There are few companies in the world able to match the financial muscle of Microsoft. That’s a lesson Sony has learnt and the reason, according to SCEA’s senior VP of publisher relations Rob Dyer, why his company’s approach to third party publishers has undergone a radical transformation in the last few years.
“It's not about just taking share away from Microsoft,” Dyer told Gamasutra. “It's about expanding the pie. It's about giving people a reason to want to buy this game.
“I'm not going to sit here and try and figure out who's got the bigger you-know-what between me and Seattle. They're going to win when it comes to money anyway, anytime, all day, all night. It doesn't matter. Let's figure out how to make the industry bigger. Let's grow this thing.”
Dyer went on to explain the difficulties Sony has faced in the post-PS2 ear. Coming from an era of total market dominance, the early PS3 years saw Sony stepping back from what it worried had become quite a balanced viewpoint. It’s forced Sony to find new ways to win back third-party loyalty.
“I think it's a work in progress,” he added. I think we've gotten better. I think that question is better posed to publishers. How do they feel about Sony now? Is it something that they have seen a noticeable difference? Do they benefit from that relationship? Is it better?
“Do I think there's been an impact? Sure. But I think we have at least changed the mentality that we're going to be aggressive. I think we gave Microsoft a very open field for a long time when it came to structuring deals, particularly network deals. We weren't involved in those discussions.
“Again, when it comes to throwing money, we'll lose that fight every time. But the good news is that because of where we are with our install base and because of the growth we're showing particularly worldwide – not just in one territory – it behoves publishers to be aggressive and active on our platform.”