MMO Kingdom Under Fire II works on Xbox 360 but still won't be released until - at the earliest - Christmas 2011, Eurogamer can reveal.
Why? The same reason Champions Online struggled on console: the closed Xbox Live platform.
"Our initial plan was we wanted to develop the console version first - the Xbox 360 version," KUFII game director Sang Youn-Lee told us. "We actually have completed the system, but because of the policy, we felt that if we kept developing [it] the PC version would have come out too late."
However, co-developer Blueside CEO Sejung Kim offered reassurance: "We have developed the Kingdom Under Fire series on Xbox 360 and we have a fanbase there. It's very difficult not to develop a version of KUFII on Xbox 360. That's why Microsoft wants to have Kingdom Under Fire II.
"The problem is very strict [policy], and it's not easy to change it.
"That's why we are still discussing our billing policy," she added, "and we're asking for some changes from Microsoft."
Kim's comments echo what former Champions Online producer Craig Zinkievich told Eurogamer last October, that "the business part of bringing MMOs to consoles has been really sticky". Cryptic finally gave up on its working console version of Champions Online in March this year.
The problem isn't isolated; even Square Enix - the only company to bring an MMO successfully to Xbox 360 in Final Fantasy XI - has hit a Microsoft policy roadbloack with Final Fantasy XIV Online. It's "because 360 has its own policy with Xbox Live that is different from [the] internet", producer Hiromichi Tanaka said.
Kim told us the KUFII engine was finished and we could see a demo of the Xbox 360 version running "next spring" if we could get ourselves out to Korea. "Although we haven't set a publishing model for Xbox 360 yet we have already developed Xbox 360 basic, so development has already been started and it will be finished as of next year."
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