Sunset Overdrive Dev Explains Xbox One Exclusivity

Insomniac says it has a "great relationship" with Sony, but Microsoft's "muscle" on Xbox Live was a deciding factor in bringing the game to Xbox One.

Some gamers were no doubt surprised when Ratchet & Clank developer Insomniac Games announced that its current game, Sunset Overdrive, would be coming exclusively to Xbox One. After all, the developer is perhaps best known for its PlayStation-exclusive franchises like Ratchet & Clank and Resistance. Explaining the decision to make Sunset Overdrive an Xbox One-exclusive, CEO Ted Price said Microsoft's "muscle" on Xbox Live was one factor that led the studio to choose Microsoft over Sony. That doesn't mean there is any bad blood between Insomniac and Sony, however.

"We have a long history and great relationship with Sony and we will continue to work closely with them moving forward," Price told GameRevolution. "However, when Microsoft announced the Xbox One we felt that what Microsoft was offering in terms of the platform feature set and Xbox Live presence was a great match for Sunset Overdrive."

"For example, our multiplayer mode in the game called Chaos Squad supports eight players traversing a giant open world together to take on randomized missions. This is not a simple feature to create," he added. "Yet Microsoft’s muscle on the platform and Xbox Live fronts has been invaluable in helping us create a unique multiplayer experience. Furthermore, the overall partnership has been seamless, and we've been extremely happy with the level of support and commitment we've received for Sunset Overdrive."

Though Price didn't offer any details about what the future holds for Insomniac, he pointed out that because the developer is independently run, it means the company has a nice level of freedom when it comes to deciding what platforms it wants to be on. "One of the benefits of operating as an independent studio and creating and owning one's IP is that you can develop for the platforms that make the most sense for the game," he said.

Sunset Overdrive launches exclusively for Xbox One on October 28. To mark the game's release, Microsoft will release a special white Xbox One bundle. Currently, white Xbox One systems are available only to Microsoft employees.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Written By

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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655 comments
gmt7878
gmt7878

I'm loving Sunset Overdrive bundle and I love the game. Xbox one has better online dating back to Xbox 360. Everyone knows that MS is awesome online. The service you pay for is worth it. I have a PS3 and it is down once a month, I stopped playing Destiny because it's always updating or kicking me to orbit if I'm lucky. PlayStation network needs work still. I don't get why anyone would defend Sony for the subpar internet connection or service they are offering.

northshire
northshire

Eight players online at once could have been tough to handle on the PSN? Huh. It's a shame that titles like MAG never existed, which could have 256 players, and was a last gen system... No... Wait a minute...

dannyjdavidson
dannyjdavidson

I believe what they originally said about why Sunset Overdrive is exclusive to Xbox. They asked Sony first and Sony wanted to own it which was the deal breaker for Insomniac Games and then struck a deal with Microsoft who love buying exclusive games and then letting them go multiplatform. I believe Sunset Overdrive will be this generation's Saints Row where it'll become a big name after it goes multiplatform and only the first game in the series will be exclusive.

Additionally, it sounds like they're the ones working on Ratchet & Clank. As long as they're not making another Resistance, I'm happy!

zedris
zedris

god damn the bullshit is hurting my eyes. at least be honest. muscle? muscle? u mean money? or the hopefully unreal sales xbone was expecting but is not having? ps players have supported insomniac games for years and this is just a major fu to all of them...has a fan base and jumps ship to a inferior console as well and then sells a pile of BS in interviews...ggwp

NX75
NX75

"Let's just say the Xbox One moved me. TO A BIGGER HOUSE! (Oops, I said the loud part quiet and the quiet part loud.)"

ArchoNils2
ArchoNils2

Haven't seen so much BS in a while. Just be honest and say how much MS paid

oflow
oflow

Is got combo weapons like DR3, better graphics, wallrunning etc like infamous and from the looks of it more indepth boss fights with 8 player co-op.

If its as fun as DR3 co-op (and it looks a lot more fun bcause you can do more stuff like wall run etc) thiss game will be a hit.  I know I'm gonna pick it up day one I'll let you know :P

Vylsith
Vylsith

There aren't enough sales for next gen consoles?  LOL, what?  No, what he means to say is there aren't enough sales for the Xbox One.  The PS4 is the fastest selling console in history.  Could you PR more Crytek?

artmo
artmo

Ya, people will realize how automated your transfers from object to object are that u feel like your not even controlling your gameplay, same with shooting I bet. Prolly why they didn't make a demo, cause of how fast people would get tired of it. I won't be buying it, at least Titanfall isn't gimmicky or looked gimmicky before it came out.

rcebankz
rcebankz

Maybe if they released a DEMO, I could try Sunset Overdrive out and see for myself. Is it me or is there a severe lack of demos on these consoles. i remember Xbox 360 and PS3 had a ton of demos for almost every game that was going to be released.

rcebankz
rcebankz

Idk about Sunset Overdrive. For some reason, its not getting my attention. Its a bit too wacky for my taste. Too much going on in that game.

kypdr1971
kypdr1971

This article didn't mention that Microsoft let Insomniac maintain ownership of the IP.  

iiRickk
iiRickk

Why do you toxic Sony fanboys have to dislike, hate and complain about everything Microsoft does and releases as exclusives? Go waste your time on your console instead of wasting your time posting bullshit here. You are really ruining the internet. I'm getting sick of all your childish people saying OMG IT SUCKS BECAUSE IT IS NOT ON THE INDIESTATION4.... Grow up and stop acting like a child and respect each other.


You don't hear me saying The Last of Us sucks do you? I think it's an amazing game. But all I hear are toxic Sony fanboys disliking all Microsoft/Xbox exclusives because they can not play it on their console.


Grow up and fuck off.

sonypony4eva
sonypony4eva

Don't worry people, this game will become a PC port by March and the Xbox One will lose another exclusive lol.

Sam_021
Sam_021

He has realised that he made a mistake and now he wants everybody to agree that he didn't, psychology 101.

nl_skipper
nl_skipper

They'll probably regret that decisions when the game gets little exposure and slow sales compared to a proper multi-platform release!  I'm not saying I want the game to fail, but few of these Xbox One exclusives have been doing all that great, or else they wouldn't all be appearing on PC after the fact...

Daian
Daian

Let's cut the crap, Microsoft threw a truckload of money at them. The end.

jtb_pred
jtb_pred

@zedris

blame sony. sony wanted full rights on the game and insomniac said FUCK THAT! we'll go to microsoft.

lostn
lostn

@ArchoNils2 Agreed completely. I'm not buying that Insomniac is telling the whole truth here. They claimed Sony demanded IP ownership, which leads to exclusivity. This isn't consistent with Sony's practices. After all they did not demand exclusivity for Fuse. That game released on Xbox. So why would they demand exclusivity for Sunset? 


Let's consider all possibilities. 


1. They believe SO is a much better game than Fuse and wanted it exclusively. If that's the case, would why they not agree to allow it to be released multiplatform? If they really believed this was a good game, getting it non-exclusively is still better than not getting it at all right? In the end, they allowed Microsoft to have the game they believed in.. exclusively. That does not sound smart. Sony isn't an exclusive-or-nothing company. Did they tell Rockstar, give us GTA exclusively, or we don't want it at all? Same with CoD, FF, Tomb Raider, BF, and every other major third party game.

2. The claims about Azure servers are true. Insomniac really did need some of that cloud computing power. In this case, the proof will need to be in the pudding. If the game doesn't make innovative use of Azure and do something that absolutely can't be done without it, such as cloud processing of graphics, or some essential multiplayer function not possible without the cloud, Insomniac will be issued a please-explain. 

3. What I consider to be most likely, Insomniac asked Sony to fund the game and have the game exclusively (though maybe not own the IP) in a deal similar to Ratchet and Resistance. Sony passed on it because they didn't think the game had wide appeal. Insomniac pitched the same deal to Microsoft, Microsoft agreed. MS saw it as an opportunity to seize an exclusive from a former Sony 2nd party developer. Had MS also passed on it, Insomniac would have likely compromised and released a multiplatform game funded by themselves. 


I really doubt the Xbox Live or Azure servers had anything to do with it. This is just PR speak similar to how Ubisoft claimed Assassin's creed was not doable without Bluray, while the game was still PS3 exclusive. When the deal fell through, they did a reversal and changed their tune. I totally believe that Sony wasn't willing to fund the game because they didn't think the game's idea was a good one, and that the decision to go Xbox exclusive was based on cash from Microsoft. There is no reason to go exclusive for a third party otherwise. It's so easy to port games between XB1 and PS4 that you're just missing out on free sales on the other platform if you go exclusive.. unless you're being paid handsomely to do so. Sony was willing to give incentives for indies to go PS4 exclusive, but not for big budget games. 


Now if the game was designed so that it isn't possible without Xbox Live or Azure, then I'd say that's a bad business decision. In such a competitive industry where it's so hard that developers get laid off all the time and studios close, it would make much more sense to design a game around existing limitations. i.e. don't make a game that only one console can handle. If the other can't do it, alter the design of the game around the limitations of the other to maximize sales.

Blazen702
Blazen702

The X1 has doubled sales of the 360 in the same time frame. The PS4 is junk. Sony ponys are the reason gamespot is a joke nowadays

DarqStalker
DarqStalker

@artmo Out of all the people that played at comic con and had hands on experiences with the game so far, I haven't seen anyone complain and all have said how fun it has been.

Blazen702
Blazen702

You sony ponys are pathetic. They are allowing release on windows because they want the games on PC. They are exclusive to Microsoft. i. e. Titanfall

Blazen702
Blazen702

They are appearing on PC because MS wants them on PC. Are you really that stupid that you don't know that PC games run on windows and run mostly directx which Ms own both. They stay exclusive to Microsoft.

BJCentral
BJCentral

@Daian Yeah and because of it that their still better then ps4.

xenus_13
xenus_13

You are a joke. A very bad one told by an old man with no teeth and a bad memory. No one laughs... because you suck too much.

Deadlysyns87
Deadlysyns87

@Blazen702 Your pathetic insulting him for telling the truth. Ps4 is selling better and is the more powerful console if its junk what is Xb one?

artmo
artmo

@DarqStalker ya I just assumed from what I've seen, I just thought it looked gimmicky, I just hope it's not another huge rip off where people buy it and are done with it forever after a week or two.

Vylsith
Vylsith

@BJCentral @Daian The Last of Us is better than any game released to date on next gen consoles.  Sure it was from last gen, but the game is amazing on the PS4.  Not to mention all the games that look better on the PS4.  The reason why Microsoft had more AAA exclusives  at release is because they ignored the Xbox 360 for the last 3 years of the generation.  Sony was making games for the PS3 up until the release of the PS4.  Sony didn't screw over its existing userbase to attempt to gain momentum in the next generation.  If sales don't increase for the Xbox One, expect less exclusives for Microsoft and more for Sony.  That's the way it works.

lostn
lostn

@jtb_pred @lostn @ArchoNils2 Why did they want the rights to this game? Why didn't they want the rights to Fuse? Do they normally asks for rights to every game they allow on their platform? If not, why this game in particular? Why did they want it so badly that they either wanted the game all to themselves or not at all? Why weren't they willing to share it as a multiplatform title with Microsoft, if they wanted it that badly? Isn't that better than not getting it at all?

DarqStalker
DarqStalker

@Vylsith Ryse looked better than TLOU remasted, IMO.  It's like, it's the game PS4 has to be proud of. Sure it looks good but.. ok?

jtb_pred
jtb_pred

@lostn @jtb_pred @ArchoNils2

erm becuase it's sony?!

under the mask sony cares for nothing more than sales and money. for instance the last of us. their excuse was "some people on ps4 have come from last gen consoles other than the ps3." but really it was a cow producing good milk so they decided to milk it some more and people bought that milk, and drank it up putting cash in sony's pocket. the game has only been out for about a year.


and if they could get a game as fun looking as Sunset overdrive even better for them. but insomniac didn't want to play that game. 

captainhowdy69
captainhowdy69

@alightningboldt That depends on what kind of games you like. They are two very different types of games.
Personally, I think The Last of Us is one of the greatest games I have ever played and I have been gaming for around 30 years now. Having said that, I've also sunk a hell of a lot more time into playing Titanfall than The Last of Us.

lostn
lostn

@jtb_pred @lostn @ArchoNils2 Did Sony point a gun at people and make them repurchase TLOU? If not, then they purchased it of their own volition, and Sony correctly identified there was a market for it. Why is this Sony's fault?

You still haven't answered any of my questions, including why didn't Sony demand the rights to Fuse? And if they really thought Sunset was a really good game, why did they choose to not have the game at all instead of sharing it with MS as a multiplatform title? THIS GAME IS AWESOME, SO AWESOME THAT I DON'T WANT IT. LET MICROSOFT HAVE IT EXCLUSIVELY LOL.

jtb_pred
jtb_pred

@lostn

its sony's fault because they care for nothing but money. they re released a game that looks no different from its previous version. FOR FULL PRICE!

for example halo master cheif collection,4 games all 1080p 60fps, remastered graphics for two games and remastered multiplayer, all dlc beta access and tv program access. all at the fans request. for the price of one game! that is a deal and a genuine release for the fans and not a cash grab.



Fuse was a bad game. Sony obviously didn't care for it. simple. sunset overdrive looks GOOD. they didn't choose to not have it at all. insomniac asked can you publish our game, sony said if we have all rights... Insomniac said fuck that we don't want anymore negotiations happening. they went to microsoft and they said. You want your rights? Fine you've got them, You want to use our Azure servers? Fine you can use them. You need money to help develop the game? heres some cash. BUT! it will be an xbox exclusive....


insomniacs reply: okay!


roughly this is how it happened. sony doesn't care for anything but money, they want franchises to exploit so they can make more cash grabs. sony is the new capcom.



lostn
lostn

@jtb_pred @lostn That makes no sense at all. If I want something and I can't have it all to myself, I'd rather share it than risk not having it at all, and let the other guy have it all to himself.


You mentioned Azure servers. It remains to be seen what they do with it. Personally to me Azure is Microsoft's 'bluray'. The excuse developers of PS3 exclusive games would use when they were asked why the game wasn't on 360. "It can't be done without bluray."


Unless they do something with Azure that completely blows my mind and can't be done without it (dedicated servers is not one of those things), I'm skeptical of it.

Dumb_Dunmer
Dumb_Dunmer

@lostn @jtb_pred ou totally misread the stated reason. It's not about realing the game on the PS4, it's about development costs and publishing. No publisher wants to sink 50+ mil in a brand new IP they don't own. No one, not just Sony, no one wanted to publish except Microsoft. Microsoft wanted it because they want exclusives, so they were willing to bankroll a random game to have more exclusivity ammo.


Which is unfortunate, but likely the right choice for them. It's sorta like Bayonetta being on the Wiiu. The console makers are willing to publish games that most wouldn't, because it pays to have exclusives.


That's what they mean by muscle, not hardware, money. It's not Sony not allowing 3rd party games at all. That is not what's being discussed.

lostn
lostn

@Dumb_Dunmer @lostn @jtb_pred Did Insomniac prefer exclusivity, or multi platform? It sounds like Insomniac got the deal of the century if Microsoft paid for all of its development but still let them own the IP. That's like free money. Did Insomniac try to get a similar deal for Fuse?