One of Sony’s aces in the hole in the halcyon days of the Playstation 2 was the third party exclusive – lots of studios were willing to develop their games just for the PS2 because the install base was so big that a return on one’s investment was entirely possible without having to worry about that whole “porting your game to three consoles with wildly different innards” thing.
If you’ve been paying attention, you know that’s no longer true – even Square Enix, who delivered two mainline Final Fantasy games exclusively to the PS2, are jumping the exclusivity ship for Microsoft’s error-prone computer box.
Not to worry, though – Sony is still attempting to get back into its comfort zone, this time by offering developers money to develop exclusively for the Playstation Network, their downloadable game service. Called “Pub Games,” this program looks to give developers who meet certain (undefined) standards of quality some extra cash and more marketing muscle to get their games out there. In a turbulent economy and an overcrowded marketplace, I can’t say I blame the people who run for cover under this umbrella, even though I think more than halving your game’s potential audience by excluding some 30 million Xbox 360 owners also has to have some negative impact on your bottom line.
Honestly, I’m just mad that I can’t play stuff like this and Flower and Fat Princess without having to drop a ridiculous $400 for a game console two-and-a-half years after its release. It is time for a price cut, guys.