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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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Matthew Handrahan avatar

Matthew Handrahan


Matthew Handrahan joined GamesIndustry in 2011, bringing long-form feature-writing experience to the team as well as a deep understanding of the video game development business. He previously spent more than five years at award-winning magazine gamesTM.