about it, you already have to test the game a ton in order to get it to work. So a PC is even harder. You got to throw more resources at it. You have to test things a lot more. And when you're doing the PC port you have to test things on multiple different hardwares, different GPUs. Not just one or two, but 10 or 20. There's so many different configurations out there that you'll just never be able to test them all. And there's a lot of things that can go wrong once you release that PC port, because it just hasn't been tested by millions of people. It's only been tested by a thousand people at work. So you can only take it so far."

Do you buy that explanation?

Grand Theft Auto VI

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