Sucker Punch: Not The Biggest Fans Of Multiplatform
Gamers and journalists have been saying it for quite some time: when you produce a multiplatform title, you may have to make exceptions (to keep the game mostly identical on all targeted platforms), and on the flip side, a purely exclusive project should allow the team to excel.
Well, Sucker Punch tends to agree. In a recent IndustryGamers interview with studio co-founder Brian Fleming, he tells us why the team remains on good terms with Sony, and how designing multiplatform titles can lead to "problems and compromises." While avoiding exclusive projects certainly gives you a wider audience, Fleming believes one should "assess what you value," and Sucker Punch saw value in maintaining their long-standing relationship with Sony. But interestingly enough, it's not about loyalty, it's about making the best game you want to make...and if they were to go to another platform at some point, that game would probably be exclusive to that console. Said Fleming:
"I think you can get very caught up on 'we have to do cross-platform' and end up failing on axes that might be more important to you, like your happiness, the quality of the games you make, the patience of the publisher when a game is struggling – inFamous struggled for a while before we found our footing – and we appreciate that [Sony's patience] because it made our lives better. At the same time, we're not in this for charity; it's a for profit business and we have a business model that leads us in that direction, but you do have to be careful about being greedy. We love being first-party, so if we did something different I don't think we'd be cross-platform... I think we'd want to do some exclusive on some other platform."
It's certainly an interesting take, and one we believe more developers should have. It's no coincidence that many of the best games of this generation are platform exclusives (MGS4, Killzone 2, Gears of War, etc.), so obviously, the idea that developers can push the envelope when not having to constantly concern themselves with multiplatform isn't so silly. inFamous is great fun, but Sucker Punch thinks they may have had to cut some corners if it weren't exclusive. And that's exactly the point.
6/11/2009 Ben Dutka