Will Publishers Rush Exclusives For Sake Of PlayStation 3 Sales?
It's a question that probably has no real foundation in the business world; I'm almost certain it can't possibly work this way. I'd like to believe that no developer would compromise their final, ultimate vision by a publisher's pressure to finish the project ASAP. But then again, with the ailing economy and Sony's need to push more hardware, you never can tell what the future holds...
As we all know, there are many PS3 exclusives coming up and some of them could turn out to be legitimate system-sellers. Gran Turismo 5 may head the list, but let's not forget about God of War III, Heavy Rain, Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, and off in the future, Final Fantasy Versus XIII. But they're all still a ways off - at least 6 months, I would think - and Sony could use a major console pusher. Killzone 2 should kick off a fairly substantial PS3 sales spike, but that will probably only last a month or two. Sony will want to keep that momentum, and if there's too large a gap between hotly anticipated exclusive software, that could represent another unwanted lull. Therefore, might it be possible that Sony is putting a little pressure on the publishers involved to finish up the big projects? I really don't think anyone could convince someone like Kazunori Yamauchi to "rush" something like GT5, but with other games, who knows?
I am no expert on the inner workings of the video game business, so this may sound like complete hogwash. But logically speaking, it may be a viable argument, and we have heard developers complaining of pushy publishers in the past. They don't typically announce these complaints publicly - nobody wants to piss off the company that will distribute their game - but we're relatively certain studios have dealt with antsy publishers in the past. This could become even more legitimate if the developers in question start missing deadlines; this is not a time for big delays, and Sony knows it. But as always, we remain stoic in our belief that no developers should ever be rushed...not ever. Let them work to make the best game possible, and we'll be happy. We're not that impatient and we almost always have plenty of great titles to tide us over. Really, we're just saying.
1/25/2009 Ben Dutka