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Sony: Publisher exclusivity probably "a thing of the past"

Tue 26 Aug 2008 7:00am GMT / 3:00am EDT / 12:00am PDT

SCEE president David Reeves explains that developer deals are more likely

Sony Computer Entertainment

Sony Computer Entertainment is a Japanese videogame company specialising in a variety of areas in the...

playstation.com

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president David Reeves has told GamesIndustry.biz that he believes deals with publishers to make certain titles platform exclusives is probably "a thing of the past" - but that working directly with developers is something "that works".

He was speaking during an interview at last week's Games Convention on how a platform's software line-up was more of a hardware sales driver than price point - and whether or not that speaks to the company's investment in first party exclusives.

"It does, and I put it this way: we believe that investment in our own intellectual properties - as particularly Phil Harrison and I tried to do in the last five years with SingStar, or with The Getaway, or with Buzz! - these are ours, we can put them in our cupboard," he said. "It's like a patent. We can take them forward.

"We have to accept more and more that platform holders themselves cannot have exclusives unless they're given millions and millions of dollars not to develop a particular game for one particular platform.

"But for developers, and you could take someone like Quantic Dream for example - a great game, it takes a lot of time to develop, they need a little bit of funding, external development. In exchange, it's exclusive - that works. So exclusivity possibly with developers is more likely that exclusivity with publishers."

And Reeves hinted that some of the key announcements from Sony at Tokyo Games Show would be software-related.

"Shuhei [Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios] can tell you what else is coming out, maybe he's told you already, but there are certainly from Japan going to be some really, really good stuff - both on PlayStation Portable and PlayStation 3," he said. "You haven't seen it yet, we only see it in development, and they are external and internal developers."

But he did say that it wouldn't be beyond Sony to work with publishers on something should the situation warrant it.

"I think we have to accept that exclusivity is not a thing of the past, but it is probably with publishers. We might do a few things, where we feel that we need a push here or a push there."

The full GamesIndustry.bizinterview with David Reeves is available now.

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