Why Gears isn't cross-platform

It's all down to the PC and Xbox 360 code bases being incompatible, Epic's Mark Rein tells CVG

Microsoft's announcement on Gears of War on PC at this year's E3 didn't exactly knock us flat in shock, but it was a little surprising to learn that cross-platform support between PC and Xbox 360 wasn't planned.

After all, a massive game like Gears of War is surely just the thing to encourage PC gamers to try this feature that Microsoft's introduced in Games for Windows - Live, isn't it?

It turns out that the reason we've not seen cross-platform announced is to do with the PC and Xbox 360 Gears of War code bases being incompatible.

"The PC build kept going with the [Unreal Engine 3] engine code, as opposed to using the Xbox 360 Gears of War code base. Over time, it gradually lost compatibility", Epic's VP Mark Rein explained to CVG when we caught up with him in Brighton last week.

"It would take a humungous patch on the Xbox 360 side to make that possible, or not using the newer, more optimised code base on the Windows side. It just didn't work out."

Rein explained that code base incompatibility is also the reason it's very unlikely that the Gears of War content Epic has created exclusively for PC will ever release for Xbox 360.

You can read the first part of our full interview with Mark Rein right here. We'll be bringing you the second and concluding part soon.