Capcom Vancouver began developing Xbox One launch exclusive Dead Rising 3 with Xbox 360 in mind, producer Mike Jones has told OXM, but was simply unable to get early prototypes running on the older hardware.
Update: Jones has clarified his earlier comments in a statement to OXM - apparently, Dead Rising 3 was never formally prototyped on Xbox 360. "The goals we set ourselves for Dead Rising 3 were just not possible on the current systems. We knew it would have to be a next-gen game and Microsoft was supportive of the idea." I've updated the headline (which originally began "Dead Rising 3 was planned for Xbox 360") to reflect this.
Original story follows: "When we started making Dead Rising 3, during prototyping we hit the ceiling on what we could do - this is the size of the world we can make, we can stream it, but we can't do it on Xbox 360," Jones told me at an Xbox One launch event last week.
"And we took it to Microsoft, and we said this is what we're trying to do with Dead Rising, just to share what we know, and they flipped," he continued. "'This is f**king awesome, this is just the kind of thing you should be doing.' And we said 'Well, there's a catch.' And they said: 'What's the catch?' And we said: 'We can't do it on Xbox 360. It's not fitting. It's not working.'
"And that's when they started talking to us about: 'you guys should start targeting next gen. We'll publish, we'll bring you under our security umbrella, we'll start showing you all our crazy secret technologies, what we're planning.'"
Dead Rising 3 has been developed almost entirely at Capcom Vancouver, which has taken over custodianship of the franchise from Capcom's Japanese teams, having proved itself with Dead Rising 2 and subsequent spin-off editions. The studio's proximity to Microsoft has proven useful, Jones explained.
"They helped to solve problems. We're in Vancouver, they're in Seattle, right, so the back and forth is amazing. We had engineers come live in the studio for a while, we'd go and visit them all the time. And they absolutely helped us make the game that we always wanted to make, and because of the power of the Xbox One and all the support we got from Microsoft.
"And because of our mutual history with Dead Rising 1 and Dead Rising 2 that they were already big fans of the franchise, and thought it would be great for Xbox One, and we got to make the game that we always wanted to make. So it was a beautiful partnership."
Though not quite as pretty as Ryse or Forza, games Jones regards with undisguised envy, Dead Rising 3 boasts some terrifyingly complex AI and procedural content systems - hundreds of zombies throng its streets, each aware of the player, its surroundings and the activities of other zombies. Set fire to one zombie, and the blaze will spread naturalistically to other corpses. According to Capcom, the game's graphical fidelity compares to that of a linear shooter, like Uncharted, but that's a level of finish that's sustained across a vast, streaming open world.
Jones and co already have a few ideas for Dead Rising 4. The developer has apparently tried its hand at four player co-op, but has been unable to sort out the associated networking difficulties in time for release.