Sony Speaks Out Against Microsoft Regarding Publishing Guidelines

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Last week sometime European Xbox Chief Chris Lewis spoke out about Microsoft’s publishing policy which makes it clear that they want no part of PSN hand-me-down titles for Xbox Live. Now during an interview with IndustryGamer SCE America’s senior vice-president of publisher relations Rob Dyer threw verbal shots right back at Chris Lewis, here are some of the more interesting quotes.

while they might be protecting their consumers, what are they protecting them from? And what it looks like they’re protecting them from is the ability to see great content.

“And that, to me, is the problem we’re having right now is these threats and these serious issues that Microsoft is throwing at publishers – it’s only going to dumb down what could potentially come out for a number of these games. And whether people are willing to stand up to Microsoft on this stuff or not is up to that publisher and they do it at their own risk.”

He then went on to reveal that Microsoft’s policy of not accepting pre PSN exclusives is not just hurting the indie companies.

“It first started on the smaller pubs, and we can talk about what’s happened on XBL and the policy they have there that requires publishers to have a whole litany of things in order to get onto their network or they have to go through and be published by Xbox, by Microsoft, which essentially lets them dictate how long they’ll be exclusive and whether or not they own the IP, etc, etc,” Lewis said.

“It’s now progressed to not just be these smaller indie pubs that are obviously very easy to kick around. It’s moved up the food chain. It’s gone to B and A level publishers to where Microsoft now demands ‘Should content not be shipped simultaneously with competing platforms in all regions where the content is available, or should the content and features available on the Xbox 360 not be in parity with versions on competing platforms, then Microsoft reserves the right to not allow that content to be published for Xbox 360 or released on Xbox Live marketplace.’

“So potentially any time we’ve gone out and negotiated exclusive content of things that we’ve announced at things like DPS or E3, publishers are getting the living crap kicked out of them by Microsoft because they are doing something for the consumer that is better on our platform than it might be perceived on theirs.”

We actually spoke on this issue on last week’s Co-op so be sure to check it out. After hearing what Rob from Sony has to say on the issue I actually feel kind of sorry for them. I understand that Microsoft wants everything on Xbox Live to be of the best quality, but they are stepping on Sony’s toes quite a bit here, which is unfortunate. Now many of the studios putting out content are more likely to either make it Microsoft exclusive (whether timed or not) or a multi-platform project, which means it’s less likely for Sony to get any exclusive content for the PSN. The move ultimately takes away value from Sony’s network. Let’s just hope Sony will have something up their sleeves to counter-act this policy.

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Gary A. Swaby Co-founder/UK Managing Editor
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