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Controversy over Xbox 360 exclusivity deals

Tue 28 Jun 2011 8:47am GMT / 4:47am EDT / 1:47am PDT
Publishing

Namco Bandai manager backtracks on claims that Microsoft paid for exclusive Tales Of Vesperia deal

A Namco Bandai Europe community manager has withdrawn comments suggesting that Microsoft paid for Xbox 360 exclusivity on role-playing title Tales Of Vesperia, despite earlier claiming the opposite.

Junior community manager Charlotte Toci previously claimed via Facebook that Microsoft had paid to ensure that Tales Of Vesperia remained an Xbox 360 exclusive in the West and was not be released on the PlayStation 3 outside of Japan.

"Microsoft paid for the exclusivity the same way Sony paid for having Heavy Rain only on PS3," she originally said. "It's just one way the business works, sadly. Those decisions are made really high up y'know, we do try and give them the max of fan feedback, but sometimes it's just out of our hands."

Toci has now insisted she had no official information before making the statement and has retracted her claims.

"A few months ago I replied to a fan who asked me why Tales of Vesperia wasn't localised in Europe on my Facebook page. I replied that it was because of a Microsoft exclusivity, thinking that that was the reason why, even though I didn't have any official information on that," she claimed in a recent post.

"I was wrong to do so, and sadly my reply was relayed on many websites, thus sharing a false information to fans around the web."

"I would like to send my sincere apologies to all the Tales Series fans I have wrongly informed, and Microsoft and Namco Bandai for any damage that might have been caused with this."

Although lower profile exclusivity deals such as the one originally implied by Toci are still believed to take place within the industry they are rarely acknowledged by either publishers or console manufacturers.

Namco Bandai has not yet commented on why Tales Of Vesperia has not been released on PlayStation 3 in the West.

7 Comments

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,235 396 0.3
If a game is made for 2 formats, but outside of a particular territory it is only localised on one, and there is no viable suggestion that it would succeed globally on one format and fail on another, is there really any doubt that somewhere along the way it's either a financially or politically driven decision? And in this case I can't see much political incentive, so with or without that statement I'm pretty sure it is financial. Is anyone really that shocked it could happen? I'm guessing the only reason it wasn't exclusive in Japan, is that it is expected that there will be the strongest sales for the game, but not if it is released on the Xbox, with it's weak Japanese install base.

Posted:3 years ago

#1
Who cares...lets face it we all know exclusives are purchased the only question is what games are targeted and if they secure the real exclusive deal only appearing on one system or the timed exclusive deal for less money. Where is the Contraversy??

Posted:3 years ago

#2

John Bye
Senior Game Designer

480 451 0.9
In most industries this would be considered anti-competitive behaviour, surely? Paying a company to develop a game exclusively for your system (especially if you're publishing it) is all well and good. But actively paying a third party *not* to release their game on a rival system (or to delay that release for several months), particularly if it's available on that system in other territories, is clearly not good for the consumer.

Posted:3 years ago

#3

Jake Clayton

54 0 0.0
Aye it should one day violate anti competition laws, heres hoping, but it doesn't at the moment, or sony/microsoft are brass enough to wave their e-penis's in public shows of wangometry.

Hopefully a law will be enacted in europe leading to the end of anti-competitive behavour in the console industry.

Posted:3 years ago

#4

Andrew Goodchild
Studying development

1,235 396 0.3
You could argue that it's not a case of just paying them not to release it, they are paying them to exclusively do the localisation development.

Posted:3 years ago

#5

Barrie Tingle
Live Producer

368 144 0.4
There aren't many other industries this can happen with which is why it probably isn't anti competitive.
What they can/possibly would do if it came into being a law is say that the agreement is that the money they give to developers is to help fund the games development. That way they "own" a part of the game rather than paying to keep it off the competitors platform.

Posted:3 years ago

#6

Alfonso Sexto
Lead Tester

782 588 0.8
I remember Bandai Namco using the argument that "We are not releasing Vesperia for PS3 in the west since the game in Xbox did not sold well in Europe".

Well, if you promise japanese voices and full text localisation and we find English voices and no translation in a single text... what do you expect?. Specially in Italy and Spain, where a very low percentage of people can read/understand English.

Blamin the final user for a mediocre distribution is quite unprofessional if you ask me.

Posted:3 years ago

#7

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