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Sony: Success Of New IPs A Barometer For Overall Success

Sony would much rather focus on their own business than point fingers, which has been a common trait of the company during the PlayStation era(s).

In speaking to OPM reporter Ben Wilson at GamesCom last week, Sony's Michael Denny said they judge the success of their studios by the performance of new IPs. It's not necessarily about comparing to the competition, but creating the best product possible. Denny cited Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain as a great example of this and said the new IP had "single-handedly birthed a new genre for games." That's not entirely true, as one could argue Quantic's Indigo Prophecy sort of began that particular genre but even so, Heavy Rain might be the first example of an "interactive drama." When asked about the competition (the Xbox 360 and Wii), Denny replied:

"There are a whole number of metrics we could measure success by, but for me on a worldwide studios side of things, there's nothing more gratifying than when we break new IPs - innovative games we bring to PlayStation fans.

In a year like the one just gone, you look at a game like Heavy Rain. A lot of people questioned whether that was risky and whether it [could] stand up. But I think that's what really brings the pleasure of working for Sony first party - we're willing to take some risks and look at innovation."

It was a definite risk and at first, we were concerned that despite the critical acclaim, it wouldn't be a financial success. But the game has already sold 1.5 million copies this year and the new estimation is that it will push over 2 million before all is said and done. New IPs and top-notch exclusives have proven to be a highlight of the PS3's existence (can you say, Uncharted?) and in general, it's great games that push hardware...which is another barometer for success.

Tags: sony, ps3 and xbox 360, first party games

8/26/2010 12:16:46 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (37 posts)

Lotusflow3r
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 12:34:37 PM
Reply

I agree with him.

*cough* Shenmue *cough*

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:16:11 PM

Whether or not it will ever happen, I would really like to see a Shenmue 3. I enjoyed the first two games.

And this parody cracks me up so much every time I watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OgmCdt4EgxU

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Pandacastro
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 8:02:25 PM

Sega saig there bringing some dreamcast games to psn and xbla.If some of them happens to be shenmue maybe it will have a chance for the third one

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 9:00:00 PM

Panda, even if they don't make a Shenmue 3, I'd still be happy if they brought over Shenmue and it's sequel to PSN.
It'd be even better if they increased the resolution and added anti-aliasing; maybe that's asking too much.

Sega, over the last few years, hasn't been known for going the extra mile with their products. Sometimes I wonder, if it wasn't for their lineup of Sonic titles, would they still survive today?


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Pandacastro
Friday, August 27, 2010 @ 2:53:16 AM

@Temjin001
I dont think sonic is helping much for sega.Theres alot sonic games and not very good.The sonic game that sold alot was the olympics one and I think it was because it had mario in it.

I be happy if shenmue does go to psn.There were alot of secrets in the game I didn't knew about.I be happier if they announce shenmue 3 in tgs and maybe with dreamcast graphic.

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 12:39:35 PM
Reply

It's great seeing games like this defy analysts expectations. If I remember right, Michael Pachter publicly commented in a Gametrailers interview that HR had no chance at turning a profit.

Hopefully, HR's example will encourage other publishers to take more chances at supporting genres that don't fall into the usual mold.

I don't believe it's healthy for the industry to stagnate itself by sticking to sure bets. For those who have followed western comic books, DC and Marvel made super-heroes and adolescence synonymous with their medium. Hopefully, video-games won't always be largely recognized as entertainment with guns, swords and children's games.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 12:41:18 PM
Reply

I've always called Playstation "the lab"

It's where devs come when they want some new, something different whether it's cartoony and colorful or dark and real.

Playstation had Crash Bandicoot and Metal Gear Solid

That alone told me which console was the one to have.

New IPs are good. Though doesn't mean that classic franchises are bad either (Silent Hill, Devil May Cry, Gran Turismo, etc.). But yes, pushing new IPs based on the capabilities of the new console is a great thing.

Can't wait to see Sony's latest success, Demon's Souls, get a sequel.

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main_event05
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 3:58:15 PM

I like that, "The Lab".

Call the patient office quick

Last edited by main_event05 on 8/26/2010 3:58:40 PM

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shadowscorpio
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 4:09:28 PM

"The Lab". Hmmm I think you're on to something. "The LAb" ... I like it.

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Highlander
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 12:45:33 PM
Reply

I definitely agree with him. I like that Sony evaluates success by different measures than some analysts and others might impose. Of course when a monster success like MW2 is here, you really can't sensibly say that failing to come close to such success is equivalent to failure. It's not.

I like that Sony is confident to define success based on it's business criteria, not comparative numbers. It seems like this is something that leads Sony to support a far broader range of games and gamers.

I also definitely appreciate the emphasis on new IPs. If there had not been this drive for new IPs with PS3 we wouldn't have masterpieces like Uncharted or Heavy Rain.

Last edited by Highlander on 8/26/2010 12:48:46 PM

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FatherSun
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 3:42:27 PM

New IPs are whats driving the industry. Otherwise we would all be playing a FPS right now. Seems like sequelitis is an epidemic. Of course some are worthy but I am into fresh new experiences and SONY has delivered.

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darxed
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:22:58 PM
Reply

Off-topic

"Sony would much rather focus on their own business than point fingers, which has been a common trait of the company during the PlayStation era(s)"

And that's why I'm happy to be a PlayStation supporter, well that and all those great games too of course... :)

On-topic

I think these gen has really been the gen of the new IPs and in Sony's case I think they nailed almost every new IP they got, I mean Little Big Planet, Resistance, Uncharted, Motorstorm and Heavy Rain? like I said before, really happy to be a PlayStation supporter here

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ace_boon_coon
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:24:34 PM
Reply

this is a game xbot's would never appreciate. i'm happy they stayed exclusive. I wish alan wake was on ps3, it wouldn't have bombed like it did on the 360.

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Xombito
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:36:04 PM

Imagine if that game was exclusive to PS3. Maybe even using the Naughty Dog engine. Oh the possiblities.

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ace_boon_coon
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:43:26 PM

oh man, don't say things like that. you'll get me all excited lol.

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mastiffchild
Sunday, August 29, 2010 @ 5:24:26 PM

Well, had it remained true to what we were shown at E3 2005(? IIRC it WAS that long ago wasn't it? In my head it was the same one as the KZ2 target render fiasco, no?)and had Sony's first party expertise thrown at it it may have been quality but given the same exact product just with U2 level GFX it would still be a disappointment after all the promise it had.

I don't think the story surrounding another game this generation has wound me up more than Alan Wake's dismal developmental disasters(alliteration FTW!). I bought my launch 360 largely on the strength of AW's promise(and because my mates love, and I like, a Halo session)so the length of the wait alone is an issue(it was said to be a near launch title at the time and they must have known it was nowhere near ready!)and was excitred about the open world detection, the indiviually designed interior to every house, all of which could be entered in the game and so on.

Sadly, the features and ambition atrophied and all we got was years of seeing a couple of PC version screens or the odd PC video showing no gameplay at all! When they finally get round to a solid date this year what happens? PC gamers find they've been strung along for five odd years and 360 gamers get a watered down linear and repetitive, King over obsessed pile of hammy acting and clever, but muddied, storytelling ideas-the chapter recaps really peeved me, personally.

In short they gimped the game badly and claimed it as a 360 exclusive as a result and damned PC gamers even further by insulting them with a lie about why! Seriously, it was better played on a console? Why? Because, to me, playing a survival horror type game is better suited to lone gamners on PC, headies on, sound up, lights off, alone in the wee small bours? No, couldn't possibly work as well as playing it in the lounge with all the family in and out and so on!

Anyway, point is even as a PS3 exclusive you'd have had that script and that repetition and I dunno if they could have made the original idea THAT great on PS3 anyway-it WAS very ambitious and best suited, imho, to the PC but back in 2005 we didn't know the limits of either console. AW is still a great premise but there was SO much wrong with the final product that had NOTHING to do with 360 limitations that IDK if it really would have been much better on PS3.


Sorry about the rant(could go on all day but won't)but it gets my goat when a promising idea gets chopped and then gamers get shafted as well! Can you imagine waiting five years for a game, seeing ALL it's footage on YOUR system only to have it pulled at the last minute and then have a bollox pair of reasons pt under your nose? Just shows how little devs and publishers and platform holders really think of us idiots who pay their wages doesn't it?

That said, Sony have a unique position to push new IP given their powerful first party development wing and it's been very fruitful this generation. Still, though, it would be easier to make safe games and the praise has to be given when games like LBP, HR, MNR and DS all come out as a result of a little extra bravery. Maybe if MS' own experiments this gen had paid off better(like Rare's Banjo:N&B which I think is under rated and misunderstood myself anyway)we'd see a couple more from them too? Ninty seem more at it in a way with the new angles on Metroid, Mario and Kirby, no?

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Hezzron
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:34:21 PM
Reply

PS3 - It only does everything.....including measuring atmospheric pressure.

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FM23
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:37:25 PM
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Yeah, I am not sure if I would pay full price for another interactive drama unless it had more bang for the buck. I enjoyed Heavy Rain to the fullest (all endings and side plots), but I couldn't get over the feeling that there should have been more like what they were planning on doing with the DLC. That stuff should have already been included on the disc. Many will not agree, but Heavy Rain should have had more content once you were done. Even though I say this, I still believe it was on of the best this year.

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Underdog15
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 1:57:57 PM

Can you imagine if they incorporated something like play, create, share, with the style of Heavy Rain? Like a mix of the old RPG maker! lol. It would never work. Too complex by a mile, I know. But what a nice dream!

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Amazingskillz
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 2:16:19 PM
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Haven't played Heavy Rain or Alan Wake yet. Based on the limited information I've looked at they seem to be very similar. Obviously HR is better but I wonder by how much. I also wonder about a graphical comparison of the two.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 2:55:57 PM

They're not similar at all in terms of gameplay and structure.

But they might be similar in that they're both geared towards a mature, more intellectual audience.

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___________
Friday, August 27, 2010 @ 3:36:29 AM

never been able to understand why people are always comparing those 2.
i mean yea there geared to the same audience, but does that mean you can compare Ferrari to Auston?
both are completely different games, one is a very easy game to play and has a perfect pacing.
the other leaves you guessing which got really annoying, i know that was the point, thats what they wanted to get people to speculate what could of happened but it just really annoys me.
both are good, both are must plays, but if for some reason you can only play one than it has to be heavy rain.
no games ever had a impact on me the way heavy rain did!

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A2K78
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 2:24:20 PM
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Regardless what their barometer might be, one thing that is clear is the fact they can't keep putting games that are unprofitable and I say this because hardly of any Sony's releases(God of War 3 being an exception) weren't really profitable by current standards. Even Microsoft have recognized as evident by the number of in-house developers they had to shut down.

Speaking of, compared to the last consoles where a developer had to sell in the area of 200-300,000 copies to recoup and reap a profit, these days a developer have to sell in execess of 3 million for the title to both recoup and turn a profit; something most games haven't even managed.

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Scarecrow
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 2:33:20 PM

You're using random data based on studios that spend a lot of money in development

From Software pointed out how their game (Demon's Souls) was low budget. This allowed for a lower number sales to start making profit.

3 million is about right for games like GTA, COD, etc. But there are devs who cleverly cut down on a lot of unnecessary spending during the development of their game. Thus not needing to sell 5 million or whatever.
---

Sony just pointed it out to you "we use our own standards."

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 2:59:57 PM

Why do you keep repeating this crap? Stop saying it. I already told you the idea that all games need to sell 3 million copies to turn a profit is absurd, and Sony will tell you the same thing.

You apparently think that every last game has a $50 million budget when in fact, less than 1% actually do. Could you at least use SOME logic in your random statements of "fact?" If nobody was turning a profit with less than 3 million sold, and 99% of games in existence sell less than that number, how the hell does anyone ever make money in this industry?

I've asked you before not to state everything as if it's fact. This is your last warning; every last one of your posts is specifically designed for the same purpose, and that's going to stop, whether or not you heed the warning.

Last edited by Ben Dutka PSXE on 8/26/2010 3:00:27 PM

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Temjin001
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 3:31:42 PM

A2K78, not to beat a dead horse, but during it's first week of sales, GTA4 was reported to have sold 6 million units globally; a reported $500 million in sales during that time.

Really, it can take far, far less than 3 million units for a developer to turn a profit.

Take Heavy Rain for example. If the game has sold around 2 million units, and as a first party title (with little by way of advertising) making a conservative estimate of $25 in revenue for each unit sold that number comes out to $50,000,000

They made a meaty sized profit, no doubt.

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ace_boon_coon
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 3:45:54 PM

like i said before, it only matters how big the budget is for the game. now a game like GT5 would probably have to sell about 3 million to make a profit, but it's expected to sell way more than that.

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___________
Friday, August 27, 2010 @ 3:37:57 AM

my lord do we have a tape recorder here or what!?

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FatherSun
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 3:33:47 PM
Reply

I appreciate SONYs desire to innovate. They have revitalized the games industry when they first introduced the PS1 and continue to do so today with the PS3. To me they are the stick that should be used to measure. Its exclusives are to notch and it can and will only get better. I grew up with gaming and Heavy Rain shows that gaming has grown up with me. Cant wait for Quantics next project.

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smileys_007
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 4:29:03 PM
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Hey Ben, do you have any idea of how much is the 8gb psp there in the US? I just want to know. Oh, and I just beat Heavy Rain last weekend. That game is a masterpiece! I hope it sells more than 3 million copies, Heavy Rain deserves it!!

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booze925
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 4:30:27 PM
Reply

PS3... it only does haze.
XBOX 360... jump into too human.
we all lose.

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ace_boon_coon
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 4:32:01 PM

haze wasn't as bad as people make it out to be.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 10:40:43 PM

Hey.....
Lay off of Haze, or the booze!!!! LOL

Last edited by BikerSaint on 8/26/2010 10:42:57 PM

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Superman915
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 5:59:05 PM
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if thats the case, theyre doing just fine. Heavy Rain really is a masterpiece and one of the great video game experiences of my life.

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Alienange
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 6:51:38 PM
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Well it's obvious that Sony fans know exactly what Denny is talking about.

Those who have played Sony's innovative games throughout the years can certainly attest to the fact that Sony does not shy away from new ideas and have proven themselves leaders in the gaming world.

Sure Nintendo innovated with a new controller. Sure Microsoft introduced console achievements and robust multiplayer. But when you look at actual GAMES, Sony has always been behind the best of the best.

I honestly think the grand majority of gamers recognize this. Even those squirrelly xbots know. They might skirt around the subject, but if they're TRUE gamers, they know Sony has brought, and continues to bring, the stuff of gaming legend.

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dork02840
Thursday, August 26, 2010 @ 9:33:32 PM
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i am not certain i love this article. i appreciate sony more then i appreciate microsoft. sony seems to have concepts in mind that stray away from the norm. they are bold when others are conservative. therefore i applaud the new titles and approach. i applaud the ps3. but i think saying that the sales of new games like Heavy Rain and Uncharted allow a glimpse into the systems overall success, yes i see that. i also think Sony should amend their statement to say that without gateway titles that allow for initial purchase of the console and platform jumping(you know...dumping one system for another either selling it or trading in). i view first party originals as part of the foundation, but in todays market, they are overlooked due to the mainstreaming of gaming in general. if this were 1992, i do not think an article like this would be thought of. the death of sega marked the start of the dying process for gaming first companies and the growth of third party companies to basically lead the way and mass produce. kudos to sony for giving the system originality. i for one just wish it did not come off in a Red Stripe...HOORAY for responsibility type of way. great for sony for sticking to their guns, to me though as a long time gamer it seems somewhat obvious that this is needed. i guess it is there way of showing us that originality can still succeed in an gaming age which is largely uninspiring and sequel based.

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___________
Friday, August 27, 2010 @ 3:39:38 AM
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id love to see more new IPs, more risky different games like heavy rain.
that was seriously the first game i have ever played in my 20+ years of gaming where i can honestly say ive never played this before!
im seriously starting to get sick of playing the same game over, and over, and over, and over again!
for once can we have people stray away from the flock, instead of following the herd off the cliff!

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