SCEA hardware marketing boss John Koller has claimed that console software “exclusivity” was a a last-gen concept, and that higher development costs have forced game-creators to become platform agnostic.
“Exclusivity is something that doesn’t truly exist in this cycle,” the exec told VG247, speaking at GDC.
“What does exist is first-party product. That’s your exclusive product.”
Koller explained that the reality of PS3 and 360 development spelled the end of Sony’s great third-party PS2 exclusives, saying that Microsoft now has “the same thing”.
“Exclusivity in the last console was a much different proposition, because developers would have smaller development costs, and they wouldn’t necessarily feel the need to advertise that across all platforms,” he said.
“At that time we had a Grand Theft Auto exclusive, we had EA Sports at the beginning of PS2, we had Final Fantasy. And then we had a tremendous line-up of first-party games, that started off with the Jak & Daxters but went to the SOCOMs.”
Koller added: “We go to the next gen and Microsoft has the same thing. So you either have your first-party line-up, or you write cheques, and you need to buy that down.”
He said in the same interview that, in his opinion, Micrsoft had a more lenient policy to paying for exclusivity than Sony.
Sony’s first-party dev effort, Koller said, was as big as Microsoft and Nintendo’s combined.