GoW 4 Devs Don’t Want to Segment the Audience in Multiplayer, Would Love to Be Successful in eSports
It’s a busy time for The Coalition. While they’re still trying to fix Gears of War: Ultimate Edition on Windows 10 (the mGPU patch is still inbound, despite no hard date), they’re also holding the Gears of War 4 multiplayer beta on Xbox One.
The team also announced their DLC plans. GoW 4 will ship with 10 multiplayer maps at launch (nine plus Gridlock) and The Coalition aims to deliver two additional maps each month, which might be entirely new or remade from previous Gears of War titles. The maps will be free, however there will be a rotation dictated by the studio; if you truly want to play a certain map, you can buy it separately and use it in private matches (where only the host needs to own that map).
In an interview with MCVUK, Studio Head Rod Fergusson explained the ratio behind this choice.
It was about not segmenting our audience. One of the things I really don’t like about even in Gears 3 right now is that there’s a playlist for people who have all the DLC, another for all the people who have none of the DLC, here’s another for people who have one bit of DLC. You separate everyone and they can’t play together. With Xbox One, you can push content out to people so that they have it and make sure that everyone has every map so there is no segmentation, everybody can play with everybody.
Fergusson also said that the team would like GoW 4 to be hugely successful in eSports, but they will have to earn that.
Obviously we’d love to be hugely successful in eSports. But that’s not a given, it has to be earned. We want Gears 4 to be the continuation of what Ultimate Edition has started, which is bringing that community to eSports. In the past, we didn’t look at professional play with the original games. We figured they’d do what they were going to do and we were focused on making the game more accessible.
The DLC plan actually ties into the overarching strategy for eSports.
If you’re going to use skill-based match-making and you’re going to use loads of visible skill-ranks and that kind of thing, you want the biggest player pool. Even today in Gears of War: Ultimate Edition, you’ll get level 60 players competing with level 2 gamers, which is unfair. That’s because the player pool was small at that time of day. People don’t tend to respond to that well so that’s why the bigger pool you can have, the more ability you have to find good competition for a player.
Next week, all Xbox One owners who have an active Xbox Live Gold subscription will be able to join the GoW 4 beta. To celebrate this, a new multiplayer trailer was released; you can find it below.
Finally, The Coalition will host a panel titled Out of the Shadows: Inside Gears of War Multiplayer with The Coalition at PAX East on Sunday, 10:30 AM PDT in the Albatross Theater; it will be also streamed live on Twitch.