Insomniac Games Explain Why Sunset Overdrive Is Exclusive To XBO: Microsoft Are "Terrific Partners"

GearNuke: "Sunset Overdrive is an exclusive game from Insomniac Games, the creators of Ratchet and Clank and Resistance series on PlayStation platform. It was quite a surprise to see them going exclusive to Xbox One for their next big game since they have mostly made games exclusively for the PlayStation, and were considered an important part of the PlayStation 2 and 3 software lineup. James Stevenson, Community Lead at Insomniac Games, explains how they ended up becoming creating an exclusive for Microsoft."

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incendy351381d ago

Glad MS is letting these studios have so much artistic freedom. The game looks amazing.

Abash1381d ago

I'm really surprised that Insomniac owns the rights to Sunset Overdrive. If it is really successful, I can see it becoming a series across many different platforms

joab7771381d ago Show
GarrusVakarian1381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

"I'm really surprised that Insomniac owns the rights to Sunset Overdrive."

Oh, they do? I didn't know that. Man, MS must really trust Insomniac with this game. If i were MS, i would be locking it down to Xbox One only, lol.

That means that Insomniac could make SO a multi-platform game if they wanted to. I doubt they will though, they said they enjoyed working on a single platform in an earlier interview.

True_Samurai1381d ago

@joab ain't nothing wrong with that. They see where the grass is greener or I should say where the money is stacked higher

incendy351381d ago

Gears of War was also owned by Epic until just a couple of months ago. I think it is pretty normal for Microsoft to work that way when it comes to Third Party studios.

Bennibop1381d ago

Strange that they are saying this when every other developer is saying sony are fantastic to work with. I can't help but feel that money talked which is fine they are business after all.

Volkama1381d ago

It's a "nice" way for a publisher to partner with a studio. They're funding and publishing games, without bullying or controlling the talent. There is no downside to that, it's far far better to see than moneyhatting timed exclusives.

At least that's how it appears on the surface. Who knows what evil lurks behind closed doors.

4Sh0w1381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

It's not strange, why does everyone think one company has to be all good and one has to be all bad? If you know your game history, and not just the headlines you would know that's far from the truth. Plenty of devs have said micro is a great partner to realize their artistic vision. Plenty of devs enjoy sonys support as well. Also >>FACT<< is both make mistakes and neither is evil.

What usually happens is at times people working together closely within the company or as partners with another company occasionally have disagreements. Notice the few devs critical of micro all have an axe to grind (indies particularly) over micros in-house decisions related to online strategy= want to make more money on xbox live but for parity reasons micro doesn't allow it. You can disagree with micro's position but that doesn't make them evil, micro has had this clause for a long time and they see it as proper business. Ultimately as a dev if you disagree and hate micro for it fine but its their brand so move on and support the one you do agree with.

Again, business by its nature means making tough decisions, neither company to me seems more righteous or more evil and as a dev sometimes you might need to move on and start fresh when you don't like a decision a partner above you has made, future possibility of working with the former company again under a new structure/deal always exists (Bungie/ Insomniac). No doubt Insomniac will make future games for ps4, multi or maybe exclusive but why do folks get so upset when devs make exclusives for xbox?

Ausbo1381d ago

It could be a titanfall situation. First game exclusive, the rest prob not. I think Microsoft put a lot of money into this game so I wouldn't expect sunset overdrive 1 to go to sony

truefan11381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

Why are people suprised, some of the best studios in gaming work with MSFT. Crytek, Epic, Remedy, Bethseda, Bungie, now Insomniac. Not to mention look how they helped raise the stock of Double Helix. MSFT studios is doing big things this gen just open you eyes and witness them work.

The problem is most of the Internet gaming community is a bunch of followers who refuse to acknowledge anything positive MSFT or XB1. You guys listen to too many indie devs trying to get their 20 minutes of fame bad mouthing MSFT when still some of the best indie devs still work with MSFT, The Behemoth and MoJang/4k studios.

MYDEATH211381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

It reminds me of Gotham City Imposters for some reason lol

Sitdown1381d ago

In your mind, it's not possible for it to be fantastic to work for either company? Just because other developers have being saying it about Sony, does not mean it can't be true for Microsoft as well. Besides, at three end of the day... Aren't ask the companies trying to make money, since they are for profit?

DragonKnight1381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

I will personally throw a party for the first developer who makes an exclusive for whatever console that comes out and says

"Why did we make it exclusive? Fo' da money yo"

Lame PR responses are boring.

@truefan1: And I bet you think that MSFT has done nothing to deserve the majority opinion (you did say most of the internet) that they are bad for gaming right? All sunshine and roses coming from them, they've been pro-consumer, anti-government, pro-competition from the start right?

scott1821381d ago

Yes, and I am sure they will say the same on their next project with Sony. People are so funny on here.

MasterCornholio1380d ago (Edited 1380d ago )

Oh wow thats great news then. Hopefully Sunset will come to the PS4 some day.


You people disgust me.

UltraNova1380d ago

@ Dragon

I second that dude.

Massacred1380d ago

So future installments could come to other platforms?

Godmars2901380d ago

More like, "They didn't pis us off like with whatever Sony did."

XB1_PS41380d ago

@mikeslemonade They were funded, not moneyhatted. I don't think you know what that means. Sony wasn't providing Insomniac enough of a budget for proper development time. MS did. This is the result. There's literally nothing bad that MS did involving insomniac.

scott1821380d ago

Sony did what? MS did what?

how do you know all of this?

josephayal1380d ago

is very likely going to be a timed exclusive,

GameNameFame1380d ago

So there is a good chance that if the game is successful, it can go multiplat. at least next game will be multiplat.

And last I checked Insomiac was making less quality games and Sony wasnt sponsoring them anymore.

Look at the review scores on their last few games...

Charybdis1380d ago (Edited 1380d ago )

In this case Microsoft is the publisher which doesn't own the rights to the game/franchise, but they probably do have the publishing and distribution rights for SO.

We can assume Microsoft funded the development of SO and probably also pays for the marketing efforts. If SO will go to other platforms it will at least need another publisher. Self publishing the game on other platforms is also a possibility, but if dev uses or goes to publisher it mostly is because of funding and support purposes.

Going multi-platform at the moment doesn't seem likely as I remember reading something along the lines of 'permanent xbox one exclusive'.

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Magicite1381d ago ShowReplies(2)
kewlkat0071381d ago

I'm surprised this is an Insomniac game looking at the colors and visual style...

Myze1381d ago

Obviously not remotely similar in terms of gameplay, but "colors and visual style" I take your meaning as cartoonish/stylized and vibrant colors, which describes Ratchet and Clank's visuals in a nutshell.

I think the the game looks like a lot of fun, and although I don't expect it, I hope it isn't one of those games that is TONS of fun early on, but becomes very repetitive. For some reason, when I saw the gameplay, I didn't think of Jet Set Radio or Infamous, I though of Crazy Taxi, and I'm not even sure why. Maybe the zaniness and off-the-wall design decisions. This is a good thing, on one hand, since Crazy Taxi was a very fun game, but on the other hand, the game became very repetitive and was a fun game for 3-4 hours, but no more.

What I see with Sunset Overdrive so far seems like it will definitely be a lot of fun, but I'm not gonna 100% fall for it till we know what variety is offered outside of the monster blasting in an open world aspect. I am not thinking it will be lacking, I'm just not gonna fall head over heals in love so quickly.

Why o why1381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

For real... r+c games were full of colour. The traversing reminds me of jet set radio. Loved that game. Hope it turns out well for X1 owners. Insomniac are quality., myze beat me to it.

kewlkat0071381d ago

Actually you are right about R&C..

randomass1711381d ago

I agree, the game looks quite stellar. Glad Insomniac got to make this freely. :)

Blaze9291380d ago

who knows if Insomniac ever broke even with any of the games they released on PS3 last gen. They sure as hell didn't get much marketing attention.

Maybe they just had enough of their hard work and games being undershadowed and undersold.

BlackTar1871380d ago

Wait is this game called Halo or GeOW or Forza?

Insomniac games are nothing special. Some gems but alot of mediocre titles.

Blackdeath_6631380d ago

lol what a load of bullshit, the only reason guantic dream is a sony exclusive studio is because MS turned them away

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cfc781381d ago

Sorry you feel that way, but know we had to partner with the right group that believed in us and the vision of the game, wanted to see that vision came to life, and was ok with us retaining the rights to our creation.In all of those regards,Microsoft has been a terrific partner in making Sunset Overdrive reality.

That's something you don't hear every day microsoft need more reactions like these.

Testfire1381d ago

To me at least its not surprising. Sony wants exclusivity and to own the game rights but give creative freedom, EA doesn't need to own the game rights but they WILL assert their control over the creation process, MS will allow creative freedom and usually let the dev keep the IP, they just care about exclusivity. MS gets a bad rap, but many devs do well with them and have no issues, Remedy, Epic, Crytek, Bungie, etc.

BlackWolf121381d ago

Actually EA does own the rights to many of their titles.

TimeSkipLuffy1381d ago

so what if Isnomniac decides to make the game multiplat? They own the IP. They could do it any they want right?

Testfire1381d ago

@TimeSkipLuffy, who knows. There are a lot of possibilities as to the contractual agreements between Insomniac and MS.

LordMaim1380d ago (Edited 1380d ago )

Why would Microsoft buy the rights to the IP until they find out whether it's a success or not. Microsoft only bought the rights to Gears of War after there were rumors in November of a PS4 version. They didn't have to lock it up until then. It's not Microsoft being a "nice guy", it's them not spending money until they need to. They'll absolutely back up another truck full of money to Insomniac's door if it turns out that Sunset Overdrive is a success.

ThatOneGuyThere1380d ago

every company wants to be successful. every game engineer/designer/producer/art ist ive talked to wants their game to be great for the players. everything else is just fanboy BS. this is the truth.

ZombieGamerMan1380d ago

Not gonna say this is a bad move from MS but it's definitely one that can turn on you on a dime, MS needs long term plans. That's why Sony owns every franchise Insomniac Games has made for them so if they ever go multiplat they don't lose those franchises.

Honestly I have nothing against MS on this one but I really dislike Insomniac games for this, the went off to be multiplat studio so they could sell more games and earn more money than if they just stick to one system but here they are going exclusive again but to the chief competition of the company that helped build them.

Neonridr1380d ago

@TimeSkipLuffy - as long as Sony is willing to fund the development, then yes, hypothetically the game could appear on the PS4. Insomniac isn't just going to fund a PS4 version out of their own generosity.

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randomass1711381d ago

Microsoft doesn't really focus on indies but it seems their relations with third party publishers and developers is still very strong.

shadyiswin1380d ago

must no be aware of the [email protected] program that was full. Wave one of games starts on 5/14/14 with super time force :D. Microsoft has tons of indies on board too but just cause they are making a smart move by focusing on 250 and giving them funding and free xbox ones to develop people think they forgot about the indies. You expect them to give away 1000 kits? while also filling the xbox live store with garbage? i love this move from microsoft. It will produce quality indie games that are all exclusive at the same time.

AceBlazer131381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

Yh right. Money talks, simple as that and nothing is wrong with that. Devs should stop feel the need to explain themselves every time, We're all grown we understand money is important, we won't think less of Insomniac.

One thing though I'm kinda jealous. They give PlayStation crappy ass games back to back recently then Xbox gets the good looking one. This gen sure is gonna be interesting.

How am I downplaying Microsoft? It's naive to think money had nothing to do with Insomniac , the guys who wanted to go multiplat, going exclusive for the other side. It's business.

You really expect me to believe Sony or Nintendo wouldn't have backed a game like Sunset Overdrive? Microsoft was the only one to support their vision?

ats19921381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

Or Insomniac really thinks Microsoft is a terrific partner.

stormfire784121381d ago

Or Ms was the only company that could afford to back them up

BlackWolf121381d ago

It's a bit of a kick in the teeth to both Sony fans and Sony itself, by saying "Microsoft is a great partner". What was Sony NOT a great partner?

When people complain about Bungie going multiplat, I tell them to stfu because it is still coming to them, if they went PS exclusive I would understand.

randomass1711381d ago

Let these devs partner with who they want. Insomniac is comfortable with this deal, so I think we should respect them forever.

ThatOneGuyThere1380d ago

im sure they are just fine as a partner. but, exclusivity almost always comes down to being paid for the rights. that way the studio is guaranteed a payout, even with the small install bases. exclusivity becomes rare after the systems have solid install bases, unless its a first party game.

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Volkama1381d ago

They aren't denying "money talks". That's part and parcel of having a publisher fund your game. It's everything else that comes with the contract that is noteworthy...

aragon1381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

so when devs praise sony its because sony is an angelic company to the point that money doesnt matter? o last gen anytime a multiplat came with anything excluaive on 360 its because ms bought it with their evil money? but destiny and watchdogs have some exclusive additions on ps4, so did sony buy it or is it the goodness of sony? either way the dev said he likes working with ms, y cant ppl leave it there? the next time a dev praises ps4 ppl should say sony paid them. the fanboyism and hypocrisy is too much.

one more thing has sony ever had a 3rd party exclusive? im sure they have

randomass1711381d ago

As a Sony fan, I agree with this. Some devs will praise Sony and others will praise Microsoft. It's not so strange when both are trying to make developers more comfortable on their platforms.

shadyiswin1380d ago

you guys (sony fans) take it so personal lol. Does this not sound familiar? did respawn not say the same exact kind words? maybe microsoft is throwing extra bells and whistles in to get developers on there consoles. I find the thing special in all this microsoft isnt trying to buy out the games. They seem to be in it to help get things off the ground and see the projects realized,how could anyone have a problem with that is beyond me. Trust me,you will not see me crying about "the order" (cant think of any other exclusives from 3rd party games for ps4) It is a business and it is what seperates your product from the next.

Dont think microsoft wasnt listening when it came to the talk of having no exclusives. Now they have plenty and everyone (sony fans) are complaining. It will be up to phil spencer to keep it going,which im sure he will. Microsoft is being less bossy with the IPs cause it realizes if you treat the company right,they wont want to go elsewhere and even when they do the game will sell better on your console cause it has that fan base from the first title (mass effect 2&3,bioshock,dead rising 2, it goes both ways as FF and metal gear will always sell better on sony consoles). If titanfall goes multiplatform you can expect it to sell way more on xbox platforms,same with sunset overdrive and other game,smart move for microsoft.

BlackTar1871380d ago

Actually Shady,

I think what MS did was not listen. If they had listened they surly would have heard the amount of people who pretended like Exclusives weren't that important because MP sell the most.

BlackTar1871380d ago

My comment was a joke people.

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Christopher1381d ago

***While it is not hard to speculate the real reason behind this exclusivity deal(Insomniac wanted to retain the IP), perhaps Sony should have given them what they want.***

This assumes that Sony wouldn't have done this in the first place. It also assumes that other publishers wouldn't have done the same and allowed them to go completely third-party.

The reality is, Microsoft took what was once a developer who made games exclusive to their competitors platform and flipped them. I'm fairly certain they bent over backwards to do what they could to make this happen.

Microsoft is smart and influential. They can afford to make these type of moves. It's why they will continue to succeed in the business. Because they know how to take their competitors strength and flip it so it's now in their ballpark.

RockmanII71381d ago

It's the same reason why Bungie was pushed into signing that 10 year deal with Activision, they were either the only publisher or one of the few that would allow Bungie to own the Destiny IP when the contract ran out.

shadyiswin1380d ago

bungie went with activision to make spend/more money hence the 500 million being thrown at destiny. Going multiplatform also means more money in the fact you will sell more games. Bungie is probably slightly but hurt they dont own halo and microsoft didnt lose much sleep as they retained the core of the halo team. Say what you want but halo 4 was much much better than reach and the campaign was the best in a long time. 343 is doing just fine.

Bungie left microsoft cause they didnt want to be tied down,so they sign a 10 yr deal with another company.....but everyone says nothing cause sony fan boys desperatly want some of that bungie gameplay on there consoles,so far destiny looks extraordinary......boring. Im looking more forward to evolved so far,then ofcourse a halo later this year,i will gamefly destiny,if i like it ill keep it,simple as that.

Bundi1380d ago

Name one ps exclusive game in recent history from a second party developer that Sony has allowed to retain ownership of the IP. Every single game that they publish, they keep.
MS on the other hand allows many second party devs to keep their IP's despite publishing it so it is no surprise that Insomniac chose MS after years of working on IPs for Sony only to walk away with no ownership.

Can you honestly sit there and judge them for going with MS when they have a history of allowing devs to keep ownership of the games they publish? Alan Wake, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Limbo, Dust: An Elysian Tale. All published by MS but they didn't make the devs sign over ownership.
Sony on the other hand...Heavenly Sword, Demon Souls, Journey, flow, Flower, Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, list goes on, if they publish it, best know that they are keeping it.
With a history like that, it isn't far fetched to assume they wouldn't have let them keep their IP, otherwise why wouldn't they want to stay with a partner they have had for 20 years?!

Christopher1380d ago

***Can you honestly sit there and judge them for going with MS when they have a history of allowing devs to keep ownership of the games***

Who's judging?

I took what the site asserted and said that not only Sony but other publishers could have done the same thing. I then said that this is how Microsoft bends over backwards to turn a company's strength into their own.

There was no judgement.

Bundi1380d ago (Edited 1380d ago )

***This assumes that Sony wouldn't have done this in the first place. It also assumes that other publishers wouldn't have done the same and allowed them to go completely third-party.***

Your comment implies that you believe different, that Sony would have allowed them to keep the IP when they have clearly shown to do the contrary for the past 10 years.

Also, Microsoft have been allowing 2nd party developers to retain ownership of games they publish since the first Xbox (see Bioware IPs) and that didn't change during the 360 era so I find it difficult to understand why you'd call this "bending over backwards" on MS' part when they have proven themselves to not lock IPs away from second party devs for years now.
It simply isn't their policy to keep IPs from those that worked hard on them. Sony is another story and Insomniac chose wisely with this regard.

Christopher1380d ago (Edited 1380d ago )

***Your comment implies that you believe different,***

No, it's a statement declaring that the author's statement is an assumption.

Nothing more.

I believe you are putting value into my statement that doesn't exist.

*** I find it difficult to understand why you'd call this "bending over backwards" on MS' part when they have proven themselves to not lock IPs away from second party devs for years now. ***

You just explained how they bend over backwards... Just because they do it often doesn't mean they don't go out of their way to make developers happy.

candy_mafia1381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

Insomniac had a weird relationship with Sony. I don't believe Insomniac had much commercial success with their IP.

Ratchet 'n Clank was Insomniac/Sony's most successful game.

EA/insomniac partnership was laughable, so I hope Insomniac have found a good 'fit' with MS, as I respect the studio. I met Ted Price once and he seemed like a really cool guy :)

creatchee1381d ago

Insomniac wants the rights to the IP's that they created. Sony doesn't allow that. Hence, Insomniac went elsewhere. It's funny, but MS got a lot of flack for Titanfall exclusivity but here is MS actually doing a solid to Insomniac and gamers.

WeAreLegion1381d ago

What do you mean "Sony doesn't allow that."? Of course they allow it!

Dannyh1381d ago

Spyro the dragon was huge on psx

4Sh0w1381d ago (Edited 1381d ago )

"I hope Insomniac have found a good 'fit' with MS"

I'm a X1/micro fan but don't mistake a deal for 1 game as some long lasting partnership. I think people are jumping the gun and assuming too much, the bottom line is micro and Insomniac have a deal for 1 exclusive game(that we know of) because #1 micro stepped up giving them the support/freedom to make the game and #2 let them own their IP, sort of same as Titanfall but I also have no doubt Insomniac is going to also make some future games for ps4, which is great too.

It's a *indie/n4g myth that micro isn't a great partner for game devs, most of which comes from a few indie devs who couldn't get on the platform but many devs have said otherwise, even Bungie who wanted to be independent left on great terms with micro.

DragonKnight1381d ago

@4Sh0w: "It's a *indie/n4g myth that micro isn't a great partner for game devs, most of which comes from a few indie devs who couldn't get on the platform but many devs have said otherwise, even Bungie who wanted to be independent left on great terms with micro."

So indies are making up that Microsoft isn't a great partner for game devs now? Ah gotta love Xbox/Microsoft fans, not considering indie devs to be real devs, or even have real issues. Microsoft does well with such closed minded people.