Sony clarifies platform exclusivity preferences

In-game content tied to PS3 is preferable to wholly-specific titles, says platform holder

Sony has shed some light on its thinking around platform exclusives, noting its preference to see specific in-game content tied to its PlayStation 3 platform, rather than locking down entire games.

That's according to Scott McCarthy, senior PlayStation software brand manager, who told ScrawlFX that ring-fencing a game for just one platform can limit overall sales - something the hardware manufacturer is reluctant to do for third-party publishers.

"We work very closely with our third-party publishers, not necessarily to lock down games exclusively, but to lock up exclusive parts of games," he explained. "A good example is Batman: Arkham Asylum, where you could only play as the Joker on PlayStation 3.

"When you make a title exclusive, you limit its promotional power; we don't want to do that. We want games to be as big as possible - it's great for the industry.

"However, we want to make sure that you play it on the best system possible, so we like to take parts of games and make them exclusive to the PlayStation system."

It's a change of policy from the PlayStation 2 days, when Sony-exclusive third party franchises included Grand Theft Auto and Final Fantasy - both of which have since made the jump to multi-platform.

One the highest profile content exclusives in the last few months for Sony was a deal with Ubisoft on Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, with the Copernicus Conspiracy containing new missions for gamers on the PS3 platform.

But Microsoft has also reportedly spent a considerable amount of money following a similar line, securing exclusive DLC for Grand Theft Auto IV, as well as timed exclusives for Call of Duty: Black Ops.

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Latest comments (3)

Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game10 years ago
Makes sense for the platform holders, but I hate system specific content far more than exclusive titles. To me, if you make a title exclusive to one platform, fine, it's your choice to go for one platform, only have to deal with one set of hardware, you balence the limit of potential customers against other concerns.

With specific content (that is down to deals with platforms, rather than technical limitations, or network restrictions on other platform blocking the content) you are saying, "Dear owners of console B, we want you to buy our new game for the same price owners of console A, but we are purposefully giving you less game for your money. You lose out, but we win because you will still buy the game, so we don't lose sales, and the money from platform a gave us an awesome xmas party." Still, makes perfect financial sense.
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Haven Tso Web-based Game Reviewer 10 years ago
Probably because it is getting more expensive to get the whole game exclusivity unless it is an inhouse first party game. On the other hand, DLC exclusivity is a lot cheaper. I think it is just more financial strategy than "for the good of the industry / customers". Just think about the money they can save when they don't need to be responsible for the marketing side of an exclusive game as compare to just an announcement of an exclusive DLC.
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Charles Dawkins10 years ago
I agree why should the customer be charged for less content at the same price point. At least with DLC it's not on the disk (sometimes). Completley unfair to the customer.
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