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The Witness on PS4: no money involved in exclusivity deal

Friday, 22nd February 2013 02:01 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Sony didn’t fork out a pile of cash to score a PS4 console exclusive release for The Witness, according to Braid creator Jonathan Blow.

“People have been speculating that I got a money hat for this agreement with Sony, or that we needed to do this in order to fund development of The Witness. Actually, no money was involved at all,” Blow told Kotaku.

Blow said he always hoped to launch on a console as well as on iOS and PC, and that because he fronts a small team with limited resources, he had to choose just one.

“Originally we thought we might be on the PS3 or Xbox 360, but eventually we decided not to target either of those due to the relatively low system specs. After some more time went by, and our release date drifted further into the future, we realized that the next-generation console launch time might be a good time to release the game,” he said.

The Wii U is fairly model tech-wise, so Blow started looking at the PS4 and Microsoft’s next console.

“There were people at Sony who really liked the game and were keeping in touch with us about it, and so we naturally started going to their PS4 developer events, got a dev kit, and started playing with it,” he said.

“I don’t have good communication with anyone at Microsoft right now, and haven’t been disclosed on their next console, but all our technical people like the PS4 specs a lot more than the leaked Durango specs, and we like the positioning of the PS4 (it’s about games) a lot more than what we perceive Microsoft’s positioning is going to be.”

As such, Braid’s team just naturally started working on a PS4 port, and at the moment it’s not practical to think about other consoles – although it hasn’t been ruled out should the opportunity arrive.

“To be in the show we signed a timed exclusivity for competing consoles. But this was just a formalization of something that was already de facto,” Braid said.

“We like the PS4 and we like the people at Sony we are working with, so it was an easy choice to make the agreement.”

The Witness is a first-person puzzle game which Braid boasts contains no filler in its 25 hour experience.

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19 Comments

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  1. Telepathic.Geometry

    Blow gets a lot of shit, and is allegedly a cunt, but he came across as being very intelligent, articulate, and passionate about his games. Like.

    #1 1 year ago
  2. lexph3re

    “I don’t have good communication with anyone at Microsoft right now, and haven’t been disclosed on their next console, but all our technical people like the PS4 specs a lot more than the leaked Durango specs, and we like the positioning of the PS4 (it’s about games) a lot more than what we perceive Microsoft’s positioning is going to be.”

    If that’s the case are they saying Durango will be weaker for games? Man I have got to see what MS is going to pull here

    #2 1 year ago
  3. AlfeG

    Haha.

    He got almost 5 minutes in prime time of Sony press conference. It’s a best ad for him and his game.

    #3 1 year ago
  4. Telepathic.Geometry

    Wrong, Sony got 5 minutes of HIS time.

    #4 1 year ago
  5. Dragon246

    @4,
    Really? 3 is much more right.

    #5 1 year ago
  6. manamana

    Everything T.G said. But what could he mean,w hen he says: “and we like the positioning of the PS4 (it’s about games) a lot more than what we perceive Microsoft’s positioning is going to be”

    Uh-oh!

    #6 1 year ago
  7. manamana

    @Brenna you seem to confuse Blow and Braid a bit,mwhich makes it a entertaining article nonetheless ;-)

    #7 1 year ago
  8. Telepathic.Geometry

    I think that because he’s on the outside, he sees it the same as a lot of media outlets do, namely, that MS is going after media and casuals and your TV functionality and connectivity in general, not SOOO much in the vein of pure gamers, where they began.

    #8 1 year ago
  9. manamana

    Yes, and he could also mean that Microsoft isn’t exactly after indie or small developers? Or have stricter limitations regarding developement tools.

    #9 1 year ago
  10. Erthazus

    Microsoft is in bed with Notch in comparison. They are interested in indies.

    #10 1 year ago
  11. DrDamn

    Interesting comments, but heavy pinch of salt to be taken considering his current position.

    “we like the positioning of the PS4 (it’s about games) a lot more than what we perceive Microsoft’s positioning is going to be.”

    Ignoring the perception of MS – as that is not necessarily the case – this is an good corroboration of the image Sony was trying to put across the other day.

    #11 1 year ago
  12. RandomTiger

    @10 MS is interested in having a limited relationship with certain successful indies. They need to go a lot further to have a healthy indie platform. I read somewhere, probably here, that when they announced minecraft 360 at E3 a lot of people at MS had no idea what it even was.

    #12 1 year ago
  13. Digital Bamboo

    Game looks gorgeous. Felt like a modern Myst in many ways. But did anyone else get the feeling, after all of Blow’s big talk, that all the puzzles seemed kind of samey? Like variations of Pipe Mania/Bioshock hacking. I imagine there’s a lot more to it than that, but the way he was talking about the puzzles I expected a little more variety.

    #13 1 year ago
  14. DrDamn

    @13
    You’d hope there was more to it yes. Perhaps it was just a poorly representative demo or those parts are just the standard way of doing something which is throughout the island with other elements. Like keys. But you need to solve other puzzles to get the keys you then use.

    #14 1 year ago
  15. Mike

    Clever wording, but for those who skim-read headlines, Witness is not PS4 exclusive. It’ll just come out on that first. So not exactly as “system seller” if like me, you loved Braid.

    #15 1 year ago
  16. DrDamn

    @15
    Yeah I got the impression from the presentation it was more like a timed exclusive. I.e. during the launch window. It’ll come to NextBox at some point I’m sure.

    #16 1 year ago
  17. Butcher8

    Of course Microsoft aren’t beating down his door, Microsoft are the ones that supported Braid and are partly responsible for it’s massive success and then Blow went on a slagging spree, take pot shots at Microsoft every chance he got, what did he expect to happen? It’s a timed exclusive mind and I’m sure the delayed 720 version will have more content anyway.

    Also he’s basing most of what he said on rumours and supposed leaks, not a very solid foundation if you think about it. If I was Microsoft I wouldn’t trust him with a Durango dev kit either.

    Don’t get me wrong, Braid was a really sweet arcade game and I’m sure this will be a great downloadable game too.

    #17 1 year ago
  18. pukem0n

    he just said it would be exclusive on the PS4 for the launch window.
    meaning its gonna be on Xbox 720 when it launches about 1 or 2 weeks later ^^

    #18 1 year ago
  19. sh4dow

    “Blow went on a slagging spree, take pot shots at Microsoft every chance he got”

    What a bunch of bull! He just criticized their process. Which is a fair thing to do if it sucks. And he was not the only indie dev pointing those things out. He only may have been the first one to have the guts to do it.

    #19 1 year ago