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Sony: Microsoft policies "dumbing down" game content

SCEA's Rob Dyer says Microsoft's content policies protect its "inferior technology"

Sony Computer Entertainment America's Rob Dyer has accused Microsoft of imposing unreasonable restrictions on publishers.

In an interview with IndustryGamers , Dyer, SCEA's senior vice president of publisher relations, responded to the contents of Microsoft's Content Submission and Release Policy.

The doument was obtained by Eurogamer last week. It stated that, "Titles for Xbox 360 must ship at least simultaneously with other video game platform, and must have at least feature and content parity on-disc with the other video game platform versions in all regions where the title is available."

"If these conditions are not met, Microsoft reserves the right to not allow the content to be released on Xbox 360."

Dyer claimed that Sony has known about Microsoft's policies "for quite some time", and accused Microsoft of "protecting an inferior technology."

"I think they want to dumb it down and keep it as pedestrian as possible so that if you want to do anything for Blu-ray or you have extra content above 9 gigs or you want to do anything of that nature, you'd better sure as heck remember that Microsoft can't handle that," he said.

Dyer pointed to the "litany" of requirements for getting a game accepted for Xbox Live, where Microsoft can dictate exclusivity periods, IP ownership, and even ask that developers work from an office to qualify.

"We're not pushing that. In fact, we've gone the other way to try and encourage publishers through our Pub Fund ," he added.

"We want to welcome the indies and we've seen that become a very big part of our business because indies are recognising that we aren't demanding a pound of flesh in order for them to get a game published on our network."

However, Dyer believes that Microsoft has now extended these demands beyond smaller companies to "B and A level publishers".

"So potentially any time we've gone out and negotiated exclusive content of things that we've announced at things like DPS or E3, publishers are getting the living crap kicked out of them by Microsoft because they are doing something for the consumer that is better on our platform than it might be perceived on theirs."

"So from a creativity standpoint and what we are doing to try to make it better for the consumer, our view is Microsoft's doing everything they can to eliminate that because they have an inferior technology."

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Latest comments (38)

gi biz ;,pgc.eu 7 years ago
Oh well, Microsoft has been "dumbing down" final users for years now, so it doesn't seem too much of a new discovery what Dyer has to say. In those years I also tried to understand why people keep on willingly give money to MS (as opposed to those tricked into buying preinstalled Windows licenses), but I think good marketing is the only answer. Little tricks like the one mentioned here, auto renewal of overpriced XBLA yearly subscription with no right of canceling, or the insane effort put into changing the office file format with every damn version (which is the same as the old one if it wasn't for that) just to keep libreOffice one step "behind", that's what made MS what it is today.
I hope that at least among us pofessionals there is a good share of people thinking about his own decisions before coughin up any money. At least after reading such news.
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Jake Clayton7 years ago
"auto renewal of overpriced XBLA yearly subscription with no right of canceling"

I'll be civil by only pointing out these 2 mistake ;-)

Auto renewal is a feature you have to turn on, without you hitting the button your xbox live will just expire at the end of your period.

(can be cancelled online [link url=https://live.xbox.com/en-GB/account?xr=shellnav)
]https://live.xbox.com/en-GB/account?xr=s...[/link]

Also if you phone up they cancel it right away, and ask if there was any problems they could sort out which would make you return in the future.

If you say the price via xbox is more than you have seen the service via redeemable cards elsewhere, they beat the amazon (the cheapest last time i checked) by 30%.

"(as opposed to those tricked into buying preinstalled Windows licenses)"

And why are people tricked into buying windows liscences? If someone can't even check to see if an operating system comes with a computer, how are they going to be expected to learn how to use a new operating system from scratch.

You just sound really bitter and typing without a clear sense of what services your attacking out of some sort of misguided vendetta.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 7 years ago
Jake I second your opinion that Michele is coming across as bitter.

You dont have to like Microsoft but at the same time Sony is not without its policies and rules and regulations.
The same goes for Nintendo as well.

At the end of the day this is business and all 3 console makers will do what they can to protect their slice of the pie.

At the end of the day if you dont like the rules dont publish on that console, use that companies software or work for them or any company linked to them.
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Show all comments (38)
Adam Pike7 years ago
Says sony. . . Do these people understand what irony is?

They're both holding things back, they're just fighting over who's shit stinks worse.
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gi biz ;,pgc.eu 7 years ago
@jake What I said about xbla is based on some article I read on GamesIndustry.biz about a guy pursuing MS after they charged him without him knowing and refusing to refund or suspend subscription. I have no direct experience with xbox, but I assume news on this site to be true. About pricing, it's not about comparing to other services.

Unfortunatly, saying that "they're just defending their slice of market" is a Machiavellian statement that would justify anything. A clause like "other platform ports should not be superior to the xbox version" is shocking, it damages videogames, users and competitors. Most games are made available for all platforms, and this is a publisher's requirement, so developers, and finally customers, have just no choice. IMO, freedom of choice is very important.

I disagree with your statement about preinstalled OS, but discussing about this is OT and would require way more time and space than we both have here. I can only point you to the allegory of the cave, as a starting point.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 7 years ago
Michele, honestly Sony are not without their own heavy handed rules and regulations either.
Its not a black and white judgement here and personally I found in the past Sony used to have such an ego about them that they could be very difficult to work with.
Sony are good at calling out Microsoft and Nintendo and at times to me I see this as arrogant or just moaning and complaining that others are playing the same game they used to.

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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 7 years ago
Who cares at the end of the day, if the content is enjoyable and entertaining? :) Doesnt matter what console you use, people need to pull their finger out and just relax, enjoy and be entertained. Let the platform holders fight it out. Even Sony and MS should just relax and keep this sort of talk behind closed doors or in the local pub.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 7 years ago
Well said Aleksi.
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Jake Clayton7 years ago
@michelle it wasn't a charge without him knowing ;-)

It was a double charge due to him keeping expired card details on xbox live while having auto-renew on.

The second he updated with his new card details it billed him automatically (But the way he has updated his card details is by entering them to purchase another subscription). Now it's made quite clear that if you have auto-renew on this will happen if your card lapses and you enter another one.

Which has mean't he now has 2 years of subscription, because he didn't even read the description of a feature he switched on.

And now he doesn't want 2 years, so he is sueing. [link url=http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/08/03/Microdouble.pdf
]http://www.courthousenews.com/2011/08/03...[/link]

Yeah that's the dude sueing for 5,000,000 dollars for his own stupidity.



And of course microsoft is going to be anticompetitive as far as they can within the law, everyone is in the game industry.
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Sounds like jealousy to me - if Sony was in the leading position, they would mandate extra PS3 features, etc. Just like the classic PS2 rule "If the game doesn't use x% of the console power, it doesn't get released".
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Jake Clayton7 years ago
I know barrie, it's beautiful, He is also apointing himself representative of all those who use xbox live in the US.
(Thats why the damages are so high, so the pot should be split and no future cases can be brought realistically)

But for that to happen he is requesting the details (Names, addresses and emails) of every North american user, now this is important because.

If it was a court order, microsoft would have to ablige and give all the details of those customers, and they would then be contacted to be joint plaintiffs and therefor earn their share if the case is successful.

Because it's just a statement of microsoft being able to share the database, it makes microsoft look bad if they don't as it looks like they are withholding money (when infact their loss if it is a loss will be the same either way). But if they do share the details, thats one of the largest email lists ever compiled, worth a hell of alot of money that they would have to hand over to one man and his representative. (privacy concerns, plus the legal ramifications of such a move would be harsh).

Therefor the man if he wins (perfectly feasable with todays american court system sadly) will be the sole recipient of the awarded sum and the earnest will be on others who have made the same mistake to contact the courts and prove that they too should be party to the awarded funds.


Whole thing smells of one man's get rich quick scheme and i hope he gets laughed out of court and has to pay heavy costs.
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Jake Clayton7 years ago
Oops getting quite off topic about another article.

Sorry mods and readers :P
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Andrew Goodchild Studying development, Train2Game7 years ago
Frankly what he seems to be moaning about, the thing he wants sony to be able to do, actually winds me up, so I would argue Microsoft are spot on.
"You can buy this game for £40 on system A or £40 on system B. But system B has more content."
" Oh is that due to technical limitations?"
" No, actually, just some political deal between one platform holder."
"Oh so one bunch of customers pays the same, to get less, for no reason other than who gave the best handshake. Isn't that one bunch of customers getting screwed? "
"yeah but now one company is writing in terms and conditions that they won't stand for there customers getting screwed in that way, how evil!"
"But Blueray holds more."
"Now I'm just guessing, but doesn't the licence fee for 1 Blueray come to less than producing 2 or 3 DVDs?"

Of course it's irrelevent, as parity of content on disc can be circumvented with exclusive in pack DLC.
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John Pile Asst Professor of Game Programming, Champlain College7 years ago
This is just pure Sony spin, trying to make it sound like they've "always been" Indie developer friendly.

The executive accuses Microsoft of dictating terms for development: "Dyer pointed to the "litany" of requirements for getting a game accepted for Xbox Live, where Microsoft can dictate exclusivity periods, IP ownership, and even ask that developers work from an office to qualify. ... "We're not pushing that. In fact, we've gone the other way to try and encourage publishers through our Pub Fund ," he added.

Yet what is Sony asking? Exclusivity in order for an Indie developer to publish on the PS3: "We're looking for a number of great games, and in return for exclusivity we'll match your development budget with guaranteed royalties."

But for an Indie developer, exclusivity is very dangerous. Thriving in the Indie market often requires releasing on every platform you can (Linux, Pc, Mac, iOS, Android). All these platforms have had some type of AppStore/AppHub/Market/Steam, etc for quite a while now. And while they each may have their own issues, they're allowing the developers to bypass the publishers.

Sony is both late to the game and is trying to justify their "Pub Fund" concept. They said it themselves, "The purpose of the Pub Fund is to fund publishing rather than development."
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Klaus Preisinger Freelance Writing 7 years ago
If the rules of platform holders were fair, there would be no need to come up with them in the first place. Any publisher would simply do what he wants and the market vote with its wallet; a libertarian utopia of games. No company in their right minds would ever do that.
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Doug Kennedy President, Reverb Communications7 years ago
People should care, Microsoft's policies are draconian, as a “B” level publisher I can’t even publish directly on the Microsoft platform due to their ridiculous rules (in my case I have to sub-publish with a partner), the industry is shifting to a digital model, yet Microsoft has implemented a laundry list of inhibiting rules which punish small developers and publishers, 50,000 unit minimum orders if you want to ship a retail product, 3 retail titles must be shipped if you want to ship 1 XBLA title *if* you are approved to have a Microsoft PLA, and once you have a PLA you must adhere to the regulations outlined by Ron Dyer.

Dyer and SCEA have worked hard to foster an environment of support for smaller publishers and independent developers. I’m no Sony fan-boy, if you look at the titles I am shipping this year Dungeon Defenders, Jeremy McGrath Offroad and others, it’s an equal number of cross platform and exclusive PSN and XBLA games, I haven’t taken sides. What I will say is Microsoft has made it “ungodly” difficult for small companies, in fact they rarely want to work with small teams. When they do they shovel the teams off to Microsoft Games Studio (MGS) for 1 week of marketing and public relations support and a 50 percent take of the developers game revenue = an epic failure for 12-18 months of hard work put forth by the development teams– as a sidebar can anyone point out any team that has signed a deal with MGS that can honestly say it was a success and they are happy with it? I have a long list of unsatisfied developers who feel burned and regret the deal….

I’m glad Dyer has pointed this out because most small publishers and developers are simply keeping their mouths shut simply too afraid while holding out *hope* that someday they will get onto Xbox360 or XBLA platforms. The future of this industry will come from small independent teams, it’s interesting that Microsoft hasn’t figured this out.

Kudos to Dyer and the SCEA team for the ongoing incubation of smaller teams.
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Steven Pick Lead Graphic Designer, Atomhawk Design7 years ago
More fanboyish Sony PR.
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Bill Garrison Studying Student, DigiPen Institute of Technology7 years ago
Seems like a lot of people in the comment thread are willing to push indie developers onto a dagger in the name of Microsoft's brand integrity.
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Daniel Hinkles Management/Design 7 years ago
My xbox live subscription auto renewed and I never set that up. I was broke ass poor back then too and didn't even own my 360 when it renewed.
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John Donnelly Quality Assurance 7 years ago
Devin,
I think some of us see through the context of what is being said as Sony making noise.
Sony as I had said can be heavy handed and do not always play nice.
In the console world where you have the final say on a product going to market either at retail or on a service like XBLA there will always be rules.
Even steam seen as the best system for indies is not perfect for everyone.

Anyone who does not like what is being asked can make their own decision to publish on a Microsoft platform or not.

Instead of Sony calling Micosoft out like this they could do it in private.
That and indies or smaller developers/publishers can always push back and say no to Microsoft.
If enough people do that the rules will change.
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Tim Wright Managing Director, Tantrumedia Limited7 years ago
Just had to comment on the Xbox subscription topic...

I had to resort to incredible lengths to get my son out of the clutches of Microsoft. Umpteen telephone calls, two of which were going well until we wanted to cancel and we were put on hold and cut off! One of the operatives even talked us through cancellation using the website, we got to the pivotal moment and it didn't work, he said, "Oh... right, I'll have to do that manually here for you". He told us it was done. Next month, more money came out. It was a nightmare!

The only way I eventually managed to wriggle free was to register a new card for an bank account I no longer used, and then cancelled the card with the bank. This was less than a year ago.
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RE: XBL Subscriptions, Microsoft is actually pretty shifty in that department. If you pay via any method other than pre-paid, the subscription is AUTOMATICALLY renewed. Regardless of the initial period (month/3month/etc).

The shifty part comes in when Microsoft allows you to login online and see your billing account, the card attached, your next billing period, the price of eggs in China--and a whole lot of other information, however, when you click "cancel subscription" you are taken to another website with phone numbers to call to cancel your subscription. (Which in my case weren't even region correct for my account).

From my *PERSONAL* experience this is severely outdated in this day and age, the subscription can ONLY be cancelled by calling a Microsoft call centre, waiting to be answered and then convincing the person on the other end that you don't need XBL anymore, who can be quite badgering about cancelling the subscription. [And tend not to answer the phone during the prescribed hours on the website].
Compare this method to most other subscription services that start online or can be accessed online (MMORPGs, various memberships etc), the only reason that Microsoft would bother with this would be to catch those 'lazy customers' who have a habit of signing up to a service and then forgetting to un-subscribe then they no longer use it.


Anyway, in reference to what Sony said, it's pretty accurate. Look at CCP & Dust514, or any other online cross platform console game that requires any leniency on Microsoft's part. I get that they want to keep the system and it's users safe, but there is such a thing as being over cautious.
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Christopher Garratty Associate Counsel, Activision Blizzard7 years ago
Seems to me there's a lot of difference between Sony offering Rocksteady (or WB/Eidos/Squeenix/whoever) better terms (more money/lower royalty cut) for more content and Microsoft reserving the right to "not allow the content to be released on Xbox 360" if the game offers more content on another platform or releases on another platform first.

Providing incentives for more content has got to be better for the industry than punishing anyone who strays from the lowest common denominator hasn't it?

I would like to know if there are any concrete examples of a title that was either (a) published on PSN first or; (b) had exclusive content on PS3; and was subsequently refused by MS.

Otherwise, this is just a big bluff clause that someone ought to call MS on.
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Bruno Brøsted Incident Manager 7 years ago
@Aleksi: "Who cares at the end of the day, if the content is enjoyable and entertaining?"

That is just it - if Microsoft is holding the business back then we should all care because the only one winning in that game is Microsoft. You're statement simply does not make sense which shows you're either tooting the coporate line or worse you believe Microsoft is doing something meant to benefit us all.
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Bonnie Patterson Narrative Designer, Writer 7 years ago
Valve, hurry up and make a console so we can all just get on with loving you on all bases.

That said, have to agree with Christopher above. Carrot > Stick for developers and publishers in an industry that will only thrive (to the benefit of everyone in it) on innovation and quality.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Bonnie Patterson on 5th September 2011 6:05pm

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Terence Gage Freelance writer 7 years ago
"I would like to know if there are any concrete examples of a title that was either (a) published on PSN first or; (b) had exclusive content on PS3; and was subsequently refused by MS."

I was always surprised Trine never showed up on XBL; being one of the most high-quality PSN releases and fairly critically acclaimed. Also, I'm not sure what the deal is with Sony Pub Fund games (I once read it was for a one year exclusive?), but Joe Danger was at one point going to show up on PS3, 360 and PC, but obviously the other two versions were knocked on the head - perhaps Hello decided to skip any ports of JD in favour of its sequel, or maybe the Pub Fund ties devs in to a longer exclusive.

Either way, I don't think Sony are flawless in their exclusivity and/or content policies, but it does seem that they are now working to do more with smaller devs as well as having a more open system.
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Christopher Bowen Editor in Chief, Gaming Bus7 years ago
First off: if we're going to talk about the Xbox Live policy that "can't be cancelled" and autobills (if you buy it online), let's talk about PlayStation Plus, shall we? My three month purchase was with a card, from a store. This was INTENTIONALLY to prevent an autobill. I repeat: I did NOT WANT TO AUTOBILL. So I get home with my purchased, non-refundable code, and I type it in. I get a message saying that the system was going to enable auto-billing on my account. If I didn't like it, I would not be allowed to redeem the code. Well, now what? Either way, the money's spent.

It gets more fun. This was before the hacking incident, and all that downtime. Because of this, and the added time, I was unsure of when I would rebill. I found out when I saw the $18 charge on my credit card statement, and the email saying I'd been rebilled. You can guess how that phone call to Sony went; that's an hour I'll never have back.

The ultimate lesson: there is no difference between Evil Corporation Microsoft and Evil Corporation Sony. They are both openly hostile to their customers, they both have been for decades - not years, decades - and their adventures in the consumer games markets are just an expansion of that. So I don't really pay attention when Sony insults Microsoft or vice versa, because really, Sony is just as guilty of everything they've ever accused Microsoft of. If people don't like that, well, maybe they should have bought a few more Dreamcasts.
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Doug Kennedy President, Reverb Communications7 years ago
Microsoft will not allow a title to ship on PSN and then come to the XBLA platform, it doesn’t happen. For those on this board that think my comments were “Fanboyish” why don’t you go ask publishers and developers how difficult it is to take your title to XBLA compared to PSN? Microsoft makes the process almost impossible if you are not a holder of a Microsoft PLA, and add MS’s unwillingness to license new publishers and developers for PLA’s, have you ever been through the process of having to fly to Seattle and sit down to present to the team? You would think you were adopting a baby, your company is put through the ringer, questioned, dissected, insulted (yes your 3 game designs will be ridiculed to no end) and then put through the ringer again, all in an effort to bring content to the XBOX platform – and make Microsoft money!. SCEA on the other hand will provide a license to pretty much any publisher or developer that can demonstrate a sustainable business model.

Call me a fan-boy, that’s fine, I’m a huge fan-boy for independent developers and publishers that are looking to breakout and build successful games. I agree that both companies have regulations, but at least in SCEA’s case you can have an opportunity to self-publish on the platform, with Microsoft *if* you can get to the platform you have to go through one of the select PLA holders, (pay them a fee 10%-20%) put the game on XBLA (pay MS a fee 30%, and that’s provided your PLA partner has shipped enough retail content to allow an XBLA game to ship) and let the money trickle down through a bunch of hands (MS, PLA holder) until it reaches the developers, who put forth the creativity and work = the developers once again get paid last.

In SCEA case, the game gets placed on PSN and the developer gets paid directly by SCEA.
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Aleksi Ranta Category Management Project Manager 7 years ago
"That is just it - if Microsoft is holding the business back then we should all care because the only one winning in that game is Microsoft. You're statement simply does not make sense which shows you're either tooting the coporate line or worse you believe Microsoft is doing something meant to benefit us all."

How do we know whos winning and losing? Ok, developers maybe losing out but consumers dont seem to care.
How is Microsoft holding the business back? Im sure if that was the case consumers again would have caught on and demanded more from MS and not kept buying into their inferior and out of date console and service?. Maybe im biased but to me this just seems like some corporate hen-fighting. One thing MS does poorly, another thing it does well. Same goes for Sony. Same goes for Ninty.

OF COURSE developers are pissed because there is no easy way to publish on both consoles, but life is choices, sometimes you cant have the cake and also eat it. If Sonys platform is so much better, i would suspect that everything would only published on it and nothing on X360? Or if MS really was squeezing developers too hard in sure the Devs would have made a big shift towards Sonys platform?

But hey, what do I know, I only sell this stuff.

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David Spender Lead Programmer 7 years ago
Facts are facts even if its Sony bringing them to light - Microsoft's policies stink.
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Murray Lorden Game Designer & Developer, MUZBOZ7 years ago
I think maybe Sony are just spinning this drivel to get the attention of INDIE's, maybe just trying to say, "Hey guys, we're still over here in the corner! Come and play with us. I know you all prefer XBox indie, but we're going to make an effort now. And we're going to pick on Microsoft for a bit just to get some press, so people talk about it."

Well, I think we just fell for it. :)

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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 7 years ago
Ah, yes, we certainly did! Microsoft's support and Sony's lack of it explains why Flight Control is out on XBLA but not on PSN. Oh, wait....
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Lee Walton Co-Founder & Art Director, No More Pie7 years ago
hmm, interesting debate- here's some numbers to make you think about platforms: PS3s sold= 50million, Xbox360s sold= 55million, iOS devices sold= 120million, and PCs lifetime sales are over 1billion and estimated to reach 2billion by 2014!
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James Ingrams Writer 7 years ago
@Lee Walton. I am a PC gamer, never been a console gamer. It doesn't help when people talk about 1 billion or 2 billion PC sales. The fact is, for every multi-format game released the PC version will sell in the region of 1/3 of what that game sells on 360 and PS3. For arguments sake well assume that would be for a Fallout 3 or Oblivion, a game that was well received on all formats.

The question is why, when there are 500 million PC's in North American and European homes, that PC games can only manage 5 million units at best? The industry is missing out on a huge market that it ignores, but then that's because it's run by idiots, as this and many articles show.

Since roughly 2005, when the multi-format "next Gen" market came about, there have seen ever more homogenised games, and correspondingly, the slow dropping off of game sales,now down roughly 40% in three years. The industry, of course, says it's the economy. But what they ignore is the fact that entertainment goes UP in recessions. Things like movie visits, DVD sales, music sales are up, albeit by small amounts. Only gaming is down.

This expose of what Microsoft is demanding of Sony, etc, just shows how worried they are and how they are continuing to cut their nose off to spite their face.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by James Ingrams on 6th September 2011 11:03am

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Ashley Barley Community Manager, Frontier Developments7 years ago
@ Michele Santullo

"I have no direct experience with xbox, but I assume news on this site to be true. About pricing, it's not about comparing to other services."

I think pretty much 90% of people who pay for XBL agree that it is a pretty good service, it isn't overpriced and significantly better than PSN. If you have no experience of XBL you shouldn't make sweeping gestures about it's value or quality because you have no grounding for your opinion.

"A clause like "other platform ports should not be superior to the xbox version" is shocking, it damages videogames, users and competitors. Most games are made available for all platforms, and this is a publisher's requirement, so developers, and finally customers, have just no choice. IMO, freedom of choice is very important."

It really depends on which way you look at it. Personally, as an Xbox customer, it makes me quite happy to see this clause in their T&C's because it assures me that if I buy an Xbox version of a game that it will not be of an inferior quality to other platforms.

We're coming close to the end of this generation of consoles now so even if Xbox didn't demand this I doubt we would see any significant innovation. Sony have their own exclusives but, whilst some of them are fantastic, none of them have been ludicrously ground breaking as such in my opinion. If this clause was as damaging as you believe then we would see a huge void already in the quality between Xbox and PS3 exclusives, this isn't the case.

Ultimately they are all businesses and one is no better than another, they all have ways of protecting their interests and if the PS3 had been released first and as the more affordable console option I have absolutely no doubt that Sony would enforce exactly the same sort of protectionist policy.
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gi biz ;,pgc.eu 7 years ago
Was I the only one to see the comment from a MS employee accusing Sony to be playing their same game that got swiftly deleted?
Anyways, I don't sympathize with Sony either. I'm glad to see I'm not the only one thinking like this, and I especially agree with Bruno Brøsted.

@Ashley Barley: your vision of things is a bit egocentric, imo. You're happy 'cause you own an xbox. Then yes, from your point of view it may seem you're getting some benefits, but wouldn't that be the same as saying that mafia is good because you're sticking with it and you're making good money? Fair competition is healthy, variety is healthy, indie developers are a great thing and giving a thought about the others that own a PS3 or whathever is just as healthy.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by gi biz on 6th September 2011 3:42pm

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Lee Walton Co-Founder & Art Director, No More Pie7 years ago
Very odd arguments here about Xbox customers not wanting PS3 versions of their games to be "better". It makes no sense in a truly open market- for example in the car industry there are shared components such as the engine in my Volvo is also available in a Ford Mondeo. Would these same consumers expect the performance, economy etc to be identical for both cars (they are not)? Or would they actually prefer to make an informed choice about buying either of two quite different cars, with their own unique strengths and weaknesses? If you like the safety the Volvo offers- buy it, if you like the extra features (bluetooth, sat nav?) that might come with the Mondeo- buy it instead. Maybe your preference is purely brand related, you just feel like a Ford person not a Volvo person. If you've bought one of them and realise the other is better- sell it and swap! Either way- there is absolutely NO obligation that either car's engine (the same unit!) MUST be identical. Neither manufacturer makes this agreement, and this is always better for consumers. These terms are simply a quirk of platform and publishers power to control the content creators- game devs, and as some people here are trying to point out, control of developers strangles creativity. I happen to own a PS3 but not an Xbox360, and this means I miss out on some great exclusive titles- but so what, I'm not complaining. I made my choice and if I truly wanted to play a certain Xbox game there is one obvious solution- to buy an Xbox of course.
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Lee Walton Co-Founder & Art Director, No More Pie7 years ago
I admit my Ford/Volvo argument isn't perfect because Volvo was until recently owned by Ford. If you think about it though- it makes it even clearer that even within one company- competition was encouraged. Look at VW for example, who often compete with themselves through their various brands. Also- Hollywood studios release many (too many?!) similar films, some good some bad- but they just aim to make money and not worry about forcing a consistent quality.

Also- films are released on DVD and Blu-Ray which vary hugely in quality and content.

Edited 3 times. Last edit by Lee Walton on 7th September 2011 10:16am

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