Pachter On Agent Exclusivity
There are reasons why some games stay exclusive to one platform while others release on all major platforms. And if you're wondering why a game like Rockstar's Agent is exclusive to the PlayStation 3, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter has the answer...and he wonders why Insomniac hasn't gone multiplatform yet.
The info comes courtesy of a recent Eurogamer interview, where Pachter spoke about the cause behind the developer's decision to keep Agent restricted to Sony's console. First and foremost, he believes exclusives will soon become a thing of the past, but he's hardly the only analyst to give voice to that theory. Secondly, Pachter's "inside information" concerning the behind-the-scenes story for Agent is as follows:
"When Microsoft paid Take-Two to make GTA IV non-exclusive... In other words, GTA IV was going to be a PS3 exclusive, but Microsoft paid Rockstar and Take-Two to make it a non-exclusive, and they paid them a lot. The number I’ve heard, and I’m sure this is right, is $75m, and that probably includes the funding for the first DLC packs too. It’s more than the $50m that people talk about.
And Sony – I’m not sure if they had a firm agreement but they may have had a handshake – said to Take-Two, 'You’ve got to give us something else.' And the 'something else' was a zombie game that Rockstar wanted to work on. But while Rockstar was in the planning phase, Dead Rising came out and Left 4 Dead was announced. Rockstar realised they were up against a saturated market and Valve, and, 'What can we possibly do that will be any better than what Valve’s done?' They started again and that’s when they came up with the idea of The Agent, which nobody actually knows what it is. That is the back story."
Well, thanks for that. We had an inkling that the game in question was sort of like a consolation prize to Sony after GTAIV was confirmed to hit the PS3 and Xbox 360 at the same time (you may recall that past GTAs debuted with timed exclusivity on the PS2 and only later arrived on the Xbox). But right now, Pachter says it's just plain "foolish to sign an exclusive deal" and he has "repeatedly told" Insomniac that they should go multiplatform:
"As if those guys couldn’t create something – of course they could. It’s not like Sony came up with the art and graphics on Ratchet & Clank. The Insomniac guys are nuts not to do multi-platform. But they like their deal with Sony, so they’ll keep doing exclusives. LittleBigPlanet guys, Media Molecule, I feel the same way. What were they thinking selling to Sony? They must be Liberal Democrats!"
Well, now you've done it, Pachter. PS3 fans aren't gonna take too kindly to that, especially when most of them believe many developers choose the PS3 because it's the only console that has the raw processing power to bring their vision to life. How many times has a designer specifically said this very thing? How many times have we been told that games like Uncharted 2: Among Thieves, God of War III, and Heavy Rain needed the PS3's power? And why do we get the feeling that Media Molecule would say very much the same thing in relation to LittleBigPlanet 2?
Well, that's not really Pachter's forte, of course; it's numbers and business predictions. And it's tough to argue against the common-sense claim that multiplatform games obviously have the opportunity to sell a lot more copies. But Pachter, developers aren't necessarily stupid...they might just be sticking solely with the PS3 for a reason outside of the money realm.
Related Game(s): Agent
5/16/2010 8:52:10 PM Ben Dutka