Developer: Heavenly Sword Just Didn't Make Enough Money
The reasons behind making a game multiplatform are obvious, especially these days. With around 73 million total PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 units out there, why limit yourself to only about half?
Eliminating around 50% of the overall sales potential for a product is rarely a good idea, which is exactly what Ninja Theory co-founder Tameem Antoniades told CVG. We know the Heavenly Sword developer is working on Enslaved with Namco Bandai, and they've also got a "top secret project" as well. However, while we're all hoping for a HS sequel, don't expect the mystery title to be exclusive to the PlayStation 3. Said Antoniades:
"It's difficult. Heavenly Sword came out pretty early on the PS3, and we sold, I think, a million and a half copies, and that's still not enough as an independent studio to break even. The publisher potentially breaks even at that point, but the developers don't.
It's just that when so many people have Xbox - I mean over half the market or more has Xbox 360s - why limit yourself to one platform?"
That's about as straightforward of an explanation as one can expect, and we're not about to argue with the logic. As we just said, it makes perfect sense. But there's something...off about his statements, don't you think? When HS launched in 2007, there weren't very many PS3's out there; it would likely be accurate to say there are three times as many now (around 34 million). And if they sold a million and a half with such a low user base installed, would it not be safe to assume they could sell three or four million with a quality sequel? Or even if that's overshooting, what's this about 1.5 million not allowing an independent studio to "break even?" If you make a game that absolutely must sell 2 or 3 million to turn a profit on a system that barely has maybe 7 or 8 million consoles in the world...isn't that, like, really bad business reasoning?
It's more than likely you'll make a lot more money with a multiplatform title. But the reasons stated here arouse some suspicion, I think. And besides, the PS3 exclusives are the elite in the industry today; one would think Ninja Theory would simply want the prestige. Just a thought.
Related Game(s): Heavenly Sword
3/29/2010 10:36:37 AM Ben Dutka