2014’s acclaimed narrative-focused adventure game The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is finally heading to Xbox One owners in just a few weeks and while the new version will include 4K support and the brand new Free Roam mode, it appears that the new features might remain exclusive to Xbox One for some time before they could potentially arrive on other platforms.
Speaking with DualShockers, The Astronauts’ Adrian Chmielarz explained that the new Free Roam Mode being introduced to the Xbox One version of The Vanishing of Ethan Carter will, for now, seem to be exclusive to the Xbox One version of the game coming to the system later this month.
Specifically, Chmielarz explained that “we’ve done the Free Roam and 4K for Xbox One simply because we wanted to inject an extra excitement into a game long available on other platforms,” adding that “the release was a good excuse to add a nice feature (i.e. the Free Roam) and the 4K was a no brainer.” Overall, Chmielarz said that the exclusivity of the mode was “a win-win for both sides” as Xbox would get “the fattest version of the game,” and The Astronauts would be able to deliver “a feature that quite a few gamers suggested would be lovely” for the game.
While Chmielarz stated that “the Free Roam mode needs to stay an exclusive feature on Xbox One for a while,” he did say that “later on we are free to bring the feature to PC and PS4.” Chmielarz, however, did not specify an exact amount of time the feature will be available only to Xbox One.
Though the mode could make an appearance on other platforms down the line, Chmielarz expressed that bringing it to the other systems is “not [a] quick snap of two fingers and voila, done.” He specified that since the Xbox One version of the game uses the latest version of Unreal Engine 4, this means that “adding the Free Roam to the PS4 version is not just the full rebuild, fresh integration with the latest PS4 SDK, and certification, but also some serious testing and possible code updates.”
He also added that bringing the feature to another system (in this case specifying the PS4) would require “extra cost and extra work,” as a potential update to the PS4 version would also entail bringing support for higher-res visuals to PS4 Pro owners.
The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is available now on PS4 and PC, and heading to Xbox One on January 19th, 2018.