Indie developer Heart Machine has put the kibosh on Hyper Light Drifter’s PlayStation Vita and Wii U ports, the developer announced in a somber Kickstarter update. Lead designer Alex Preston explains why these versions weren't feasible in the video sent out to campaign backers above.
A number of roadblocks led to dropping the ports, Preston said. Those include the toll developing them has had on his health — he’s dealt with a heart condition since birth — as well as the specific difficulties in bringing Hyper Light Drifter to Wii U and Vita.
"The native port hasn’t been performing anywhere near our standards and would require major downgrading to fit on the platform," Preston said of the Vita version.
"Now we face having to entirely remake the game"
Heart Machine spent months trying to optimize the game for the handheld, Preston told backers, but doing so would require essentially starting from scratch. Development was underway on Vita, at least, but Nintendo and the team behind the Wii U port were at a standstill. Neither console can just run the game’s engine natively, complicating the production.
"Now we face having to entirely remake the game in an entirely different engine for two different platforms," explained Preston of the dilemma Heart Machine faced when it came to the Wii U and Vita ports.
Instead of spending months and months on these versions, he said, Heart Machine is throwing in the towel. The team is offering to refund backers who requested the Wii U or Vita versions of Hyper Light Drifter on Kickstarter. Alternatively, they can elect to get the game on another platform instead; those would be Windows PC, Mac, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, where it’s already available.
The intense, pixelated action game, which launched in the spring to wide acclaim, is continuing to receive updates post-launch as well. Now that the ports are off the table, Preston said players can expect more new features and improvements in the coming months. There are plans to finish getting Kickstarter rewards out to backers as well.