Sony announced that it has partnered with indie publishing label Versus Evil to save the troubled PS Vita version of developer Stoic’s strategy-RPG The Banner Saga, ending months of speculation regarding the port’s status.
Stoic technical director John Watson previously stated that the PlayStation Vita edition of The Banner Saga had been “put on the back burner” due to the collapse of its initial porting studio.
Released for PC platforms in 2014, The Banner Saga is a graphically rich tactical RPG that features branching narrative paths, giving players control over the storyline’s direction and tone. Ports for multiple consoles were announced in the wake of the game’s launch, but to date, the game remains a PC exclusive.
“Our console and Vita porting has been more expensive and time consuming than we had originally expected,” Watson admits. “We started the porting process only a few months after the initial launch of Banner Saga on PC. […] The porting company made good progress at first, but suffered some internal personnel turnover which slowed the project. The first deadline was missed, but progress steadily continued.”
Despite a promising start, the project soon stalled due to continued staff turnover and an inability to meet established milestones. These issues compounded until The Banner Saga‘s porting studio at last went bust in May.
“In January, the porting company hired additional programmers and took on the contract for performing the Playstation Vita port,” Watson explains. “The deadline for completion was July 2015. Over the subsequent months, the porting company suffered more personnel turnover, and the project limped along. Finally, in May 2015, the company folded, went out of business, and failed to complete the project. All of the expenses sunk into that project were lost, with no realistic way for us to recover them.”
Saddled with a costly but unfinished port of The Banner Saga, Stoic and publisher Versus Evil turned to Sony for assistance with the project. While a release date for the PS Vita version of The Banner Saga is not yet known, Sony’s Gio Corsi notes that fans can expect “more news in 2016.”
In addition to its resurrected PS Vita port, The Banner Saga is also in development for the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. A sequel, The Banner Saga 2, has entered production for the PlayStation 4 and PCs.