SCEA: third-party exclusivity is so last gen, Microsoft ‘writes cheques’
“Exclusivity is something that doesnÂ’t truly exist in this cycle. What does exist is first-party product. ThatÂ’s your exclusive product,” says SCEA‘s John Koller. “…We donÂ’t feel the need to write cheques necessarily with every publisher, like [Microsoft] did with the Lost and Damned and some other titles, because we feel very strongly in our first-party line-up.”
As if following up on his previous statement, John Koller still remains positive that their first-party line-up is strong enough to wash over third-party non-exclusives. Dude, with an internal first-party studio group that huge, it’s hardly a surprise.
See, he thinks that exclusives – at least in the third-party sense – are a thing of the past and that they don’t matter in this current cycle of gaming history. What matters now are your first-party titles.
Speaking to vg247, PSP brand manager and SCEA big wig John Koller explains this scenario as such:
Exclusivity is something that doesnÂ’t truly exist in this cycle. What does exist is first-party product. ThatÂ’s your exclusive product.
Exclusivity in the last console was a much different proposition, because developers would have smaller development costs, and they wouldnÂ’t necessarily feel the need to advertise that across all platforms. At that time we had a Grand Theft Auto exclusive, we had EA Sports at the beginning of PS2, we had Final Fantasy. And then we had a tremendous line-up of first-party games, that started off with the Jak & Daxters but went to the SOCOMs.
We go to the next gen and Microsoft has the same thing. So you either have your first-party line-up, or you write cheques, and you need to buy that down.
True enough, their first-party lineup for the PSP and PS3 is looking great. And commenting on Microsoft’s never-quite-confirmed habit of having to “buy exclusives,” Koller adds:
Microsoft has had a much more lenient policy to writing cheques than we do.
We donÂ’t feel the need to write cheques necessarily with every publisher, like they did with the Lost and Damned and some other titles, because we feel very strongly in our first-party line-up.
I think itÂ’s safe to say that weÂ’d put our first-party line-up against anyoneÂ’s, and Microsoft and other manufacturers probably lead a little bit when theyÂ’re writing cheques about how they feel about their own internal line-up.
This actually somewhat echoes now-former SCEE boss David Reeves’ earlier statement about feeling confident that they don’t need to resort to bribery to get exclusives. As Reeves put it, exclusives are gained by establishing good relationships with the third-party devs (his example was Konami), and not determined by “giving them a paper bag full of cash.”
* “GTA Legends” fan art by Patrick Brown (deviantart page here)
- Sony: Our first-party is as big as MS and Ninty’s combined
- SCEE boss: built-in PSP hard drive still possible, PS3 to remain most expensive console, exclusives in terms of relationships (not bribes)