Sony doesn’t need to “buy outright exclusivity”

3 min read


This year’s Gamescom won’t be remembered for surprise reveals or gigantic game showings. Instead it’ll be remembered for the PR storm surrounding Microsoft and Rise of the Tomb Raider. A lot of people are claiming that Microsoft is now trying to buy exclusives, something Sony says they’ll never do. Except, they already do buy some exclusives. Sort of.

CVG landed a rather lengthy interview with PlayStation Europe’s Jim Ryan, in which they ask him about Sony’s policy towards buying third-party exclusivity. Ryan pointed out that Sony have made many deals to secure exclusive content in third-party titles, but doesn’t feel that Sony needs to purchase the game outright.

“So do we feel the need to go out and buy outright exclusivity? Probably not. You saw last night [at Sony’s press conference] that before the media briefing we showed updated videos of games that we had revealed at E3. That’s because we wanted to keep the show itself full of new, fresh things. We think that gave us a good, strong, convincing portfolio of exclusive stuff and we’re happy with that.”

A nice little, truthful, jab at Microsoft no doubt. Problem is that while this might apply to big AAA titles, Sony definitely doesn’t follow their own rules when it comes to indie exclusivity. Ryan actually confirms this later on in the interview, saying that Sony offers various different types of support to indie studios. This sometimes comes with some sort of exclusivity deal, with No Man’s Sky – a game that will release first on PS4 – being a prime example.

“It’s that approach, which makes us friendlier to indie devs, and on top of that, the icing on the cake is that we will go out and look at a small number of games and seek to help the developer make those games as successful as they possibly can, and that support can take a whole range of forms.

It can take the form of financial support, it can take the form of having Sean Murray from Hello Games on the stage at E3, there are many ways to do it and we try not to be prescriptive and say “this is the template you have to follow, this is the path.”

So it’s really unclear whether Sony just opposes the idea of purchasing exclusivity on big, AAA titles, because that’s definitely not the case when it comes to indie. Granted, indie developers are smaller studios that sometimes require this type of help to make their ideas a reality. It just seems a little bit underhanded for Sony to say they don’t need to buy exclusivity, and then do it anyway.

Regardless, Microsoft is still notorious for purchasing a few timed exclusives on big AAA titles. Something which Sony hasn’t felt the need to do yet.

Last Updated: August 15, 2014

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