Microsoft: You don't need to own studios to make great games

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

This right here shows everything that's wrong with this company. They dont get that you cant just money-hat games at the start of the gen and then completely forget about games at the latter half of the gen.

Buying up developers willy-nilly to ensure the largest possible headcount doesn't equate to having a great exclusive line-up, Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer has claimed,pointing to Microsoft's productive partnership with Epic as evidence that partnering with third party publishers is no less valid a tactic

"I think to some out there there's a fixation with which studios you own, which studios you work with, and for better or worse I'm not fixated on that," he told IGN as part of the latter's Podcast Unlocked.

"I lived through the Xbox 360 generation and we had a great relationship with Epic, and we built Gears of War, and really that franchise was born on the Xbox 360 and hit incredible heights on the Xbox 360.And whether we owned Epic or simply worked with Epic was not part of the conversation [about whether] that game was going to be great.

Certain people will look at how many Microsoft-badged employees do you have versus Sony-badged employees, and when they start to weigh the different first parties," he continued. "And I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture

And I respect that - if people want to work that way, we'll continue to work with them. I don't see it as a barrier to what we can do together.

Whether it's Remedy, whether it's Insomniac, whether it's Crytek. So the relationship with Respawn? Obviously they have a publisher, EA, for their game, but it's a strong relationship and we feel great about what they're bringing to Xbox."

#2 Posted by LoG-Sacrament (20397 posts) -

to be honest, i prefer when microsoft doesn't buy studios :P

#3 Posted by Black_Knight_00 (18416 posts) -

Translation: "You don't need to own studios to make PROFITABLE games"

To these people "good" means it made them a shit ton of money.

It's not the same meaning gamers give to "good"

#4 Posted by BadNewsBen (1493 posts) -

I liked this interview. I think that - as we slowly move into a more transparent society - companies are beginning to recognize that people enjoy a genuine response. That's what I got out of this.

Not to mention, it's nice to hear that people aren't trying to monopolize everything.

#5 Posted by TaigoSantos (5 posts) -

nicee =)

#6 Posted by Jacanuk (4339 posts) -

This right here shows everything that's wrong with this company. They dont get that you cant just money-hat games at the start of the gen and then completely forget about games at the latter half of the gen.

Buying up developers willy-nilly to ensure the largest possible headcount doesn't equate to having a great exclusive line-up, Microsoft Studios boss Phil Spencer has claimed,pointing to Microsoft's productive partnership with Epic as evidence that partnering with third party publishers is no less valid a tactic

"I think to some out there there's a fixation with which studios you own, which studios you work with, and for better or worse I'm not fixated on that," he told IGN as part of the latter's Podcast Unlocked.

"I lived through the Xbox 360 generation and we had a great relationship with Epic, and we built Gears of War, and really that franchise was born on the Xbox 360 and hit incredible heights on the Xbox 360.And whether we owned Epic or simply worked with Epic was not part of the conversation [about whether] that game was going to be great.

Certain people will look at how many Microsoft-badged employees do you have versus Sony-badged employees, and when they start to weigh the different first parties," he continued. "And I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture

And I respect that - if people want to work that way, we'll continue to work with them. I don't see it as a barrier to what we can do together.

Whether it's Remedy, whether it's Insomniac, whether it's Crytek. So the relationship with Respawn? Obviously they have a publisher, EA, for their game, but it's a strong relationship and we feel great about what they're bringing to Xbox."

But he is half right. and you just need to look at all the studios EA have bought and destroyed to know that.

What matters is how the internal structure is and how much the brought in studio gets to work without being slammed by budgets and deadlines.

#7 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

I agree that quality isn't determined by whether a game is first or second party, exclusive or multiplatform. However, Spencer's implication that companies have to choose between a robust first party and working with lots of outsiders is false. Sony has shown that one can do both.

What kills me about MS is that they told Bungie (a talented studio who has made MS dumptruck loads of money) to walk because Bungie wanted to take a break from the extremely safe, very lucrative Halo franchise and make what we now know is Destiny (which looks to me like a fairly safe bet).

Taking a broader perspective, the downside of MS's strategy is that it probably (I say probably because no one ever talks terms of such deals) gets exponentially more expensive as time goes on. The bigger your rival's hardware sales, the more money you have to spend to keep a franchise from moving to the platform. If true, my theory would go some way towards explaining why MS shifted from deals for exclusive games early in the life of the X360 and PS3 (when the PS3's sales were in the millions) to deals for exclusive DLC once they measured their sales in the tens of millions.

Of course, MS could theoretically spent vastly more money than any sane company would ask for (Windows earns MS roughly a billion dollars a month), but its not like the rest of MS or its shareholders have given the game division free reign to burn MS's mountain of money.

On the contrary, MS's early talk about the Xbone selling a billion systems leads me to believe that they are under serious pressure to justify all the money MS has spent (the Xbox lost billions for MS, RROD meant that MS's game division more or less breaks even). Its worth noting that the Xbox's leader (Mattrick) recently went out the door (at roughly the same time the Xbone was unveiled). I strongly suspect that towards the end he was tuned out and letting other divisions and Ballmer do whatever they wanted (not that he could stop Ballmer, but maybe Ballmer would have listened to him) which would explain why the Xbone's rollout was focused on everything but games (NFL deal! An always on, always camera which can feed advertisers data!) and why it included stuff guaranteed to piss off gamers and game designers (Forced inclusion of Kinect, hard to program for, no self-publishing, etc).

http://www.oxm.co.uk/54712/microsoft-aiming-for-100-million-xbox-360s-sold-and-one-billion-next-gen-consoles/

#8 Posted by Randolph (10501 posts) -

@CarnageHeart: I could easily see all or most of that being Mattrick's ideas. Dude was and still is a douchenozzle.

#9 Posted by BranKetra (48453 posts) -

Phil Spencer is trivializing what Sony is doing and saying it is just his opinion.

#10 Posted by firefox59 (4378 posts) -

I really don't see the big deal. Sony's 1st parties like being with Sony. If a company wants to go another way (Insomniac / Bungie) than they are allowed to do that. If a company was a 1st party they wouldn't be allowed. There is a point to this. It just means MS has to be diplomatic and rely on deals rather than in-house. That plus we know they are putting more emphasis on 1st party games for this next gen. Looking at the launch lineups and into the next year it seems to be working.

#11 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

And how is this bad? I would think that gamers (at least those who don't own stock in any game companies) would prefer game developers remain independent instead of seeing them all gobbled up by major publishers. A developer I like being bought by any console manufacturer is the worst thing that could happen as their games will possibly be unavailable to me. Exclusive deals are at least temporary.

And he's not wrong. It's a valid strategy that has actually worked pretty well for Microsoft.

#12 Posted by Shame-usBlackley (18266 posts) -

Microsoft: you don't need to make games.

Fixed.

#13 Posted by Shame-usBlackley (18266 posts) -

I agree that quality isn't determined by whether a game is first or second party, exclusive or multiplatform. However, Spencer's implication that companies have to choose between a robust first party and working with lots of outsiders is false. Sony has shown that one can do both.

What kills me about MS is that they told Bungie (a talented studio who has made MS dumptruck loads of money) to walk because Bungie wanted to take a break from the extremely safe, very lucrative Halo franchise and make what we now know is Destiny (which looks to me like a fairly safe bet).

Taking a broader perspective, the downside of MS's strategy is that it probably (I say probably because no one ever talks terms of such deals) gets exponentially more expensive as time goes on. The bigger your rival's hardware sales, the more money you have to spend to keep a franchise from moving to the platform. If true, my theory would go some way towards explaining why MS shifted from deals for exclusive games early in the life of the X360 and PS3 (when the PS3's sales were in the millions) to deals for exclusive DLC once they measured their sales in the tens of millions.

Of course, MS could theoretically spent vastly more money than any sane company would ask for (Windows earns MS roughly a billion dollars a month), but its not like the rest of MS or its On the contrary, MS's early talk about the Xbone selling a billion systems leads me to believe that they are under serious pressure to justify all the money MS has spent (the Xbox lost billions for MS, RROD meant that MS's game division more or less breaks even). Its worth noting that the Xbox's leader (Mattrick) recently went out the door (at roughly the same time the Xbone was unveiled). I strongly suspect that towards the end he was tuned out and letting other divisions and Ballmer do whatever they wanted (not that he could stop Ballmer, but maybe Ballmer would have listened to him) which would explain why the Xbone's rollout was focused on everything but games (NFL deal! An always on, always camera which can feed advertisers data!) and why it included stuff guaranteed to piss off gamers and game designers (Forced inclusion of Kinect, hard to program for, no self-publishing, etc).

http://www.oxm.co.uk/54712/microsoft-aiming-for-100-million-xbox-360s-sold-and-one-billion-next-gen-consoles/

Yeah, there's still so many things wrong with this system even after the half dozen or so that have been fixed. Still, the "were gunna shell a billion shyshtems" line shows just how incredibly deep the entire company had its head up its ass. The Xbone will sell less than the 360, guaranteed.

#14 Posted by c_rakestraw (14624 posts) -

He's not wrong. As long as you're securing exclusive software, it doesn't matter whether it's coming from third-, second-, or first-party studios. Hell, before this gen, third-party exclusives were commonplace, unlike now where they're more of a rarity.

#15 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

Microsoft: you don't need to make games.

Fixed.

No, you're thinking about the PS4 launch lineup. :)

#16 Edited by Shame-usBlackley (18266 posts) -

@UpInFlames said:

@Shame-usBlackley said:

Microsoft: you don't need to make games.

Fixed.

No, you're thinking about the PS4 launch lineup. :)

Yeah, I should have said "good" games. :P

Besides, Resogun is going to be better than anything released on the Xbone at launch. True story.

#17 Posted by F1Lengend (7883 posts) -

Microsoft essentially pays companies to not release their games on Sony/Nintento consoles. They spend millions on that. If you are an Xbox gamer, you would have gotten Titanfall regardless, so MS's limited funds are being spent to hurt other consumers and not benefit their own. Sonys limited funds goes to creating new games that wouldn't exist if Sony didn't fund them, thus bringing more games into the median and giving their customers a real reason to own the system. Sonys method also benefits them long term where MS can't justifiy spending so much on subsequent games, as the userbases get larger and it becomes more expensive like Carnage mentioned.

#18 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

And how is this bad? I would think that gamers (at least those who don't own stock in any game companies) would prefer game developers remain independent instead of seeing them all gobbled up by major publishers. A developer I like being bought by any console manufacturer is the worst thing that could happen as their games will possibly be unavailable to me. Exclusive deals are at least temporary.

And he's not wrong. It's a valid strategy that has actually worked pretty well for Microsoft.

No one is saying they should buy existing studios, but there needs to be an intent to cultivate home grown talent and foster new studios of your own. Nintendo got where they are today by doing this. Sony as well. MS has funded only one major studio in the last gen and then they had them put out Halo sequels.

#19 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

Actually, there really isn't some sort of huge discrepancy between Sony and Microsoft regarding owned developers. All in all, Microsoft owns 24 game studios (a lot of those are Kinect and mobile studios) whereas Sony owns 17. And even if we only list the "core" ones, it's still about even.

Microsoft:

  1. 343 Industries
  2. Turn 10
  3. Rare
  4. Lionhead
  5. Twisted Pixel
  6. Black Tusk
  7. Team Dakota

Microsoft also owns Victoria and Lift which supposedly have untitled "core" projects in development, but we don't know anything about that so I won't list that.

Sony:

  1. Japan Studio
  2. Polyphony Digital
  3. Naughty Dog
  4. Santa Monica
  5. Sucker Punch
  6. Evolution
  7. Guerrilla
  8. Media Molecule
#20 Edited by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

Besides, Resogun is going to be better than anything released on the Xbone at launch. True story.

Eh, personally I think shmups should've been buried back in the 80's along with all those ET cartridges, but enjoy. :)

#21 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

Actually, there really isn't some sort of huge discrepancy between Sony and Microsoft regarding owned developers. All in all, Microsoft owns 24 game studios (a lot of those are Kinect and mobile studios) whereas Sony owns 17. And even if we only list the "core" ones, it's still about even.

If that's the case then how do you explain this?

#22 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

UiF, Rare is a casual studio nowadays.

#23 Posted by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

Oh God, I'm having System Wars flashbacks...

#24 Posted by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -


If that's the case then how do you explain this?

Um, that IS the case and now you're just turning the discussion in a direction that suits you, but has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You said how Microsoft doesn't cultivate their own talent and doesn't foster new studios and I showed how that isn't the case. Note that four of those Microsoft's studios are brand new that haven't released anything so far.

I never said anything about number of games in an extremely selective timespan.

#25 Edited by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

@UpInFlames: Also, MM, SSM, ND and Guerrila are all rumored to have two teams. Sony Japan has multiple teams as well. For instance they were able to release Gravity Rush, Pupeteer, The Last Guardian (lol) and Knack all within a year and a half.

#26 Edited by IndianaPwns39 (5037 posts) -

@UpInFlames: Also, MM, SSM, ND and Guerrila are all rumored to have two teams. Sony Japan has multiple teams as well. For instance they are working on Gravity Rush, Pupeteer, The Last Guardian (lol) and Knack all within a year and a half.

This was a good argument until you mentioned The Last Guardian :P

#27 Edited by UpInFlames (13279 posts) -

@CarnageHeart said:

UiF, Rare is a casual studio nowadays.

Well, maybe they'll make a real game again someday, but alright. Six vs. eight is still alright. And that's still not counting Microsoft's two brand new studios supposedly working on "core" projects.

@S0lidSnake said:

@UpInFlames: Also, MM, SSM, ND and Guerrila are all rumored to have two teams. Sony Japan has multiple teams as well. For instance they were able to release Gravity Rush, Pupeteer, The Last Guardian (lol) and Knack all within a year and a half.

Good for them. I never claimed that Sony isn't investing in their own studios and I never said anything about output.

#28 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

@S0lidSnake said:

If that's the case then how do you explain this?

Um, that IS the case and now you're just turning the discussion in a direction that suits you, but has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You said how Microsoft doesn't cultivate their own talent and doesn't foster new studios and I showed how that isn't the case. Note that four of those Microsoft's studios are brand new that haven't released anything so far.

I never said anything about number of games in an extremely selective timespan.

Well, I didnt know four of them were new. I was genuinely curious why it didn't translate into any games since the year they introduced Kinect.

If we went back and included all 7 years of this gen, 8 for Microsoft, they would still get their ass handed to them. :P

Let's see if MS follows through on their promise and lets these new studios make the games they want to make.

#29 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

@CarnageHeart said:

UiF, Rare is a casual studio nowadays.

Well, maybe they'll make a real game again someday, but alright. Six vs. eight is still alright. And that's still not counting Microsoft's two brand new studios supposedly working on "core" projects.

@S0lidSnake said:

@UpInFlames: Also, MM, SSM, ND and Guerrila are all rumored to have two teams. Sony Japan has multiple teams as well. For instance they were able to release Gravity Rush, Pupeteer, The Last Guardian (lol) and Knack all within a year and a half.

Good for them. I never claimed that Sony isn't investing in their own studios and I never said anything about output.

But you did make a comparison in this very post stating the number is 6v8. Now if there are two teams within one studio for four of their studios, that brings it up to 12, no?

That 2:1.

#30 Posted by Shame-usBlackley (18266 posts) -

@S0lidSnake said:

If that's the case then how do you explain this?

Um, that IS the case and now you're just turning the discussion in a direction that suits you, but has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You said how Microsoft doesn't cultivate their own talent and doesn't foster new studios and I showed how that isn't the case. Note that four of those Microsoft's studios are brand new that haven't released anything so far.

I never said anything about number of games in an extremely selective timespan.

Okay, so they have studios that don't make anything, or at least -- anything worth playing. Rock on.

#31 Posted by Shame-usBlackley (18266 posts) -

@UpInFlames said:

@S0lidSnake said:

If that's the case then how do you explain this?

Um, that IS the case and now you're just turning the discussion in a direction that suits you, but has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You said how Microsoft doesn't cultivate their own talent and doesn't foster new studios and I showed how that isn't the case. Note that four of those Microsoft's studios are brand new that haven't released anything so far.

I never said anything about number of games in an extremely selective timespan.

Well, I didnt know four of them were new. I was genuinely curious why it didn't translate into any games since the year they introduced Kinect.

If we went back and included all 7 years of this gen, 8 for Microsoft, they would still get their ass handed to them. :P

Let's see if MS follows through on their promise and lets these new studios make the games they want to make.

I don't see how anyone can make the case that Microsoft has acted like they give two shits about core gamers the last three years. Their output has been fucking abysmal, and that's putting it kindly. Protip: when Nintendo releases make your library look sparse, you have real fucking problems.

#32 Posted by experience_fade (259 posts) -

Oh God, I'm having System Wars flashbacks...

Right?

What was the point of this thread, I'm just curious. Honest curiosity, not being mean or anything.

#33 Edited by BranKetra (48453 posts) -

@UpInFlames said:

@S0lidSnake said:

If that's the case then how do you explain this?

Um, that IS the case and now you're just turning the discussion in a direction that suits you, but has nothing to do with the discussion at hand. You said how Microsoft doesn't cultivate their own talent and doesn't foster new studios and I showed how that isn't the case. Note that four of those Microsoft's studios are brand new that haven't released anything so far.

I never said anything about number of games in an extremely selective timespan.

Okay, so they have studios that don't make anything, or at least -- anything worth playing. Rock on.

I almost completely agree. The only Xbox 360 exclusive I have any interest in getting at this point is Halo 4.

#34 Posted by Randolph (10501 posts) -

@BranKetra: I really do want to give that game a look one day, I used to big into Halo, and I heard great things about Halo 4. I just don't want to invest into 360 hardware again to play it, which is why BC would have been a helpful thing to have. Maybe they'll consider a special edition on the Xbone.

#35 Edited by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

@experience_fade said:

@IndianaPwns39 said:

Oh God, I'm having System Wars flashbacks...

Right?

What was the point of this thread, I'm just curious. Honest curiosity, not being mean or anything.

There is no point. A Microsoft exec said something and we are discussing it.

It just so happens that this exec was one of the people who designed their next gen console and he said money hatting exclusives is better than cultivating first party studios.

#36 Posted by BranKetra (48453 posts) -

@Randolph said:

@BranKetra: I really do want to give that game a look one day, I used to big into Halo, and I heard great things about Halo 4. I just don't want to invest into 360 hardware again to play it, which is why BC would have been a helpful thing to have. Maybe they'll consider a special edition on the Xbone.

Halo would definitely improve the Xbox One library. There is a 360 around here, so I might buy it on Black Friday if there are no PS4s available. The next generation is here, so it will most likely be a backlog game of mine for a while if I do.

#37 Posted by experience_fade (259 posts) -

@experience_fade said:

@IndianaPwns39 said:

Oh God, I'm having System Wars flashbacks...

Right?

What was the point of this thread, I'm just curious. Honest curiosity, not being mean or anything.

There is no point. A Microsoft exec said something and we are discussing it.

It just so happens that this exec was one of the people who designed their next gen console and he said money hatting exclusives is better than cultivating first party studios.

Money hatting? Where did he say that, specifically? The bit about working with Epic? I'm not quite sure I see where the negativeness of his interview is coming from. This line (that you bolded)

"And I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture, And I respect that - if people want to work that way, we'll continue to work with them. I don't see it as a barrier to what we can do together."

Eh, that sounds like the nicest BS line I've ever seen. Seems like something Sony would say (and then everyone would come in chanting, "See! Sony really does love indies!"

I just don't get where the bad part comes in. Help me out.

#38 Edited by GodModeEnabled (15314 posts) -

Agree with the exec, it seems like a good strategy that has served MS very well and probably will continue to do so in the future.

Still whether you are using this strategy or cultivating your own studios the end result is roughly the same.

But in the end I think I prefer Sony's strategy more as it seems to produce more games of greater quality, not to mention what they are doing in the indiespace a place where MS has really dropped the ball and where I think it will be much more important to have than AAA stuff since those are on the way out and indie is on the way in.

#39 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

Money hatting? Where did he say that, specifically? The bit about working with Epic? I'm not quite sure I see where the negativeness of his interview is coming from. This line (that you bolded)

"And I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture, And I respect that - if people want to work that way, we'll continue to work with them. I don't see it as a barrier to what we can do together."

Eh, that sounds like the nicest BS line I've ever seen. Seems like something Sony would say (and then everyone would come in chanting, "See! Sony really does love indies!"

I just don't get where the bad part comes in. Help me out.

Where have you been the past few years? Or hell where were you yesterday when they bought TitanFall exclusivity? That right there is a definition of money-hatting. They aren't developing the game with EA and Respawn. They simply paid for the exclusivity. At first, only for a year and then for life.

And there is a difference in the way Sony cultivated studios like Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, Sucker Punch and Guerrilla Games versus what MS is doing paying for exclusivity. Sony funded their projects from day 1 and took the risk on games like Heavy Rain, Flower, Journey and L.A Noire. They didn't ditch Evolution Studios after Motorstorm games failed to sell. They recognized their talents and bought them. What did MS do when Bungie said they didnt want to work on Halo anymore? They let them go. So very nice of them.

The best way to describe how Sony's approach is different from MS is by looking at what they are doing with Ready At Dawn. There is no way a small studio like Ready At Dawn can make something as massive as The Order 1886. Sony has their own studios helping with the development. If Sony does not put in the money, this game does not get made. You cant say the same about Titan Fall or Destiny or all the other games MS's 'kind' exec passed on when he passed on them and threw them into the wild without giving a shit about whether or not they find a publisher who would fund their game.

Lastly, if he is so happy with independent developers then why did they FORCE every single indie developer to publish their game exclusively on Xbox 360 first? Why didnt they allow them to self-publish? And why did they delay every other version of the game just because they didn't want sloppy seconds? I dont remember Sony saying no to Limbo, Braid or other games that used to be XBLA exclusives. MS on the other hand did not want anything to do with a game that did not appear on their console the same time as it did on the PS4.

lol How comes there are no indie games at launch? You're right it's the nicest BS line I've ever read too.

#40 Posted by Ish_basic (4010 posts) -

@ Just gonna float some numbers. So, retailers get 20% of the $60 retail price, about $5 is spent on material costs and then let's say about $10 go to licensing (the exact cost varies by console manufacturer, but it's usually around that much). So publishers get back about $35 per unit to pay for their various other costs.

For an exclusivity agreement to be worthwhile to the publisher, they're gonna want to make more money from the contract than they would expect to make selling the game multiplatform. For unproven titles, a console manufacturer might be able to buy exclusivity cheap, but if we're talking a game that's expected to sell 1 million on the competing console, we're talking a pay out of 35mill. 2 mill sold = 70 mill. 3 million sold = 105mill payout. At some point, it just becomes cheaper to make the game yourself than buy it from someone else.

You can buy exclusives right now because the console user-bases have yet to be established. There's the uncertainty of production and consumer response leading to lower expectations for game sales. But let's take it a year in, if MS and Sony are neck and neck, or one is ahead of the other, it's gonna cost you a fortune to buy exclusives. From a warm and fuzzy standpoint, yes it's better if every dev is independent, but from a business standpoint, you want games the other guy doesn't have. The only sure way to make that happen and not lose your shirt in the process is to own the company making the game.

But I get it - it's expensive to develop and cultivate in-house studios. It took Sony years, and many of those years were frustrations (like 989 studios). I think MS is trying to side-step all expenses of developing a talented in-house by trying to buy sure-things when they're at their cheapest. Maybe that could work, but it just seems quality exclusive releases after the first couple years of the 360 were few and far between.

#41 Edited by experience_fade (259 posts) -

@S0lidSnake said:

@experience_fade said:

Money hatting? Where did he say that, specifically? The bit about working with Epic? I'm not quite sure I see where the negativeness of his interview is coming from. This line (that you bolded)

"And I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture, And I respect that - if people want to work that way, we'll continue to work with them. I don't see it as a barrier to what we can do together."

Eh, that sounds like the nicest BS line I've ever seen. Seems like something Sony would say (and then everyone would come in chanting, "See! Sony really does love indies!"

I just don't get where the bad part comes in. Help me out.

Where have you been the past few years? Or hell where were you yesterday when they bought TitanFall exclusivity? That right there is a definition of money-hatting. They aren't developing the game with EA and Respawn. They simply paid for the exclusivity. At first, only for a year and then for life.

And there is a difference in the way Sony cultivated studios like Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, Sucker Punch and Guerrilla Games versus what MS is doing paying for exclusivity. Sony funded their projects from day 1 and took the risk on games like Heavy Rain, Flower, Journey and L.A Noire. They didn't ditch Evolution Studios after Motorstorm games failed to sell. They recognized their talents and bought them. What did MS do when Bungie said they didnt want to work on Halo anymore? They let them go. So very nice of them.

The best way to describe how Sony's approach is different from MS is by looking at what they are doing with Ready At Dawn. There is no way a small studio like Ready At Dawn can make something as massive as The Order 1886. Sony has their own studios helping with the development. If Sony does not put in the money, this game does not get made. You cant say the same about Titan Fall or Destiny or all the other games MS's 'kind' exec passed on when he passed on them and threw them into the wild without giving a shit about whether or not they find a publisher who would fund their game.

Lastly, if he is so happy with independent developers then why did they FORCE every single indie developer to publish their game exclusively on Xbox 360 first? Why didnt they allow them to self-publish? And why did they delay every other version of the game just because they didn't want sloppy seconds? I dont remember Sony saying no to Limbo, Braid or other games that used to be XBLA exclusives. MS on the other hand did not want anything to do with a game that did not appear on their console the same time as it did on the PS4.

lol How comes there are no indie games at launch? You're right it's the nicest BS line I've ever read too.

Oh, my. You can't possibly be serious.

About the only valid line in that whole post of nonsense is the bit about Respawn. EA surprised them with the X1 exclusivity announcement, and while EA is EA (and not Microsoft) it's safe to assume the decision was at least pushed by Microsoft. But really, you're going to fault Microsoft for that? This was evil by Microsoft? The most critically lauded game (at E3) of all time -- no exagerration -- Titanfall being locked down as an exclusive is sheer brilliance. Welcome to business.

Seriously though. Money hatting? Oh, how evil of Microsoft to make a smart business decision that ANYONE with half a brain would do. You'd better hope Sony would do something similar, were they given the chance. The funny part is, Limbo/Braid thing you said only shows that Sony would do the same thing, and they did. Why would Sony say no to Limbo or Braid? You think it was out of the kindness of their hearts? That they just were like, "Hey, it's okay that you came out on XBL first... come here little guy, you can be on PSN too!"

Uh, no. Limbo and Braid made them a ton of money. It was a no brainer.

Further more, why do you think Respawn wants to be on the PS4 platform? "Cause it would make a lot of gamers happy!!!!" Er, no, because there's a lot of money in it. Seriously, are you that naive?

The gaming industry has, and always will be about money. Sony and Microsoft are about the bottom line, and nothing else. So however you incorrectly summarize their business decisions and movements within the gaming industry, understand one thing: they do it for money. That's what I don't think you understand, apparently. Everything in your post equates a "nice guy" or "evil" tag to business decisions either by Microsoft or Sony over the past few years.

But again, I repeat: it's not about being nice, or sticking with the struggling studio. It's about making money. Sticking with Evolution Studios was done for financial reasons. Releasing Bungie was for financial reasons. Buying a studio is for financial reasons. Buying exclusivity is for financial reasons.

THEY'RE ALL THE SAME.

And that's why, for clarification purposes I'll state, I don't hate Sony, and in fact, respect them. They've actually got gamers sitting back like, "Sony cares about us!" That's brilliant, it really is. People like you do their advertising for them. It's impressive.

#42 Edited by c_rakestraw (14624 posts) -
@S0lidSnake said:

Lastly, if he is so happy with independent developers then why did they FORCE every single indie developer to publish their game exclusively on Xbox 360 first? Why didnt they allow them to self-publish? And why did they delay every other version of the game just because they didn't want sloppy seconds? I dont remember Sony saying no to Limbo, Braid or other games that used to be XBLA exclusives. MS on the other hand did not want anything to do with a game that did not appear on their console the same time as it did on the PS4.

Sony didn't say no, but the developers did at first because Sony originally wanted to own the Limbo IP. If not for that, it might have launched first on PSN. So they aren't without fault in their treatment of indies, either.

@experience_fade said:

And that's why, for clarification purposes I'll state, I don't hate Sony, and in fact, respect them. They've actually got gamers sitting back like, "Sony cares about us!" That's brilliant, it really is. People like you do their advertising for them. It's impressive.

When you treat your customers like humans, people tend to be more supportive of your company. Sony recently has been pretty devoted to that line of logic, even though conventional wisdom says it's bad business. Hell, even I'll admit that's definitely helped their perception in my eyes. Much prefer this new humble Sony more than arrogant Sony circa-2006.

#43 Edited by experience_fade (259 posts) -

@S0lidSnake said:

Lastly, if he is so happy with independent developers then why did they FORCE every single indie developer to publish their game exclusively on Xbox 360 first? Why didnt they allow them to self-publish? And why did they delay every other version of the game just because they didn't want sloppy seconds? I dont remember Sony saying no to Limbo, Braid or other games that used to be XBLA exclusives. MS on the other hand did not want anything to do with a game that did not appear on their console the same time as it did on the PS4.

Sony didn't say no, but the developers did at first because Sony originally wanted to own the Limbo IP. If not for that, it might have launched first on PSN. So they aren't without fault in their treatment of indies, either.

@experience_fade said:

And that's why, for clarification purposes I'll state, I don't hate Sony, and in fact, respect them. They've actually got gamers sitting back like, "Sony cares about us!" That's brilliant, it really is. People like you do their advertising for them. It's impressive.

When you treat your customers like humans, people tend to be more supportive of your company. Sony recently has been pretty devoted to that line of logic, even though conventional wisdom says it's bad business. Hell, even I'll admit that's definitely helped their perception in my eyes. Much prefer this new humble Sony more than arrogant Sony circa-2006.

I completely agree. Sony's momentum from their "we care about gamers" mantra is unquestionably impressive. They deserve to get more launch sales. Hopefully, they continue their streak beyond the first couple of years of the launch cycle.

#44 Edited by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

Agree with the exec, it seems like a good strategy that has served MS very well and probably will continue to do so in the future.

Still whether you are using this strategy or cultivating your own studios the end result is roughly the same.

But in the end I think I prefer Sony's strategy more as it seems to produce more games of greater quality, not to mention what they are doing in the indiespace a place where MS has really dropped the ball and where I think it will be much more important to have than AAA stuff since those are on the way out and indie is on the way in.

I disagree. As I noted in my admittedly lengthy first post in this thread, MS's strategy works well early on, but becomes too expensive once consoles sales are measured in the tens of millions of units (which is probably why after a couple years MS stopped buying exclusive games and started buying exclusive DLC).

#45 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

@S0lidSnake said:

@experience_fade said:

Money hatting? Where did he say that, specifically? The bit about working with Epic? I'm not quite sure I see where the negativeness of his interview is coming from. This line (that you bolded)

"And I know there are some people that want to own their own studio, be independent, drive their business, and go completely their own way, keep their own culture, And I respect that - if people want to work that way, we'll continue to work with them. I don't see it as a barrier to what we can do together."

Eh, that sounds like the nicest BS line I've ever seen. Seems like something Sony would say (and then everyone would come in chanting, "See! Sony really does love indies!"

I just don't get where the bad part comes in. Help me out.

Where have you been the past few years? Or hell where were you yesterday when they bought TitanFall exclusivity? That right there is a definition of money-hatting. They aren't developing the game with EA and Respawn. They simply paid for the exclusivity. At first, only for a year and then for life.

And there is a difference in the way Sony cultivated studios like Naughty Dog, Media Molecule, Sucker Punch and Guerrilla Games versus what MS is doing paying for exclusivity. Sony funded their projects from day 1 and took the risk on games like Heavy Rain, Flower, Journey and L.A Noire. They didn't ditch Evolution Studios after Motorstorm games failed to sell. They recognized their talents and bought them. What did MS do when Bungie said they didnt want to work on Halo anymore? They let them go. So very nice of them.

The best way to describe how Sony's approach is different from MS is by looking at what they are doing with Ready At Dawn. There is no way a small studio like Ready At Dawn can make something as massive as The Order 1886. Sony has their own studios helping with the development. If Sony does not put in the money, this game does not get made. You cant say the same about Titan Fall or Destiny or all the other games MS's 'kind' exec passed on when he passed on them and threw them into the wild without giving a shit about whether or not they find a publisher who would fund their game.

Lastly, if he is so happy with independent developers then why did they FORCE every single indie developer to publish their game exclusively on Xbox 360 first? Why didnt they allow them to self-publish? And why did they delay every other version of the game just because they didn't want sloppy seconds? I dont remember Sony saying no to Limbo, Braid or other games that used to be XBLA exclusives. MS on the other hand did not want anything to do with a game that did not appear on their console the same time as it did on the PS4.

lol How comes there are no indie games at launch? You're right it's the nicest BS line I've ever read too.

Oh, my. You can't possibly be serious.

About the only valid line in that whole post of nonsense is the bit about Respawn. EA surprised them with the X1 exclusivity announcement, and while EA is EA (and not Microsoft) it's safe to assume the decision was at least pushed by Microsoft. But really, you're going to fault Microsoft for that? This was evil by Microsoft? The most critically lauded game (at E3) of all time -- no exagerration -- Titanfall being locked down as an exclusive is sheer brilliance. Welcome to business.

Seriously though. Money hatting? Oh, how evil of Microsoft to make a smart business decision that ANYONE with half a brain would do. You'd better hope Sony would do something similar, were they given the chance. The funny part is, Limbo/Braid thing you said only shows that Sony would do the same thing, and they did. Why would Sony say no to Limbo or Braid? You think it was out of the kindness of their hearts? That they just were like, "Hey, it's okay that you came out on XBL first... come here little guy, you can be on PSN too!"

Uh, no. Limbo and Braid made them a ton of money. It was a no brainer.

Further more, why do you think Respawn wants to be on the PS4 platform? "Cause it would make a lot of gamers happy!!!!" Er, no, because there's a lot of money in it. Seriously, are you that naive?

The gaming industry has, and always will be about money. Sony and Microsoft are about the bottom line, and nothing else. So however you incorrectly summarize their business decisions and movements within the gaming industry, understand one thing: they do it for money. That's what I don't think you understand, apparently. Everything in your post equates a "nice guy" or "evil" tag to business decisions either by Microsoft or Sony over the past few years.

But again, I repeat: it's not about being nice, or sticking with the struggling studio. It's about making money. Sticking with Evolution Studios was done for financial reasons. Releasing Bungie was for financial reasons. Buying a studio is for financial reasons. Buying exclusivity is for financial reasons.

THEY'RE ALL THE SAME.

And that's why, for clarification purposes I'll state, I don't hate Sony, and in fact, respect them. They've actually got gamers sitting back like, "Sony cares about us!" That's brilliant, it really is. People like you do their advertising for them. It's impressive.

They aren't all the same. Nintendo, Sony and MS all have very different attitudes towards game development and as a result have cultivated different fanbases (companies reap what they sow). MS and Nintendo made a lot of money off of casuals this generation so both companies turned their focus away from core gamers (releasing only a handful of safe core franchises like Halo, Mario, Zelda and Gears) and focused most of their attention and creativity on casuals. By way of contrast Sony (who didn't have much luck with casuals) has kept its focus on the core.

Also, Nintendo and MS (for slightly differing reasons I won't go into here) haven't offered strong support for their consoles in the past few years, while Sony has continued to offer strong support to the PS3.

Last but not least, all three companies' view of casuals has impacted hardware design. Both Nintendo and MS have developed expensive, underpowered, hard to program for consoles with very, very expensive casual oriented controllers. Sony developed a cheap, powerful, easy to program console which ships with a cheap and (mostly) traditional controller. So, yeah, they all want money, but they all pursue it in very different ways.

#46 Edited by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

@experience_fade said:

Oh, my. You can't possibly be serious.

About the only valid line in that whole post of nonsense is the bit about Respawn. EA surprised them with the X1 exclusivity announcement, and while EA is EA (and not Microsoft) it's safe to assume the decision was at least pushed by Microsoft. But really, you're going to fault Microsoft for that? This was evil by Microsoft? The most critically lauded game (at E3) of all time -- no exagerration -- Titanfall being locked down as an exclusive is sheer brilliance. Welcome to business.

Seriously though. Money hatting? Oh, how evil of Microsoft to make a smart business decision that ANYONE with half a brain would do. You'd better hope Sony would do something similar, were they given the chance. The funny part is, Limbo/Braid thing you said only shows that Sony would do the same thing, and they did. Why would Sony say no to Limbo or Braid? You think it was out of the kindness of their hearts? That they just were like, "Hey, it's okay that you came out on XBL first... come here little guy, you can be on PSN too!"

Uh, no. Limbo and Braid made them a ton of money. It was a no brainer.

Further more, why do you think Respawn wants to be on the PS4 platform? "Cause it would make a lot of gamers happy!!!!" Er, no, because there's a lot of money in it. Seriously, are you that naive?

The gaming industry has, and always will be about money. Sony and Microsoft are about the bottom line, and nothing else. So however you incorrectly summarize their business decisions and movements within the gaming industry, understand one thing: they do it for money. That's what I don't think you understand, apparently. Everything in your post equates a "nice guy" or "evil" tag to business decisions either by Microsoft or Sony over the past few years.

But again, I repeat: it's not about being nice, or sticking with the struggling studio. It's about making money. Sticking with Evolution Studios was done for financial reasons. Releasing Bungie was for financial reasons. Buying a studio is for financial reasons. Buying exclusivity is for financial reasons.

THEY'RE ALL THE SAME.

And that's why, for clarification purposes I'll state, I don't hate Sony, and in fact, respect them. They've actually got gamers sitting back like, "Sony cares about us!" That's brilliant, it really is. People like you do their advertising for them. It's impressive.

Oh spare me industry lesson. Who are you talking to? I just did a CTRL+F on 'Sony cares about us' and never once did I mention that. Where did I say it is not about the money? Also, How old are you? Of course we know it's a business, every conversation here starts with both parties knowing it is a business. Please dont use card when you dont have a direct response to anything I said.

You asked for a clarification and then proceeded to ignore nearly all of it. Then went on and on about how they are all the same and it's all about the money. Not the nicest thing to do. How about you actually address what I had to say. Again, how old are you? I need an answer before I continue this because you seem like you are new to forums.

I love how you completely missed the point about Limbo and Braid. It is Microsoft's policy that they do not accept games that came out on rival platforms first. Does Sony have that policy? Obviously not since these games came out. And this is why they are not ALL THE SAME. I bet you didn't even know that about MS or you wouldn't have completely misunderstood what I was saying.

And the next time you accuse me of being a Sony shill, take a deep breath and decide against it. You've been here what? Two three months? You dont know anything about me. Dont make this about me just because you cant come with up a decent response based on facts.

I love how I struck a nerve with you when I accused MS of money-hatting a game they clearly money-hatted. You directly assumed that I was accusing them of being evil. You completely missed me references to your post about 'nice bullshit'. It's like you saw someone criticize MS and clearly went into defense mode and misinterpreted everything I said. And I am the shill?

Again, how old are you? Let's start with that.

EDIT: Cleaned it up a bit.

#47 Posted by CarnageHeart (18316 posts) -

@S0lidSnake:

Just the other day you wished Alex was here. Maybe he is.

#48 Posted by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

@CarnageHeart: lol what was i thinking. I am just so fed up arguing with these newbies who present the same arguments i dealt with 13 years ago. Maybe i am getting too old for this.

#49 Edited by Shame-usBlackley (18266 posts) -

@CarnageHeart said:

@S0lidSnake:

Just the other day you wished Alex was here. Maybe he is.

Or if it's not him, perhaps it's a close relative making a lame attempt to avenge him. You know, like Hans Gruber's brother in Die Hard 3. Except Jeremy Irons was actually fun to hear talk, while this chap is just kind of boring.

#50 Edited by S0lidSnake (29001 posts) -

Also, here is an example of how Sony and MS are not all the same. Two days ago, news broke out that the PS4 wont play mp3s or support DLNA (home pc content streaming). Internet went crazy. Their execs started getting hate mail of twitter. But what did they do? They straight away responded that they are going to look into it. Two days later today, gaf insiders say that mp3 and DLNA support will be patched in.

How long did MS go before they fixed the myriads of issues with the X1? Instead they told us we were overreacting and that we should buy a 360 instead.