A new rumour spawned from the Official Xbox Magazine’s gossip section suggests Edios-published Thief 4 will be moving to a next-generation console.
Of course, the fact the nugget appeared in OXM UK has many people assuming the game will be developed for the so-called “Xbox 720″ – a mythical console from Microsoft that would replace the current Xbox 360. The problem, of course, is that the only completely confirmed next generation console on the horizon is Nintendo Wii U.
Other games in the series were developed exclusively for Windows PC, until Thief: Deadly Shadows – the third game in the series – which released on both Windows and original Xbox.
These days console-exclusives are few and far between, so it’s exactly as plausible to assume that the game will release across current consoles (PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360) and future consoles (notably, Wii U). But the real question is: where is this information coming from?
And the answer to that is as you’d expect: anonymous sources. OXM UK didn’t say where their magical information came from, however website CVG who got a copy of the magazine early went on to say their own sources, who remain anonymous, also “confirm” the rumour.
It’s interesting that while CVG were able to talk openly about the game’s future development, they didn’t seem to care about details, but maybe I’m being unfair.
But the real story here is the game’s rocky road to development. Thief 4 or “Thi4f” as it was once called, has been in development for the last four years. During this time, the development team has lost key staff to resignation, including Audio Director and Lead Level Designer and two senior concept artists. Animators, senior level designers and level technical designers have also abandoned ship.
The curious thing, though, is that the game appears to be pretty much complete. Fabien Morisson, Junior Level Designer for the title claims on his LinkedIn page that he “designed the last level” of Thief 4. Of course, nothing’s saying that every other level had already been completed, but that’s the logical assumption based solely off the LinkedIn page. Regardless, the game is indeed powering ahead in development.
So, has all its issues caused the publisher to simply wait for the next generation of consoles to come along? I still think it’s an unlikely scenario, unless that next-generation console is Wii U – merely because of the sheer amount of work required to bring the title up to next-gen specifications (assuming they’re leaps and bounds ahead of what’s currently on the market).
Considering we’ve only got a couple of mentions of magical, invisible and anonymous sources, it’s safe to take this one with one of those grains of salt everyone’s talking about.