What's next after early access? Patience, essentially.
Last week it was announced that Session would finally be releasing in it’s Early Access state on the PC in September and on the Xbox in October. Other than that, we’ve kind of been left in the dark as far as what this release is going to consist of. And if you weren’t at GamesCom this week, you probably haven’t seen much gameplay or information. As the spiritual successor to Skate, and the first skateboarding sim to release on console since Skate 3, there are a select group of people anticipating this game like no other - myself included - so some answers are going to be necessary.
So I took to the Session Discord channel yesterday in search of some information. I own both an Xbox and PS4 but the majority of people I play with have PS4’s only so it’s typically my console of choice. Because of this, I know I’m going to have to buy this game twice. Once in Early Access on the Xbox in October, and a second time once it finally releases on the PlayStation 4. But that’s when I realized - nobody is promised a PS4 version. While it obviously seems like a no brainer, we don’t know the extent of the agreement that Microsoft made with Crea-ture Studios, the developers of Session - so I was hoping to find out more about the release schedule and exclusivity of this sought after game.
To my surprise, shortly after posing this question to the channel, a response was given by the development team that summed up the situation rather completely.
Mind you, this is a Discord chat and not some official press release so don’t give this guy any shit for his grammar - it’s a chat room, people.
But essentially, he had this to say:
“Here's the thing. Microsoft been really supportive and we agreed on a 3 month console exclusive with them, what this means, it means they gave us money to help making the game. (btw nobody bought ferrari with that) and the deal is as follow. The game stay exclusive on xbox and 3 months after the v1 release, this is where we can start looking at porting the game to other consoles. hope it helps clarifying things"
So basically, we could be a long ways away from a release on a PS4 or Switch, or Stadia, or whatever other platform you may be playing on. Because this 3 month exclusivity doesn’t mean that it’ll be able to hit other consoles 3 months after October - when it launches in Early Access. It means that they’ll be able to start porting the game to other systems 3 months after the Version 1.0 release. And if we know anything about Early Access titles, they can exist in that stage for, shit, years until they get the official 1.0 release. And after that, we’d have to wait those 3 months until the porting process even begins, then once a port is completed, we’ll get an announcement, then marketing, then release.
So it’s going to take some time. A year, two years, who knows. It all comes down to how much they want to put into this game before feeling comfortable enough to take it out of its Early Access stage.
It was also mentioned in passing that the September/October release will only feature a “small chunk of the financial district”. So while it’s been said that the game will be a full 1:1 scale of lower Manhattan, when you download this game in the coming months, it won’t be anything close to that - yet.
Either way, skateboarding is coming to console! Even if it is a long, confusing process. So let’s all be grateful for what we have and thank the developers for answering our prayers that EA loves to ignore.