Shift Up CEO and Stellar Blade director Kim Hyung-tae has revealed why he opted to bring the upcoming PS5 exclusive to a single platform, and why PlayStation was the one. His comments make for interesting reading, however, as the action RPG was also destined to launch on Xbox many moons ago.
Speaking to Famitsu in a recent interview (translated from Japanese to English via Google), Kim states “I wanted to release a highly complete game on a single platform. When deciding which platform to use, we came to the conclusion that the PS5 would provide the most optimal gaming experience.”
After reeling off the usual PR buzzwords about the “sense of immersion” gained from the speed of the PS5 SSD and the DualSense’s adaptive triggers, Kim does offer a second, more personal reason for the decision to try and make one of the best PS5 games in particular. “As a fan of Sony games, making games on PlayStation has a special meaning to me,” he says in the interview, which was spotted by ‘Genki’. “This has been my dream since I was a child.” There’s not a dry eye in the office, though Xbox fans perhaps have more reason to be upset.
We’d forgive you for forgetting, but Stellar Blade actually started as a multi-platform endeavor, evidenced by its original 2019 reveal trailer. Fast forward a couple of years and things were already looking ropey for Xbox fans, as what was then known as Project Eve featured prominently at the 2021 PlayStation Showcase. As shared by industry analyst Daniel ‘ZhugeEX’ Ahmad at the time, Kim bought everyone in the 260-strong Shift Up team a PS5 to enjoy the game on – you can see where this is going.
The final nail in the Xbox coffin came a year later when it was announced at the September 2022 State of Play that the newly named Stellar Blade would join the list of PS5 exclusives. This, alongside the reported second-party partnership deal, is a shrewd bit of business from Sony. If there’s one thing Shift Up knows how to do – apart from creating scantily-clad waifus – it’s making money.
According to Sensor Tower’s monthly mobile revenue report for January, Shift Up’s gacha-infused third-person shooter, Nikke, took home a whopping $27,000,000 – second only to HoYoverse money printer Genshin Impact. It’s clear that PlayStation is making a concerted effort to build strong links with the biggest mobile devs in the world, and we can’t help but wonder if Stellar Blade will eventually join the other big AAA titles making their way to handhelds.
For more of the latest PS5 goodness, check out the latest rumor surrounding a potential Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune remake, as well as Jamie’s thoughts on why he’s worried about Stellar Blade despite it looking so good.