"Everything was third-party." I expect Dolan, the magnificent meme duck, will be on fine form in just over a month's time, when Sony's big E3 2015 press conference inevitably fails to live up to expectations. We live in constant fear of the restless Los Angeles event here at Push Square Towers, so it's always a point of conversation: what will the Japanese giant reveal during its show? On this occasion, the feeling throughout the office is unanimous: you already know.
I've talked about third-party partnerships on this site before, but I think that it's important to discuss in a little more detail how they work. Essentially, publishers align with platform holders in order to better promote their products. The benefit for the game maker is that its title gets added exposure, while the manufacturer is able to market the release as one of its own. This often results in bonus content, console bundles, and PlayStation Blog coverage – as well as convention stage time.
Cast your minds back to PlayStation Experience, where the PlayStation maker almost upset the pace of its opening keynote by inviting Bungie on stage to talk Destiny. The developer had nothing new to show – The Dark Below had already been announced at that point – but it put in an appearance for contractual reasons; the Activision published first-person shooter has been at every Sony show since the PlayStation 4 was announced in February 2013. It's part of the marketing deal.
And it'll be at the organisation's E3 2015 media briefing in June, of that there's no doubt. Rumours have suggested that a much larger-scale expansion pack is due out later this year, and I'll personally be gob-smacked if the PlayStation maker doesn't announce it. But this is why I think that you should temper your expectations for a big first-party love-in next month: the organisation's made far too many deals with other publishers for it to have the time to spotlight its own stuff.
Let me just spell it out for you: Star Wars: Battlefront will be privy to a big blowout during the press conference; Batman: Arkham Knight will surely have its launch trailer showcased; No Man's Sky is too big of a deal to avoid the event; Assassin's Creed Syndicate looks like its returning to the PlayStation fold; Call of Duty: Black Ops III could yet have switched sides; and these are just names that we know of. That's easily an hour of press conference content right there – if not more.
If you consider that Uncharted 4: A Thief's End is also a lock for a hearty gameplay segment, while Sony's certain to spotlight several indie titles as well – well, that's more than enough for it to rattle through. Project Morpheus is a big deal for the firm, so that will get its fair share of attention, too – and it'll no doubt want to touch upon PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Now, PlayStation Vue, and other key subscription-based services. There's not going to be much time for anything else.
I want to be clear here: I don't think that Sony's shunning first-party development in the slightest, I just think that if you're expecting to see all of its exclusives distilled into a single 90-minute show, then you're going to come away very disappointed. There will be something – whether it's from Guerrilla Games, Media Molecule, or any one of the organisation's other studios – but the bulk will be spread between Paris Games Week, PlayStation Experience, and Tokyo Game Show.
And the point is that people are going to be disappointed – we've been talking about it between ourselves for weeks. The games are coming – we know that they're in development – but as the market leader, Sony now finds itself in a privileged position where it can handpick the cream of the third-party crop. And that means that the E3 press conferences of old that were packed with first-party content from start-to-finish may be long gone. I'd suggest getting used to that idea now.
Do you think that Sammy's logic is sound, or do you reckon that Sony will still come up trumps? Will you be disappointed if it focuses on third-party content, or are you eager to see more of the likes of Battlefront? Talk it out in the comments section below.
Would you be sad if Sony focused on third-party games at E3? (92 votes)
Yes, I want to see lots of first-party games this year
Meh, not bothered
No, I'm just as interested in the third-party titles
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