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Buying Studios: the Wrong Strategy for Sony, and One Microsoft Shouldn't Adopt

Geek Revolt writes:

Lately there’s been an explosion of articles entitled “10 Studios Sony Should Acquire” and “5 Studios Microsoft Should Buy”—but this isn’t the right path in the quest for exclusives. Actually, owning too many could become counterproductive. Here’s the direction Sony and Microsoft should be heading in.

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MisterAV2235d ago

If a studio is able to do dozens of games is big as a dozen of studio, so it's divided across the world, so it's like many different studio as they work on something different each other...
Just like now first party studios have the same owner and share their knowledge...

reynod2235d ago

Why would anyone support a single organization owning too many studios is beyond me.

Why not have all studios multiplat so everyone wins.

More games for every platform PC, 360 & PS3
More chance of games getting sold for the devs

However i would insist every platform be taken advantage of. While PS3 and 360 have very small differences, its usually the PC platform that suffers the most when a game goes multiplat. Hence i support multiplat development as long as games are developed the way BF3 is.

LOGICWINS2235d ago

"Why not have all studios multiplat so everyone wins."

It's good for everyone to experience the same great games, but some people would like games to be exclusive so that devs can take FULL advantage of the console they are working on.

RayRay362235d ago

When I see games like Uncharted and MGS on the 360, I'll agree. As long as games dont lose any intrinsic value, multiplat is the way to go. But Im a story gamer, and most multiplats are focused on online, only to appeal to the masses. Thats whats so great about games like Batman and Mass Effect. Games that had a kickass story mode and played great on both consoles.

NewMonday2235d ago

but developers(the talent) hate being cogs in a machine. having separate studios is a better work environment. and better for expression.

in the case of Sony studios, they develop independently, but still share expertise around.

Dramscus2235d ago

There are multiple consoles. If everything was multiplat there would be no point in having more than one console.

mandf2235d ago (Edited 2235d ago )

@Reynod

First of all, I'll answer your question. If a console has many developers and create 5 games a year and 2 games don't make there money back the 3 other games compensate for their losses. It's called business 101. Many game studios have gone out of business this gen. It is because, if you make one game every 2 years which is the standard this gen you run the risk of going under if you game doesn't perform. A lot of studios have suffered this very fate and I mean a lot of studios.

Second look at Sega they went under because they didn't have a lot of first party studios. When EA pulled support it was a sign of weakness to other developers and there were rumblings in the industry at the time others were going to jump ship to. Sega got put in a hard place with very few studios. (quality but few) Outcome was leaving the hardware industry.

Look at Nintendo last gen, they sold 21 million systems which is a failure. (i bought 2) There first part was what made them survive. Nintendo couldn't survive without there studios history has shown with sales. All major Nintendo sales are from first party even this gen. Sony survives the same way.

Microsoft will eventually pay for not having first party studios. Cross game chat and social features are not going to save them unless they change there business model. What happens to Microsoft if EA pulled support? Other developers will look at that and realize hardware sales are going to go down. Less hardware equals less sales of there games. Xbox is known for social features. It's the only advantage they have. When it comes to games they lack in that department. Four exclusive IPs is nothing to brag about compared to other consoles.

Video games systems are about games and only games. You can argue if you want about that statement go get a computer. Consoles need lots of games to differentiate themselves from other consoles. If every console had the same games someone will go out of business. Competition is what drives every industry without it things go stagnant.

To the author of the article go get a beginners book for business because you would make a lot of developers go bankrupt with your reasoning.

Edit to the author, your whole article is nothing more than a childish, unresearched, response to other unsubstantiated opinions from other websites on N4G.

sikbeta2235d ago

God damn, it's that difficult to understand? LOOK, if all games were multiplat, there would be no point of having 3 consoles in the market, because all 3 would have the exact same games, making your choosing decision irrelevant and there would be NO Companies Trying Hard to get your money, like it or not exclusive games define your console, give the company and identity and build a fanbase, you believe Halo could be that big on xbox if it was a multiplat game? :P

icewater852235d ago

"Why not have all studios multiplat so everyone wins."

If it was like this than why have multiple consoles and handhelds. That would be dumb if all consoles had the same exact games.

Kleptic2234d ago (Edited 2234d ago )

The author clearly has no bearing on the intangible assets that go with creating a successful IP...

instead he is just taking what is happening, in particular with SCE's worldwide studios, and calling it something else...

if Sony would have all their internal development studios change their name to Sony ____...that is exactly what the situation would be...One huge studio pumping out nearly a dozen exclusive titles a year...Instead sony is allowing these aquired studios to keep their own identity, stay 'small' on a creative level...yet gives them the ability to share technology across what is pretty much the biggest game development empire in the industry...that is, all those individual studios within SCE being able to work together and share tech when need be...no other publisher has that many people under one umbrella...

so what difference does it make?...aside from changes in payroll, some radically different book keeping, the end result is the same...what is obvious, which I guess is the point of the article, is that Sony doesn't need to be buying any more studios any time soon...they have nearly a majority of the industries development talent wrapped up under their own payroll...sure there is talent they don't have access to directly, but most of the residual big studios are multi-platform anyway...and the cost of securing exclusive rights to these studios most likely outweighs the direct benefit they would see from 'owning' them...

schlanz2234d ago

When you are a smaller developer, it helps to have the financial and marketing support of a major publisher like Sony, not to mention other resources like borrowed talent and expertise.

gaden_malak2234d ago

"Why not have all studios multiplat so everyone wins."

Then there is no reason for Microsoft or Sony or Nintendo to release a console.
Exclusives entice consumers to get their console because only they can play that game on that console.

Venjense2234d ago

While I definitely support multiplats I wouldn't want ever game to be multiplat. Exclusives drive the hardware, multiplat devs wouldn't push the PS3 like 1st party has, they would have just said it's too hard an given up (subHD, washed out, low framerate, ect).

And exclusives are necessary for PC in order to utilize the superior hardware.

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 2234d ago
squallheart2235d ago

*face palm* this article made me do this. To me it seems sony has it down how to streamline their videogame development. First of all signing up to become first party has more benefits than being solo. You get more financial support which eases stress for developing new ip's. Another positive note is that as we have seen with sony, with the right owner your given free reign to develop what you want and how you want without interference. We have heard countless developers more than happy to join the sony brand and studios decisions to develop up one game is just that, up to the studio.

CGI-Quality2235d ago

Well put. If Sony were a moan to work with, we'd hear more about it. When nearly every developer says the exact opposite, it makes their business model sound much more attractive. Many of these studios wouldn't be where they are without Sony (Capcom, Namco, & Square-Enix included). It just so happens that their 1st party studios TRULY wouldn't be relevant had the PlayStation brand not been as powerful as it is and has been.

gamingdroid2235d ago (Edited 2235d ago )

I believe in smaller and nimbler developers are better for the consumers. High efficiency is obtained by lots of competition and bad studios is bound to fail as we don't need them anyhow.

If they are too big to fail, they will ultimately create mediocre games.

Ironically, buying up developers can stifle innovation despite the immediate benefit of stable finances. Then again it can also provide freedom to take risks as well....

That said, high efficiency forces people to take risks, with a higher degree of devotion. Thus I ultimately the greater good, smaller developers are the best option!

Consolidation is in general bad for the industry.

TBM2235d ago

Sorry geekrevolt but your wrong exclusives are what defined these consoles, and if the same game was being made for all consoles there wouldn't be a need to own multiple consoles.

So yea id rather these companies especially Sony, and Nintendo keep running their business the way they are so I can have my exclusives for their respective consoles.

Let the companies who want to remain independent (3rd party) stay that way. If all developers were to make games available for all conoles imagine what Uncharted, Gears, Killzone, LBP, GT, basically the really good looking exclusives would look like. They wouldn't be the way they are now.

Exclusives=win

Persistantthug2235d ago (Edited 2235d ago )

The writer of this article is suggesting that artists can be treated like automaton employees.
As if you can just tell developers and artists to go hunker down in some corporate office building, become 1, and work in some borg collective churning out games.

There is 1 skill Sony has that is BEYOND reproach....and that's how they deal with artist and various talents. They have years....decades of experience in dealing with artists, and quite frankly, through their own trials and errors, they've learned not only how to spot good talent (a bonafide skill)....but they've learned how to deal, cultivate, and NURTURE this talent (an even HARDER skill).

Artists are very often some of the HARDESTS & WORST employees to work with. They get up when they want....they take breaks when they want, some drink, do drugs, some are over sexed, suffer from bouts of depression....there's usually something strange or peculiar with them. But when they become inspired, sometimes they create the most amazing things that CANNOT be directed, taught, or replicated.

The writer of this article sounds like he has no idea that the best devs are not just a group of Windows spreadsheet programmers.

That's why this article comes across as lame brained to me.

theonlylolking2234d ago (Edited 2234d ago )

I had a hard time deciding if I should bubble you up as well said or intelligent.

pain777pas2234d ago (Edited 2234d ago )

Anyone against this should just look at the Microsoft commercial for their new operating system. Yes... in the womans hands showing the VAIO logo right in your face should tell you everything. There is no reason unless platforms differentiate themselves from each other. In the past having Mario on Nintendo, Sonic on Sega, Bonk on Turbo graphix 16, Gex on 3DO etc.... Games differentiated consoles. Neo-geo was the same situation even though the input method was similar. The state of the industry is that MS could handle Xbox live and bring their software expertise to any platform. I truly believe that is where we are headed if people believe that no buying studios is such a bad idea. The reason why I feel this way is because MS can move back to where they should be before Apple take over by trying to replace the PC with their myriad of crafty devices. They can get Sony to succeed in the living room again and have their services available for a fee. This is all speculative of course but without competition, this is the result. I can tell you that Halo will not go anywhere and neither will the Xbox brand however, a shift for Microsoft to get back in the consciousness of being a software company fulfilling the needs of businesses who are lagging behind Apple and Google in the software development for current multitouch devices. Remember as good as MS has done and people trumpet the triumph of the 360 in comparison to the PS3 these same people state that the PSP was a failure and has sold maybe 15 million more units. The division in the market with PS3 and 360 plus some of the former mainstream console adopters that got the PS2 last gen opted for the new experience of the WII a team up may be the way to secure a beatdown for Nintendo. Remember if there is a tiered system where online play is free but DLGs exclusive the Xbox live platform demand membership could ensure a yearly subscription from all users on the PSXbox console. Look this may seem ridiculous but completely plausible. Business can be for a lack of better word interesting people. Disagree if you must but this would be a logical step for manufacturers in the game now. The new fight would truly be between Activision, EA and Take 2 etc...

marinelife92234d ago

Don't bother reading the article. I did so you wouldn't have to.

wsoutlaw872234d ago

ya all hes saying really is that they should all have the same name. Its not like it matters that they are all one studio if they are divided and making different games.

seinfan2234d ago

How can anybody agree to a comment that's not even able to be understood? I'm guessing English isn't your first language, but still, I can't believe people would randomly agree with it.

AlienLion2234d ago

Did a 10-year old write this article? The reasons are so dumb its not even funny. While you're at it, mention that MS and Sony would save on vending machines this way and they would get better deals on pizzas since they can make one big order for the big studio and get a discount as opposed to several orders for the smaller ones. Seriously, stop straining your brain thinking about things you just dont understand.

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Petro2235d ago

I still believe that having smaller companies is better, as then it actually is easier to manage as everyone knows everyone and that leads to hopefully better relations between the developers. A good developer is as good as he feels, like I used to work at a shit company doing graphics designs and I simply couldn't do anything good.

SephirothX212235d ago

Maybe it isn't wise buying so many studios as it can lead to less competition. Though I wonder if Epic would say the same thing if MS had bought the studios and Sony hadn't. It seems to me that Epic like to suck MS off whenever they get a chance. Cliff Blezinski is a good developer but he should do more developing and less talking. As the Rock says: "Know your role and shut your mouth!".

Micro_Sony2235d ago

"Despite being published by Microsoft, the Gears of War IP is wholly owned by Epic Games. In an interview Epic CEO Mike Capps he stated his desire to eventually bring Gears of War to other platforms, such as the Playstation 3. However, he further stated "Time and time again, when it came down to figure out what we do next with Gears, we sat down with Microsoft and they've given us really good, compelling reasons to work with them again."

I wonder what that compelling reason could be. I dont think its money because I dont think MS are willing to pay EPIC what this game would make if it went multi.

Then again Gears is a console seller so Money might be the reason.

Jocosta2234d ago

So what did Sony give in exchange for all those studios? Oh yeah, MONEY.

DrRichtofen2235d ago (Edited 2235d ago )

Geek Revolt obviously knows more about running studios and game companies and managing finances better than sony or microsoft. I mean sony has only been at this for what....15 years? /s

a_bro2235d ago (Edited 2235d ago )

more like over 20, they've been publishing and developing games since the SNES/Genesis/Game Gear Days..

kneon2234d ago

The author clearly has never worked at huge corporations. In the last 25 years I've only spent 2 years at a company with less than 20k people. Whenever we've really needed to go off and do something really new and creative the best approach has always been to split off a group of talented people to go off and work on their own without the corporate overlord sticking their fingers in everything.

Sure the bean counters would prefer if all the studios were rolled into one big ball of developers, but the games would suffer. Once they get sucked into the corporate borg the personality and culture of each studio would begin to be lost, and that would be reflected in the games.

If you want all the studios to be pumping out the same old stuff then merging them all is a good way to go.

DigitalRaptor2234d ago (Edited 2234d ago )

The author apparently knows more than a company who've been making successful ventures in the VG industry for 15+ years and one who's been very successful this generation. In reality, this author has no idea.

If Microsoft doesn't begin adopting the same successful approach, what happens to the continuously supportive 360 gamers from now, going into next gen? Will they rely on Kinect exclusives (that thing that most gamers don't really want)? If MS truly want a permanent position in this industry, they can't just keep piggybacking off third-party content and the very few studios they have left that make great quality ORIGINAL stuff for the core.

I don't see how you can downplay a company who makes good investments for both themselves and for gamers who have invested in their current and future products.

TenSteps2235d ago (Edited 2235d ago )

If these separate studios can do awesome things on their own then why not.

All in all yes there'd be more polish and it'd be more refined but when Naughty Dog can make Uncharted, Media Molecule with LbP, and now Sucker Punch with infamous all separately then you get a good stream of games flowing at a time.

Sony actually has it right. They buy developers but encourage them to work with each other and not just keep to themselves. It has all the advantages of working as one as well as being able to express their own identities.

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