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Sony: Exclusives Are Just a Means for Manufacturers to Brag Louder

Posted by Sammy Barker

Little to gain in the indie space

Exclusivity has been a staple of the console business since its inception, but as part of a candid keynote at the IndieCade conference in Los Angeles this week, Sony’s vice president of publisher and developer relations Adam Boyes admitted that the practice isn’t always productive for platform holders or developers.

“Right now, exclusives are just a way for [console makers] to brag louder,” he admitted. “Nobody gains from exclusivity in perpetuity.” The executive went on to liken manufacturers to car dealerships, where indie developers represent high-end mechanics that are capable of tuning a machine’s performance and bringing innovation to the platform. However, he added that long-term exclusivity doesn’t fit that analogy."Developers now have the option to deliver on a huge number of systems," he explained. "We want developers to be successful."

Context is important here, as we don’t believe that Boyes is suggesting that The Last of Us should be published on a non-PlayStation format any time soon. As the head of the firm’s indie initiative, though, we think that he’s saying that the company is not interested in locking releases to a single system, but rather cultivating an environment for smaller studios to succeed. And in that instance, we absolutely agree with the sentiment.

[via gamasutra.com]

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User Comments (6)

BornOfEvil

#1

BornOfEvil said:

"The executive went on to liken manufacturers to car dealerships, where indie developers represent high-end mechanics that are capable of tuning a machine’s performance and bringing innovation to the platform."

So first partydevelopers aren't capable of tuning a machine's performance and bringing innovation to the platform?

If that's what he's trying to say, then I have to disagree. Just look at what Japan Studio did with Gravity Rush, Media Molecules work on Tearaway and Cambridges work on Killzone: Mercenary, all 3 studios have done a fantastic job utilizing the Vitas hardware while most indie developers don't seem to take the time to do so.

Then again, all 3 games I listed were built specifically for the Vita, while indie titles are usually ports.

Sanquine

#2

Sanquine said:

Total B*! This man needs to use his mind. IF all consoles had the same game why whould we even have consoles? Exclusives are the things that drive the consumer to buy that handheld or console.

get2sammybAdmin

#3

get2sammyb said:

@Sanquine @Lelouch It's a very strange quote, but it's important to not take it out of context. I think given his role and the place where he was speaking, what he's saying is that Sony's not going to go up to smaller studios and say, "Your indie game is awesome, but it needs to be exclusive to PS4 forever or we won't support it."

What he's saying is that that type of attitude only gives the platform holder something to brag about — it doesn't help to strengthen relationships, or really benefit the platform all that much at all. I think he's saying that in this day and age, companies like Sony recognise that smaller developers need to go multiplatform in order to succeed.

rjejr

#4

rjejr said:

Translation - we dont think indie games should be exclusives b/c MS keeps spending money to lock up the good ones for a year.

Indie games dont sell home consoles or handhelds. Its good to have them, but they dont need to be exclusive. Apple sharing Angry Birds w/ Android hasnt killed it yet.

BornOfEvil

#5

BornOfEvil said:

@get2sammyb That makes a lot more sense. I guess I was reacting more towards how the quote sounded like it came from someone who thinks only indie games can be innovative.

Gamer83

#6

Gamer83 said:

@Sanquine
True, exclusives give a console its identity and that's why Sony has Naughty Dog, Japan Studio, Bend and Sucker Punch among several others. Sony is good in the exclusive category, in fact I prefer Sony's teams over Nintendo even. MS is the company that needs to get better in this area. Turn10 and 343i are great but they're also limited to one franchise each.

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