Sony plays down platform exclusivity

A senior brand manager for SCEA has said that platform exclusivity is damaging for brands and that the company in future would rather sign deals for exclusive post-release content.

"We work very closely with our third parties publishers, not necessarily to lock down games exclusively, but to lock up exclusive parts of games," MLB 11: The Show brand manager Scott McCarthy told ScrawlFX.

"A good example is Batman: Arkham Asylum, where you could only play as the Joker on PlayStation 3.

"When you make a title exclusive, you limit its promotional power; we don’t want to do that. We want games to be as big as possible — it’s great for the industry. However, we want to make sure that you play it on the best system possible, so we like to take parts of games and make them exclusive to the PlayStation system."

In the early days of PlayStation platform exclusivity, under the guidance of Phil Harrison, was very much a central strategy for the company.

However, Sony has cooled on the tactic in recent years, with American boss Jack Tretton claiming in 2007 that Sony "doesn’t buy exclusivity, doesn’t fund development – we don’t, for lack of a better term, bribe somebody to only do a game on our platform".

However, third parties have spoken out in defence of exclusivity, with Take-Two boss Ben Feder saying in 2009 that "when you’re trying to launch a new franchise, exclusivity can really help you launch the franchise".

DLC content tie-ups are becoming far more common, however, with Microsoft for instance having struck agreement for post-release content exclusivity on titles such as Call of Duty and Fallout.

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