Platform holders are obligated to produce cutting edge, commercially risky games, Sony has told MCV.
“It’s one of the roles of a platform holder,” SCE UK sales director Mark Howsen told MCV. “We’ve got to do that, to push boundaries as well as pushing strong franchises across their various iterations.
“Ultimately, the industry is dependent on creativity, new product and new ideas. As soon as we stop doing that then we’re all in trouble.”
The confession comes on the back of the release of Heavy Rain earlier this year. Quantic Dream’s game fortunately matched its critical reception with an excellent performance at retail. But the same can’t be said of earlier Sony gambles.
“Sony has a bit of history with this sort of thing,” UK PR boss David Wilson added. “Ico is the shining example where we did something that was critically acclaimed but only did, I think I’m right, three figure sales in its first week and 50,000 overall.
“It was unbelievable. Journalists were dumbfounded. They rung me up. They were devastated. All those great reviews but it just didn’t capture the public’s imagination. As a platform holder we have to invest in new IP. Even with Ico, years later it’s still being held up as one of the best games ever made, one of the top five on PS2. The sequel did better.
“The same questions were asked of Heavy Rain and it’s fantastic that it was eventually a success. I was also amazed that we beat the French, too. They’re often quite parochial with their own games.”