“360 Exclusivity helps us make better PS3 games” – Japanese developer
No matter what your opinion is of paid exclusivity, there’s no doubt that Japanese developers have been jumping into Microsoft’s deep pockets since the start of this generation of gaming.
However, many people have been baffled as to why a Japanese developer would release a game exclusively for a console that has a significantly lower user-base in Japan. And usually in the RPG genre, a genre Japanese gamers traditionally go bananas over.
The answer? Because Sony are not ponying up the money (or the support apparently — which we find hard to believe). Not that this is a problem though. In fact, it’s a win-win solution for the developer and PS3 fans.
By the time the exclusivity deal has expired, you already have the game developed and can focus on making a PS3 port (with extras for the fans) for next to no development costs and can deliver a bigger and less buggy game to the masses.
Just don’t tell Microsoft.
Tales of Vesperia, Eternal Sonata and the recently announced Star Ocean: The Last Hope (International). The list of Xbox 360 exclusives that have jumped ship goes on. Here’s what the plucky developer had to say on the scenario of using one manufacturer as essentially a sugar-daddy/guinea pig.
“Sony Computer Entertainment doesn’t really provide money (maybe no money). Support is a mess and unreliable. (At the time I was involved). Developing for the 360 is easy. The cost is lower to an extent. [Then] Sony says: ‘We won’t approve the game if it’s exactly the same as the Xbox 360 version. You must put in lots of extra content.’
As a result, first you develop for the Xbox, reducing development costs. But the Xbox version won’t sell [in Japan]. So they port it to the PS3 … it’s cheaper as you already have the game done.”
Microsoft have put a lot of money and effort into making their console a viable option in the traditionally xenophobic market of Japan. We’re sure they won’t be too happy with this developer whistle blower (who only worked on Vampire Rain apparently) admitting to what we’ve already known. It’s a business decision as to why you should release your game on the 360 first. After all, Microsoft practically pay you to make it, and you can just go head and release a bigger and better version for the PS3 later.
Of course, Japanese 360 fans (they do exist, there’s about a million of them in fact) are none too happy about this arrangement. Japanese Tales of Vesperia fans for example have actually gone as far as to create a petition to have the original 360 version retrofitted to match the newer PS3 incarnation (along with the asinine demand for Namco to “Never do this again!”)
It should be noted that the original incendiary blog post has now been taken down. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if this former Japanese developer is now somewhere in Shinjuku begging for his supper tonight.