Peter Moore’s dramatic revelation at 2006’s E3 conference that Grand Theft Auto IV was to be released on Xbox 360 at the same time as it hit PS3 was a real blow to Sony’s PlayStation 3 and a shot in the arm for the still young Xbox 360.
But aside from the huge PR win for Microsoft, what was the real cost of the deal that robbed PlayStation of one of its most precious exclusives?
“GTA IV was going to be a PS3 exclusive, but Microsoft paid Rockstar and Take-Two to make it a non-exclusive, and they paid them a lot,” analyst Michael Pachter told Eurogamer.
“The number I've heard, and I'm sure this is right, is $75m, and that probably includes the funding for the first DLC packs too. It's more than the $50m that people talk about.”
Pachter went on to explain that it was the multiformat release of GTA that eventually lead to Sony’s exclusivity deal for Rockstar’s upcoming The Agent
“Sony said to Take-Two ‘You've got to give us something else’ and the something else was a zombie game that Rockstar wanted to work on. But while Rockstar was in the planning phase, Dead Rising came out and Left 4 Dead was announced. Rockstar realised they were up against a saturated market and Valve. And ‘what can we possibly do that will be any better than what Valve's done?’.
“They started again and that's when they came up with the idea of The Agent, which nobody actually knows what it is. That is the back story.”