Fri. Mar 24th, 2023


This week’s gaming news has been dominated by Microsoft’s controversial decision to buy timed Xbox exclusivity for the next Tomb Raider game. While this isn’t an unusual practice historically, a Sony executive is trying to make some money by saying the PlayStation 4 doesn’t have to buy exclusive games. Except when it does…

In an interview with CVG, PlayStation Europe’s Jim Ryan said Sony’s stable of first- and second-party exclusives, as well as exclusive and early content in games such as Destinationis enough to make the PlayStation 4 attractive.

“So do we feel the need to go out and buy outright exclusivity? Probably not,” Ryan said. ‘You saw it last night [at Sony’s press conference] that we showed updated videos of games we revealed at E3 before the media briefing. That’s because we wanted to keep the show itself full of new, fresh stuff. We think this has given us a good, strong, compelling portfolio of exclusives, and we’re pleased with that.”

But in response to the next question regarding independent games, Ryan admitted that the company is essentially buying its way into exclusivity. After discussing things like lighter paperwork and bureaucracy for indie developers, Ryan said that “the icing on the cake is we’re going to look at a small number of games and try to help the developer make those games as successful as they can, And that support can take many forms. This can be in the form of financial supportcould it take the form of Hello Games’ Sean Murray on stage at E3 – there’s a lot of ways to do it, and we’re trying not to be prescriptive and say ‘this is the template to follow, this is the path ‘ .'” (Emphasis added.)

So basically Ryan is saying that Sony doesn’t buy exclusivity for PS4 games… except when they do, for indie games.

To give Ryan the benefit of the doubt, let’s assume his first statement can only apply to large, big-budget third-party publishers. That would suggest that third-party games like Capcom’s are on their way Deep insideSquare Enix Final Fantasy XIVand CCPs Fabric 514 are exclusive PS4 consoles for reasons of technical performance or console audience determined by the publisher, and not because of business deals with Sony. We’ve reached out to Sony to clarify its position on this matter and will update this article if we hear back.

Update (August 18): A Sony representative provided Ars Technica with the following statement:

“We’re evaluating every opportunity to provide gamers with great experiences, including outright exclusivity, timed exclusive offers and exclusive content. We believe in flexibility, look at different options and create unique experiences for gamers.”

By akfire1

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