Sony's Marvel's Spider-Man games clearly play a very important role in the PlayStation portfolio, racking up millions of sales over and over again. But what if the IP was instead exclusive to Microsoft? The head of Marvel Games Jay Ong has revealed how this could have been the case as the company approached both Sony and Microsoft at the same time, with the latter turning them down.
Ong makes the comments in The Ultimate History of Video Games, Volume 2 by Steven L. Kent, revealing how both companies were approached after Marvel cut its exclusive Spider-Man deal with Activision short. Ong told Activision that Marvel would "find a better home" for the IP, to which it responded: "Good luck finding your unicorn."
Marvel then held talks with Microsoft and Sony, with the former turning the offer down because it reportedly wanted to focus on its own IP rather than using an external license. In the case of Sony, however, the Marvel Games lead sat down with former Sony execs Adam Boyes and John Drake in August 2014. Ong told Sony: "We have a dream that this is possible, that we could beat [Batman] Arkham and have one game at least and maybe multiple games that could drive adoption of your platform."
The rest, as they say, was history. Sony handed the Spider-Man IP to Insomniac Games, which despite still being independent at the time, was considered "one of Sony’s most important partners" prior to the acquisition. Do you think Xbox having exclusive rights to the Spider-Man IP would have chanced the course of the prior generation at all? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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I honestly thought they’d have gone to Sony first, given their prior relationship with the Spider-Man rights. The more you know.
I love stories like these. Like the publishers that turned down Harry Potter.
Thank god. Both Spider-Man games are the two first-party PS games from the recent years that I enjoyed the most
Microsoft would have been just as bad as activision for Spiderman. I have a series x and a ps5 so this isn't about a console war. Microsoft just doesn't put the required amount of effort into their games to make them bangers like Sony does.
Well, thank christ Microsoft messed up.
@nessisonett same, didn't realise the video game rights were seperate. Glad Sony took the IP, can't see any studios under the MS umbrella doing what Insomniac has done with it. Maybe Remedy could of had a go when they were closer with MS.
"Good luck finding your unicorn", said Activision, while definitely not seething while hiding behind a smug mask.
We’ll have to see how their own IP turns out, but turning down Spider-Man seems pretty dumb.
Though i’m not sure Xbox even has a studio capable of making anything close to Insomniac’s entry.
Microsoft wanted to focus on their own IP? More Halo, Gears, and Forza ad infinitum?
I would have enjoyed it with a game pass
@SacredPYRO Insomniac worked on the Xbox exclusive Sunset Overdrive around then so you may have seen an outcome where Spider-Man made by Insomniac was Xbox exclusive and then Microsoft acquired them instead of Sony.
The Xbox playerbase are only into Shooters, Western RPGs and online multiplayer. There's no way Spider-Man would have been the juggernaut it became if it was Xbox exclusive.
But then not so many people would've played this great game!
How many times have we heard a similar story with Microsoft now. Yakuza being a well known example. Mad how they would not be interested. Although its easy to say with the benefit of hindsight i suppose. Spiderman games under Activision were definitely of variable quality, and not the sales success Sony achieved
Also omg how arrogant are Activision execs. I hope marvel posted them a copy of the spiderman game on PS4 along with the sales figures, review scores, and a pack of laughing emoji stickers.
Spiderman for MS would still be in a delayed state, and when it did come out it would only be 25% of the game
Xbox is a Joke man. I know this comment will get deleted probably but Microsoft still seem like amateurs when come to running a console gaming business.
@Grumblevolcano Thank god that didn't happen considering how MS handled Sunset Overdrive
I wonder what first party IP Microsoft were focusing on when they turned down Spider-Man. They have like four games.
A month later ‘saviour’ Spencer proudly announced he used $2.5B from Ms pocket to buy Mojang. 😳
Xbox tried to buy Insomniac but got turned down cause they didnt wanted to belong to Xbox.
@Grumblevolcano yeah I suppose but I think it was Sunset Overdrive that made the pair part ways. The game was very niche and never really understood what it wanted to be. In my opinion one of the worst Xbox exclusives out there
So can we stop hearing that Sony are 'paying to keep Spider-Man off Xbox' now? Because Microsoft had their opportunity and turned it down.
Bet we don't hear the same thing when Indiana Jones arrives after Microsoft bought the studio that is making it. (Not that I care)
"Good luck finding your unicorn."
Boy that statement aged like milk. Years later, we had one of the best Spider-Man games and now, we're getting a sequel and also a Wolverine game under the same game dev.
Also, I was under the impression that the reason Spider-Man was made exclusive to PS is because of the fact that Sony owns the rights to the Spider-Man movies, which I am aware that it is only on the film side but wouldn't be surprised if they struck a deal with Marvel to make an exclusive game for their platform as well. But hey, I think this was a better scenario
there have been a lot of bad spiderman games , so i don't know if it would have been bad or not.
Glad it was Sony and not Microsoft, as this was around the time Xbox had only a small handful of studios, none of whom I would trust to do Spider-Man justice.
From the moment it was announced Insomniac Games were at the helm of this new Spider-Man game, I knew that Spider-Man was in good hands, and I'm sure the folks at Insomniac Games were incredibly honored & proud to be able to make a Spider-Man game, I imagine any studio would be thrilled by such an opportunity.
And Insomniac Games delivered two amazing Spider-Man games, and now they get to work on a Wolverine game? I still can't get over that fact, but much like with Spider-Man, I have complete faith in Insomniac Games to deliver the definitive Wolverine gaming experience that Wolverine fans deserve.
Good as they would of ruined that franchise as well, especially with all their studios being mis managed as it is. The correct decision was made in the end
"Marvel then held talks with Microsoft and Sony, with the former turning the offer down because it reportedly wanted to focus on its own IP rather than using an external license"
This is so funny since their focus has become adquiring as much third party IP as possible.
@Rob_230 They Passed Up Heavy Rain As Well Which Went On To Be a Big Game.
Yeah iirc they have.
It was one of the deals sony made with marvel back when they wanted Spidey in the Avengers. Sony had the better end of the deal and Marvel had to go with it.
I'm 100% convinced the Spidey gaming IP was talked about as well
"Good luck finding your unicorn." Lmao
No mud slinging towards Microsoft but I don't think the Marvel IPs would be as successful with their lineup of developers compared to Sony's.
@Areus - Actually they didn't pass up on Heavy Rain, Microsoft demanded the game be rewritten because they didn't want to face any controversy from the game's more 'mature' aspects. However Quantic Dreams & David Cage refused to alter their vision of the game, thus they went on to approach Sony and the rest is history.
I think the first one was fantastic, but the Miles Morales was more of the same and left a lot to be desired. Insomniac are going to need to find a change of setting or new mechanic or excitment for the IP will dwindle.
Why does it feel like MS have been focusing on their own IP’s for 10 years but somehow have nothing to show for it? They have all of their first party studio’s focusing on new IP’s (apparently), they buy up studios and publishers left right and centre (which never seem to be heard of again). They occasionally release a Halo/Forza game every few years. But nothing else. And this has been going on since the early days on the XB1. Are they investing their gaming budget in Gamepass because they don’t seem to be investing any of it in new games. Very bizarre.
Under xbox leadership, it wouldn't have been as good.
Well if they were approached simultaneously, how would it have been exclusive to just Micorsoft? Even though Insomniac worked on one exclusive for Xbox, I doubt they would have had Insomniac make the game for them.
So all that 'Sony has stolen something from Xbox gamers' was a complete false narrative, brewed up by a disgruntled fanbase who were actually let down by the brand they so viciously defended.
@SacredPYRO Nah you're buggin'. Sunset Overdrive was absolutely fun and a great exclusive for Xbox.
@SacredPYRO really? I thought Sunset Overdrive was brilliant. Hope it comes to PlayStation one day - I think it would be more at home there tbh.
@BoldAndBrash well according to this story (although not included in the article itself), the reason Sony has the exclusive rights now is because they were willing to finance a $40M-$50M game themselves instead of the normal deal of the money coming from the license holder. The film rights aren't mentioned as a bargaining chip for Sony getting the game rights.
Don't forget 20th Century Fox was the only studio that ended up backing Star Wars in 1977, and that was it's backup in case it's planned Summer smash 'Damnation Alley' didn't do to well.
All others George Lucas approached passed on it, d'oh!
Activision: “good luck finding your unicorn”
Sony: hold my beer
If the world needed another reminder of how badly Matrick screwed up Xbox and how long a tail that screw up has....this is it. What's funnier/sadder is that "their own IPs" never really happened and he shut all their studios down and changed hte policy to "we don't believe in exclusives, we just need timed exclusivity." I know PS-only fans love reveling in being the "winner" last gen, but imagine how much better gaming would have been if both companies had competition before recently. You probably wouldn't be paying $70 for games, that's for sure.
What's more ironic is around the same time Microsoft had Insomniac working on Sunset Overdrive. XB could literally have had the PS4 Spiderman game from Insomniac and Matrick blew it! Although Sunset Overdrive is awesome...
@truerbluer That's such an old stereotype. I once held that true, too, and in the 360 days...it kinda was true, lol (I held my nose and bought a 360 because PS3 was so horrible for 3rd party games...then grew to like the platform....but the stereotype was kinda real.) But these days most of the shooters and multiplayer games are played on PlayStation, by sales and hours....kind weird to snipe another platform as being the one for genre x and y, while playing on the one that most of x and y are played.... It's like saying "PS players only play JRPGs", which in the PS1 days was kinda true...but that was a long time ago.
@Royalblues You really think a full exclusives exchange will happen? I'd love to see it. I could see MS wanting it, they don't really have a strong brand identiy on anything but Halo, and even their big upcoming games feel like brands that would be great multiplat. But Sony has build up so much brand cache in their characters. Not to Nintendo's level, but still, I picture them being necessarily more protective. I think Spiderman, things like Returnal, even Demon's Souls I could see them fielding out multiplat. But their internal brands like GoW, Horizon etc, I think they'd hold onto.
The majority of Spider-Man games have been crap up to that point before they became Sony exclusive so I don't really blame Microsoft for not being that interested
@4kgk2 yeah, they have a bottomless pot of money to throw around but nowhere near the talent or passion that Sony (and their studios) have. Sony get a bad rap here for some reason but they’re absolutely killing it where the games are concerned. More than any other platform.
@NEStalgia Phil Spencer was already head of Xbox at that point. What we're probably seeing here is at that point Microsoft still believed Halo, Gears and Forza were enough to carry Xbox but then the MCC launch mess and the reception to Halo 5 changed that.
Good call. I don’t have anything against Microsoft/Xbox, but I highly doubt they would’ve achieved what Sony have with the IP.
@Areus great knowledge. That was the one i was thinking about!
They rejected GTA 3 too apparently!
I bet MS regret it now. To be honest even if MS had got them it wouldn't have been the games we got so it could have been a failure for them if they picked the wrong Dev or got too hands on with monetization.
@LiamCroft Is his name Ong or Org as you use both in the article...
@BritneyfR_ee @Rafie hey, each to their own. Glad you guys enjoyed it. Haven't Insomniac renewed the trademark for it? Maybe it will come to PS yet.
Not every detail was released during that deal. Disney also doesn't want the world to know that they get the worse end of the stick in a deal with such a smaller company. I'm sure the gaming rights were discussed during that deal.
Financing the game themselves seems like a small price to pay.
Also, was it really a 50million? It clearly shows. With the amount of slack I get for criticizing the game, it definitely cut corners. Especially with the main part of the game: its boring as hell swinging without any physics whatsoever
If Microsoft had it I’m sure they’d rush their studio, causing the game to play and look like crap and probably heavily adapt a movie or whatever. Insomniac exceeded everyone’s expectations and created a really good Spider-Man/marvel universe in the process. Sony did probably everything right in this case, one of the rare good stories you’ll see on them
A million stories if it’s bad. 1 if it’s good.
That would have been horrible.sony came threw and save the day.word up son
@Grumblevolcano Oh, 2014, you're right. For some reason I keep getting 2013/2014 confused because I think of the twins launching in 2014 rather than holiday 2013 (because they were only a month old when it was 2014..)
Of course that makes it even stranger because....what IPs?! They were already gone by then!
I didn't think MS ever actually believed Halo, Gears, and Forza were enough, I always thought they just said that because it's literally all they had left post-Matrick. Though that's when they were still on the "timed exclusivity" thing (that Sony unfortunately has copied and stuck with), but I again, I always thought they just said that because it's really the only option they had left with the studios all gone...
@Royalblues Yeah, there's also the issue that those Sony brands aren't going to be around forever. They don't seem to like to stick with a franchise too long before dumping it. God of War and R&C are really the only long-running classic PS franchises they even have left that are active. Uncharted kinda counts I guess, too. After the next round of sequels in these franchises who knows if there will even be another. Or if R&C is already past its end. In 5-6 years there may not really be "PS brands" the way we associate them now in terms of new content, and that could mean a larger majority goes multiplat.
With the big media companies buying into gaming, being multiplat probably will become more and more mandatory. Either that or gaming fractures like TV that you need 20 different providers to subscribe to to see all the shows you want.
@WallyWest To be fair they were actively working with Insomniac at the time, so, if Sony hadn't bought Insomniac (and maybe if they weren't making Spidey with them they wouldn't have) it could have actually been the same Spidey game. Not exactly the same since I'm sure Sony was somewhat involved in input, but still Insomniac's game.
TBF, though, I found the game kind of underwhelming. I love Insomniac, but the Spiderman games felt like a more empty, more repetitive inFamous with less intrigue. I don't think that's Insomniac's fault, I think it's Disney. All marvel games have the same general combat flow and pacing, no matter who makes them and I find them kind of mind-numbing. Clearly there's some sort of design template that comes with the license you must follow, otherwise every studio that touches any marvel property wouldn't end up with such similar gameplay design.
No xBox are not capable of producing triple A games on the same level as PlayStation.
@BritneyfR_ee Mismanagement. In a way it's a good thing, but from all we hear they seem to give basically total creative freedom to their studios. Giving freedom to artists rarely ends well. The studios spend forever on the same project, change the project over and over, and basically get nothing done. Rare was working on Everwild, a game their own producer said they didn't actually know what it was (but was really cool!). Then a year later the producer was gone and they were rumored to be rebooting it (they deny it), but nobody knows what it is or if it exists.
They seem to do a lot of creative workshopping that gets scrapped and never made into anything. And then there's Halo with like 7 years dev time, and a year delay, and still can't release complete. Just too loose management and too much creative freedom.
XB gets a bum rap though. Sounds like for creative staff it's a dream. Unlimited budget to work on whatever you can imagine. From a business perspective it just never actually has anything to show for it...
Ever play The Magic Circle?
@truerbluer Nah, considering Xbox is where I play the majority of indie, AA and Japanese games since Sony has thrown in the towel on those kinds of games.
Spiderman is a great comic book game, even though the bar is kind of low, with that said it has a fair amount of repetition, that is present in a lot of open world games, a lot of "icon" clearing on the map, a lot of searching and seeking "items", etc. After the novelty wears off, and you've done the same car chase 30 times with the same qte, the same rooftop battle, etc, it gets old. Same with the witcher III, halo infinite(which isn't so infinite), fallout 4, BoTW, horizon series. Maybe I'm old and just don't enjoy gaming anymore. Maybe I'm burnt out on open world games and "creating my own adventure". I gotta find that itch. Maybe it's time for some linear games, again.
It’s funny that people still blame Mattrick and Spencer is untouchable. How the fake narrative is anchored in peoples mind as strong as a cult. Not really their fault mind you.
All is for the best anyway since SM is like at home on PlayStation.
@Deadlyblack look at how guardians performed 🥴
@BritneyfR_ee well that’s the argument isn’t it. Investing in/having a service that’s like gamepass, cheap and plentiful, with Day 1 AAA games will hurt the quality of said games. Personally I don’t think it’s guaranteed but it certainly plays a factor.
@nessisonett I think marvel absolutely hate Sony because of the pure trash that comes from their live action marvel movies, and they have to play along because they own a lot of rights to marvel characters and Disney/Marvel NEEEED Spider-Man in the MCU. So I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that they weren’t the first choice, IF this is 100% true.
@JJ2 TBH the timeline is all a blur in my mind for the opposite reason you may think. The impulse is to assume "xbox fanboys defend Spencer". But in my case, the reality is that I was full-on pony like you guys at the time after the X1 disaster reveal, mocking XB at the time, and assuming they'd exit the console business......so I was barely paying attention to it enough to remember the exact details clearly
I kind of laughed off XB and only watched their dreary E3 shows because it was at least some more E3 content and was over the weekend. It wasn't until the X1X show where they started turning things around and I felt kind of foolish mocking the whole event after the fact and had to admit it looked pretty cool....jumped in again shortly after that.
The whole Matrick disaster does really linger, though. Maybe Matrick was gone when this happened, but they were still sitting on a gutted company with no studios and a downward spiral which they're still in the process of recovering from. Easy to blame Spencer the day Matrick was out, but even if MS snagged Tretton, it would have taken years to turn that pile of ruins around. Sony survived Kutaragi that hadn't messed up nearly as badly as Matrick, but even that took a whole generation and herculean efforts from Kaz and Tretton, and if MS and Nintendo hadn't handed them a gimme with PS4, who knows where things would be.
The truth is none of know whether this was a good thing or not. We know that it turned out well for those that game solely on the PlayStation (and so conversely, not well for those that game solely elsewhere), but it is just possible that Xbox could have produced a better game. The point being, that you cannot rewrite history and there is no way of knowing who would have made the better game. We just have to be happy that those of us that do game on the PlayStation, got to play a very good game. Now we just have to hope that they can do it again...
@Royalblues If Sly really is in development that's probably the single best announcement of the next year or two! I'd love them to reboot Jak...though....the series was technically in a very bad place even when it was running. I know ND said they'd be interested, so there's hope.
I thought I was the only one underwhelmed by the Spidey games.... I preordered on the blind faith I love Insomniac, but the combat got so monotonous so fast. I still blame Disney most, though, since that seems to go with all Marvel games. But it keeps me from having any excitement about any others. Though I'd go for another Guardians. Combat sucked, but the whole adventure was just amazing.
@Royalblues I do play quite a bit of Switch as well tbh, my Series X has just gotten the bulk of my playtime though recently. When Xenoblade 3 and the Live A Live remake come out it’ll definitely be my most played system during that time.
‘ I was full-on pony like you guys’
Speak for yourself. I don’t know why you have to call everyone ‘pony’ albeit laughable expression for people who use it. Weird to hear.
I’m not blaming any fan base at all. The false narratives are from the press representing Spencer as the ‘saviour’. Xb1 had an awful presentation but they backtracked and actually had a very good launch. Spencer became the boss in 2014 and he also was somehow in charge before with many example of him bragging about Kinect. and everyone acting like he had no responsibility during all the years of xb1 gen. There’s undeniably a cult of personality there and the press has had a good part in building it.
@JJ2 Hah, not an uncommon name for the blinded, unconditional fans. Sure "pony" is a silly term, which is exactly why it's a fun prod, and I'm not too proud to be above applying it to myself, because the intended use of it did apply to myself at the time. TBH I was a bigger "pony" early in the PS3 era. Terrible launch though it was, I was so brand-loyal at the time, until I realized everything third party ran worse than trash on it and had to succumb to a 360 (which I ended up really liking but when I bought it, it felt like a pact with the devil at first.)
Spencer, prior to running the XB division, was the head of studios (Matt Booty's current position, comparable to Shaun Layden/Herman Hulst's position at PS.) Then Matrick shut down all the studios from under him so he had little to do but promote Kinekt
As far as personality I think a lot of it is just genuinely being into the products as a customer and a fan. Not just his own products but competing products as well. It's the "one of us" aspect. He plays PS, he plays Switch, he plays retro games, and as such he's connected to knowing what fans like, which gives his approach a lot of appeal. Same as Shu beating Demon's Souls, Layden wearing the Vib Ribbon shirt, and Iwata...well everything Iwata ever did, really... We connect with game leadership that understand what we actually want. Phil gets a bump right now because both PS and Nintendo are now run by unrelatable bean counters, so Phil's the last one standing among the relatable execs that are also customers.
@NEStalgia Disagree as Spider-Man, Avengers and Guardians all play very very differently to each other. Disney also has zero input in the games, Marvel also has very little input beyond signing off designs and story beats.
@WallyWest IDK, I find all 3 of them far too similar. Yes, not identical, but there's a certain similarity in mindless mashiess with repeating the same combos over and over again. I love Guardians dearly, but the combat got so old so fast. Avengers, ok, I couldn't stomach very much of it, but what I played was the same process. Spidey borrowed a lot of Arkham which made it somewhat better, but it still wore out it's welcome for me quickly and after a while was just going through the motions. Maybe it's not Disney, but I still find it interesting that most Marvel games no matter who develops it have that same overly repetitive drawn out combat loop, overall. GoW, for example, does kind of have that flaw, but the combat itself never got as repetitive and annoying as the Marvel games do, even if I have other criticisms about why the latest GoW bored me after a while. But it wasn't the combat specifically like the Marvel games.
Haha, Xbox really do suck at this gaming lark. They are good at getting 'Uncle' MS to try and buy up the industry though.
Spider-Man was a really good game, Miles a lot of fun and looking forward to and the Wolverine game.
Rather these games than FPSs or pretentious indie games.
Years ago Sony had the opportunity to buy the rights to every single marvel character ,they turned it down to buy some but not all ,its all very...what if....
@NEStalgia Marvel games have combat what require combos so what? I guess DMC is a Marvel type game then? Spider-Man, Avengers and Guardians all play vastly differently, if Spider-Man plays like any game its all the other Sony open world games mixed with Arkham's gameplay. Avengers is a looter brawler with a focus on status effects and buffs and debuffs, its combat is nothing like Spider-Man and its why players hated its version of Spidey. Guardians combat is awful yes but its no where near the same as Spidey or Avengers.
@Col_McCafferty I bet if those Indie games were on PS you wouldn't think that. In fact those Indie games are pretty fantastic and are a breath of fresh air to the usual AAA stuff.
Thank goodness it went to Sony PS... MS would have messed any superhero game, Marvel or DC.😁😏
"Good luck finding your unicorn."
Lol wow Activision would say something as shortsighted as that. "Good luck finding someone who wants to work with the most popular Marvel superhero by a mile!" 🤦♂️
‘It's the "one of us"
Sounds like populism to me and that’s what he does.
Ridiculous to glorify someone like that. Even Shu is one of the most likeable personality but he’s not glorified because he plays games. That’s not hard to do.
I wonder where ‘pony’ comes from. Sounds like some 10 year old came up with it and the internet picked it up. It’s referring to Sony right? I believe majority of ps gamers dont care about Sony but only about PlayStation.
@WallyWest I'll hand you that it plays like other Sony open worlds mixed with Arkham, that's true. Though if I were to describe my personal feelings about Spiderman's world, and especially Miles', it's basically a "emptier inFamous". So much of the loop was the same, but somehow felt more vacant and less interesting. (And I say that as a huuuge inFamous fan, so "more inFamous" would be a huge win in my book. But SP's own GoT has a lot more of the inFamous gameplay in tact)
IDK, I can't articulate precisely what it is about it, but it just feels repetitive and lackluster in the open world. The setpieces are good, but in that sense I think the open world hurts the game, it would be better as an on-rails adventure, maybe. Still the combat, and the stealth play are so redundant. I'd blame Insomniac, but it is a patter I've noticed in Marvel games. Maybe youre right, and there's no correlation, but it just feels like there is.
DMC/Bayonetta/Astral Chain have a wildly different type of combat. It's combo based, yes, but it's more like a fighting game in its approach. You could say the Spiderman gameplay is more like the classic GoW series, and it is, but somehow GoW is more engaging, and more like the DMC style in a lot of ways (especially 3.)
I can't put into exact detail what it is that disappoints me about it...it just does. It just feels too repetitive and engaging in combat, and too empty in the open world. IMO if the game were a generic new IP instead of being a beloved iconic franchise, it would have been more harshly critiqued. If we reskin it and pretend it's inFamous 4 instead of Spidey, I think there would be a lot of complaints about it being a step back from 2 and 3., for example.
@JJ2 Not sure "populism" makes much sense outside politics. And I'm not sure it's always a bad thing in either case. There's a lot of advantages to being a part of the customer base of the company's product, and a lot of disadvantages to being an MBA tallying spreadsheets and stats. Understanding the market can't happen from an ivory tower, it comes from being a customer as well. The spreadsheet management style, without understanding what's going on on the ground, works when things are going well and on the rise. It fails mightily when things are in the dumpster. If you put a Jim Ryan or a Shintaro Furukawa into MS in 2015, or PS in 2009, or Nintendo in 2013, I don't think a recovery would even be possible. It takes a Phil Spencer, Kaz Hirai, Satoru Iwata to understand the base well enough to know how to stablize it. And the proof of that is in the pudding. All three managed to recover and even soar under such leadership in their lowest periods where things looked almost hopeless. Would PS do "better" now with such a figure back at the helm? Hard to say. But the bean counters like Ryan do well enough when the market is stable and the product is selling itself, they can manage resources well. But they're wholly incapable of building market from a weak position, because they don't really understand the market to begin with, they merely understand numeric trends. When things aren't accelerating naturally they have a reactionary leadership style rather than a peremptory one. We see that in real-time with PS actions, currently. But they're accelerating, so it's not harming them (much.)
IDK where "pony" came from, it's the most fun of the 3 common "console war" pejoratives (ponies, xbots, and nintendrones") Pony's the most fun because it's a real word and is most useful at sounding childish (which is kind of the point for blind brand loyalists...it's childish..) Plus there's just a lot more "ponies" in the world... Yeah, it's a play on "Sony" - hard to come up with a fun wordplay on "PlayStation" as a pejorative on console warriors. Other than PayStation, but that's a pejorative on company policy, not fanboys... And it's at least playful and not nasty and offensive.
That said, Sony itself does lend itself to cult followings. Most PS gamers do only care about PS, not Sony in general, you're right, but a similarly weird company loyalty tends to form around Sony cameras and Sony audio equipment. It's weird.
I like stories like these, glad Sony took on the offer.
Also that dumb comment by Activision just cracks me up.
I'm glad Microsoft turned it down, otherwise we would have had part of an average game instead of a premium experience.
They may have a ton of money to invest but not a lot of care, attention and dedication... basic components of the formula used to create Masterpieces.
That might have been a huge game changer... Actually, no doubt.
Totally disagree about ‘pony’. The only childish sounding people are the ones saying ‘ponies’ thinking that makes their ‘victims’ childish. Haha. Absolute joke. It’s like throwing a childish ‘insult’ thinking that’s going to land.
I feel bots makes more sense considering reality like twitter bots and such. It’s not chocking to add X in front or PS would do. I’m sure real bots are playing their part in spamming tweeter for instance. (That’s what console warriors do, spamming to promote a platform)
One of the issues with Spencer is he’s everywhere with no real expertise that I know of omnipresent like in the kitchen and on the stage. Only this gen the press has tried to put Jim Ryan in a similar position. But that’s not true. There are many personalities at PlayStation. In Andrew House time who was good at his job I believe, you hardly ever heard about him except for some rare FT interview and short appearance on stage. For that matter who said Jim Ryan doesn’t play games? Because he doesn’t brag about it?why would anyone brag about playing video games? Im very sceptical about that.
Yes you may not have noticed but gaming PR has turned into politician malarkey on many levels these last few years. Heck press reports are more interested in slogans and phrases of theirs and make all the juicy drama. Yes populism is literally about blaming the elite and trying to feel the anger people react to. He said a lot of goofy stuff too. A lot
Leaving the extreme aside Spencer is a PR machine.
I never had a Playstation (and didn't even like them) until EVERYONE I knew kept talking about how great Spider-Man (my favorite Marvel character) was. I bought a PS4 solely for that game and now have a PS5 and love Playstation. Microsoft making that mistake is like Apple making iPhone an AT&T exclusive which led to Android's adoption by people.
@Yomogi @SacredPYRO @nessisonett Same exact thoughts to be honest...I just assumed they got the game rights because they already had the movie rights to Spidey.
Microsoft turning down the chance to make Marvel video games in 2014 isn’t surprising. They were in talks of shutting down Xbox all together. It would be more surprising if they did decide to make games for Marvel considering how they wanted to pull the plug.
@JJ2 As I watch the fallout from the new Plus, I keep thinking of your statement about "Phil is a PR machine" and just laughing.... That's....kinda the point.
The pony name just sticks. It's an "in-joke" nobody outside the core gaming circles of the past 7 years would really even know what anyone is talking about. But it works, it sticks, it's not new, lots of us use it... shrug
I think the thing is that in Andy House's time, there were other "faces" representing the company. Namely, Kaz, Shaun, and Shu. They were the PR figureheads representing the business to the customers. Before that, Jack Tretton was his own PR figure head from the time Kutaragi was still around, and he did great. Sony has no other PR figure heads right now, and Jim loves to interject himself as the PR figurehead even though he's terrible at it. That's the thing, Jim keeps putting himself out there, starring as his own PR mascot in all the official events. He's trying to make himself into Phil, but, as you say, Phil's a PR machine and Jim's.....the opposite. He could make Woodstock seem boring. Kaz was a PR guy, yet still assigned Shaun and Shu as the PR guys in his stead. And they did great. PS has no face, and Jim tries to make himself the face. Phil is the company face, and like him or not, he's really good at being the company face. Nintendo has just gone back to having no face at all. Not a good one like Phil/Reggie/Iwata/Miyamoto/Trinen, nor a bad one like Jim Ryan.....just no face at all. Like they were in the 80's. It's working, but they have Mario, Kirby, and Pikachu as company faces where Kratos just doesn't work the same way.
As for Jim and gaming, I can't recall off the top of my head, but I know it's been very clear from interviews he definitely does not, and mostly has no idea what most of the product even is. Which is fine. Hiroshi Yamauchi didn't even understand why anyone would like video games at all, but he made the company successful. But he wasn't making himself the figurehead of PR, either. And if he had kids would have been terrified, lol. A faceless company isn't unlikable, but the product itself needs to be the face. Cute mascots are company faces. Sonic made Sega famous even if nobody knew new Yuji Naka was and the notion the company may or may not be a mob front. Nobody knew who Yamauchi/Arakawa/Lincoln were (thankfully) because cute and cuddly characters were the company. A burly axe wielding guy, a gun-slinging-girl, and a bottled fetus backpack for Norman Reedus don't make a nice company face....it needs PR people to be the warm face of the brand, and to soften the blow of things like retroactively charging for discounts.... and Jim's not that guy... Phil is.
He's trying to make himself into Phil’
I think your really into your own fantasy there. 😅 like I said it’s more the press that’s trying to present him into an opposite Spencer. Jim is Vader and Phil is obiwan. We get it haha (I tried to explain PS and Xbox have different approach about management as in organised different heads vs a one man all power authority which I think is how it is)
No I’m not being serious saying that in case you have any doubt.
I don’t believe console gamers need a sort of ‘uncle’ figure or something. It’s weird. Anyway if you like looking up to some of those guy that’s fine with me. I don’t believe their job is mainly about PR either. I have no interest for PR and empty statements.
We could go on forever but I’m getting a bit bored talking about those guys.
Have a lovely day 😀
@JJ2 The way you portray it as the stylish public celebrity leader vs the bloated bureaucracy run by committee, prone to shooting itself in the foot makes me picture xb vs ps as Kennedy vs USSR..... And it actually feels accurate right about now 😂
Enjoyed the conversation as always!
Still with your fantasy I see. 😅
Well we could talk about ‘Kennedy vs USSR’ (which I already disagree on the therm you put on many levels) and what came from that period of time with strong personalitieS on both sides actually. I’m sure we have different opinions but really have not the time and not the place to do so 😂
Silly analogies are bad ideas and dont get anywhere most of the time.
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