It has been some time since our last update with the community on the progress of the Banner Saga port to the Vita. Unfortunately, after much work and resources, we’ve decided to cancel the project and will not be bringing the Banner Saga franchise to PS Vita. The project’s been in development for over two years now with significant effort from Stoic, Versus Evil, Sony and some other external studios trying to help us get it on the platform.
In an effort to explain the amount of resources committed to bringing Banner Saga to the Vita, let’s look at the development history. In true indie spirit, Stoic first tried their own hand at developing for the Vita and partnered with a third-party developer. Rather than go into a ton of detail, here is a link to the story that John Watson from Stoic posted about that initial experience: Banner Saga Vita Experience. After the initial set back John and Stoic still wanted to make this a reality, but after careful time and budget concerns it was going to be put on the “wish-list” for possible future work.
At this point our friends at Sony stepped in and partnered with Versus Evil and Stoic to continue development. It was fantastic to see the team at Sony come out and publicly help an indie developer in such a way, and the behind the scenes the support was amazing. Sony took the lead on the project and worked with the third party developer of their choice, Code Mystics. Together, Sony and Code Mystics worked on the title for well over a year. It should be stressed that the effort, time and cost had far exceeded what was budgeted by all involved.
Development on Vita was progressing well enough, but due to the various unique engine aspects of Banner Saga, we found making the game portable was not so easy.
Specifically, the unique nature of the engine work needed to get the game running on Vita required the game being playable on Vita, making it virtually impossible to do normal testing throughout the process. Once we did get the game running, we ran into significant performance snags that eventually led to the final decision; we need to suspend development. This was a hard decision to make for all parties, but it was mutual across the board.
The game needs a lot more time to get it to the conditions we expect for Vita and Banner Saga fans. To add to this, it does not include a lot of the finishing touches and updates the Stoic team has since launched on the other platforms. Essentially, it would take more time and funding to make this port a reality and despite the best efforts from multiple studios, we have all agreed that this is the best course of action for right now.
We would like to thank Sony, Code Mystics and Stoic for the effort and resources spent in trying to make this a reality. We have a wonderful partner in Sony who stepped up without question. Finally, a big thank you to all of the amazing fans of Banner Saga. You are some of the kindest and most earnest fans we’ve seen in gaming. We feel like we put forth a herculean effort to make Banner Saga a reality on Vita, but ultimately it wasn’t in the cards. We hope you understand the situation given all of the above information and if you have questions, please reach out via twitter or send us an email if you have some feedback. We will certainly do our best to answer you.
The Versus Evil team
John Watson Blog Post on the Vita
John Watson Gamasutra Postmortem on Console Development