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Sony: MS has "very few" first-party studios

Wed 17 Feb 2010 9:27am GMT / 4:27am EST / 1:27am PST
HardwarePublishing

VP says company is out-pacing rival on first-party software, and closing gap on third-party

Rob Dyer, SCEA's senior VP of publisher relations has said that while Microsoft is more likely to attract third-party developed exclusives such as Mass Effect, it doesn't have enough first-party studios delivering the same level of content as Sony.

"They have very few first-party studios at Microsoft," Dyer said, in an interview with IndustryGamers. "Bungie's next Halo is the last one, Rare rarely puts out anything, you've got Peter Molyneux with his Fable stuff... but they don't have first-party development studios inside at Redmond or anywhere for that matter. We do.

"So rather than putting their money behind that, they've been going to Epic or Valve or BioWare to do what they did with Mass Effect, and that's where they throw their dollars."

"We're not going to compete with Microsoft on that front," he added. "But what we have is a global business here. Our global business is bigger than 360's and will continue to get bigger than 360, and people are seeing that. We passed them in Europe and they don't even exist in Japan, and we're going to catch them and pass them here in the US as well."

The PS3's $299 price point has "resonated", Dyer said, to the extent that many US stores are now seeing shortages.

But the even better news, he added, is how the increase in the console's installed base has translated into software sales.

"They had a year's head start against us, so we've been playing catch-up ball," he said. "Before the price cut, they had a two-to-one advantage; if you were a third-party publisher looking at the index, you should have been selling twice the number of units on the 360 as you would on the PS3."

However, that hasn't been Sony's findings, and Dyer says the ratio is down to 1.6 to 1.0 - "What we've been finding is that outside of the shooter category we literally over-index every single category - sports, fighting, action/adventure, music, etc."

"We do better for our publishing community than 360 does," Dyer stated, drawing attention in particular to Madden, which he says had an index of 1.4 to 1.0. "That's only going to get better and better as the installed base continues to grow."

"We're not going to get the exclusive games," he admitted. "The Mass Effects, Gears of Wars and Left 4 Deads aren't going to happen nearly as often."

"But we have our own first-party development and exclusives like Final Fantasy XIV and Agent. Exclusives just aren't as commonplace as they were during the PS2 days.

"What is going to be the driving force is either exclusive ad campaigns, like the Madden campaign, or exclusive content like we had with Batman.

"The PS3 version outsold the 360 version, and what we've said to [developers] is, 'if you take advantage of what the PS3 can deliver more content on the Blu-ray disc, better graphics, being able to get more of what the player wants onto the disc you're going to see those sales translate'."

12 Comments

Terence Gage
Freelance writer

1,288 120 0.1
To be honest, I wish these corporate executives would focus more on their own output and brands rather than trying to undermine one another.

While what he says is obviously true, he is kind of ignoring the fact that Microsoft have had incredible success getting exclusives on console franchises like Gears, Mass Effect, et al. However, I do think that it may be a problem for MS in the future if and when exclusivity contracts expire and their developers/publishers feel a multiplatform release is more beneficial than a cash sum to remain exclusive.

Posted:4 years ago

#1

Alex Wright-Manning
Talent Acquisition Manager

172 2 0.0
Yawn. My console's better than your console. My dad can beat up your dad. Quality will out, and the console wars will be won by the company that produces the best content for the consumer, not petty back biting and attempts to undermine your competitors in the press.

It brings to mind Hamlet; 'Methinks the lady doth protest too much'.

Posted:4 years ago

#2

Simon Johnson
Studying Computer Science with Games Development

2 0 0.0
I love reading these reports, every few weeks some exec decides it's time to give the fanboys some fresh meat for the shitstorm sessions. My cock is bigger than your cock because I'm stating a figure from either A) our internal marketing team who's job it is to play with the figures to make us look good or B) I'm using figures from an obscure report from someone/some-company none of you reading this has ever encountered before.

Posted:4 years ago

#3

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,232 1.0
I can see some of these execs back when they were kids, "My Magnavox Odyssey 200 is better than your Coleco Telstar."

And yes, this and comments like it are the fuel for fanboy fires.

Posted:4 years ago

#4

Alex Wright-Manning
Talent Acquisition Manager

172 2 0.0
Jimmy you little firestarter you. Everybody knows the Magnavox ruled. The last thing we want is for GI.biz to become yet another internet fanboy battleground.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alex Wright-Manning on 18th February 2010 9:47am

Posted:4 years ago

#5
It's all about quality and not quantity.

Posted:4 years ago

#6

Sean Workman
Community Manager/Co-owner

1 0 0.0
I do have to admit though that I get a little fired up (in a bad way) when I see exclusivity used as a weapon. Microsoft's $50M expenditure on the GTA DLC that ended up not panning out is a prime example. I'd rather see that money go to funding exclusive content by Microsoft than stifling third party content from the competition's platform. It's happened on both sides, but I feel it's more commonplace this generation for Microsoft to throw money at "taking away from Sony" then to see them wisely spending money to better their own platform. I guess if that's the case, it'll eventually bite them in the ass. 2009 was pretty pitiful for 360 exclusives in my opinion. Whether it was a speed bump or a brick wall is something we'll find out this year.

Posted:4 years ago

#7

Jim Webb
Executive Editor/Community Director

2,246 2,232 1.0
Alex, don't knock my Coleco, man. It had like 100, 50....uh, 2 really great games on it.

Seriously though, there is more executive mud slinging this generation than all previous generations combined.

I remember when the corporate mud slinging was left to the marketing departments. Now the fanboy battlefield generals get their marching orders directly from the execs themselves.

Posted:4 years ago

#8

Cobey Jones
Studying Game development

20 0 0.0
While I don't want to take anything away from the XBox or MSFT, The PlayStation 3 is a superior system to develop for. The truth is that the the Blu-Ray capacity translates to higher capabilities... that have yet to be tapped. I look foward to developing games for both major platforms, but particularly for the PS3.

Posted:4 years ago

#9

Alex Wright-Manning
Talent Acquisition Manager

172 2 0.0
Jimmy, do you think we could reignite the Coleco/Magnavox fanboy base? I've a feeling it would be considerably more genteel than the current fanboy flame wars.

Bold words Cobey. Superior system long term it may be, but just ask Valve how easy it is to develop for. And what sort of term are you looking at for these capabilities to be tapped? Enough time for Microsoft to bring their next platform to market perhaps? Christ, now I sound like a fanboy....

Regardless, I look forward to seeing you in gainful employment within the industry. A few words of advice; work your ass off at University, look to complete an MA and perhaps a PhD, start speaking with studios now and network, network, network.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Alex Wright-Manning on 18th February 2010 9:48am

Posted:4 years ago

#10

Barla Von
Designer

31 0 0.0
Battle of the suits indeed.

Posted:4 years ago

#11
From what I understand Rockstar paid back that 50 million to MS. So you really can't say a loan that grants you some exclusivity is a bad thing. I know many developers that would say PS3 is not the superior system. it just depends how you quantify that statement. BluRay can hold oodles of data, but the drive in the PS3 is too slow to stream from the disc. The GPU in PS3 is in someways slower or less capable then the GPU in the 360. Anyway calling either a superior system at this point doesn't make sense. What does make sense is which system delivers a better game playing experience. IMO that is currently the 360 .

Posted:4 years ago

#12

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