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How Sony snagged Jonathan Blow’s The Witness away from the Xbox One

Why move to Sony's console for the follow-up? Speaking to Ars, Jonathan Blow said it wasn't about either platform being technically superior or any big money backroom deals. For Blow, the issue seemed to be as simple as access.

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AngelicIceDiamond1179d ago

That's interesting in all but this would be a big deal 2 years ago but now X1 has allot of great indies coming to its platform to really worry about this game.

StanLee1179d ago

That's been good and bad. [email protected] is restrictive though. Microsoft's support for independent developers has become notoriously institutionalized. You don't have the freedom to approach other platform holders or you're restricted in if, how, and when you can release on other platforms.

donthate1179d ago

You can release on any other platform you want as long as you release on the Xbox at the same time. If you decide to release on Xbox later, it must include "specialness" or added content.

How is that restrictive?

Nobody wants a year old port for the same price and if you as a developer cannot conjure up something "special" for the customers that waited, you can keep your sh!t.

That is my opinion of it.

That said, I really hope MS brings back XNA and the indie game program back making your home Xbox a dev kit.

TFJWM1179d ago

@donthate "You can release on any other platform you want as long as you release on the Xbox at the same time. If you decide to release on Xbox later, it must include "specialness" or added content."

How is that not restrictive?

SonyWarrior1179d ago

I wont buy this game for a few reasons one i dont like the designer and two i dont support indie games unless there was a significant amount of work put into it like the witcher 3 for example.

Why o why1179d ago

Lol...donthate......do you have to defend everything ms do...have a kit kat mate

I do think sony have similar restrictions but not as many as some have stated ms's has.

fermcr1179d ago

@TFJWM

Do you realize that Sony does the exact same thing?

If a game gets released on the PS later then other platforms, it has to come with something extra.

triple_c1179d ago

Sony has always been more fair about their policies with publishers and developers than Microsoft has.

In case anybody doesn't remember this from a few years ago, allow me to refresh your memory..

http://n4g.com/news/836752/...

S2Killinit1179d ago

its a bully method. I'm gland MS isn't the leader in sales. They shouldn't feel that they can push people around in the industry to get their way.

WowSoChill1179d ago

Everything is bad about Xbox One, didn't you guys know? this is N4G mf's

dcbronco1179d ago

Microsoft is not nearly as restrictive as Sony used(still is) be. Sony's policy used to be they owned the IP. Microsoft never did anything remotely as restrictive as that.

morganfell1179d ago

@SonyWarrior,

If you think CDProjekt still resembles an indie developer then you have erred.

CartBlanche1178d ago

@donthate XNA and Xbox Live Arcade are officially dead from Microsoft. They officially sunset it last week. However, It now lives on in the form of MonoGame - http://www.monogame.net (I worked on it for about 4 years), which bizarrely has been available on PS4 for nearly a year now, while Microsoft are still dragging their feet about allowing it onto Xbox One.

Once Xbox One switches to Windows 10, MonoGame should work on the App partition, but to get the most out of it, Microsoft need to allow MonoGame games onto the Game partition of the OS.

Time will tell if they ever do that.

garrettbobbyferguson1178d ago

@morganfell

Are they owned by a publisher? No? Then they are an independent studio.

+ Show (9) more repliesLast reply 1178d ago
SaveFerris1179d ago

It is possible that The Witness will eventually come to Xbox One as well.

ThrowingDigitalSheep1178d ago

I hope so! It looks like a great puzzle game.

AngelicIceDiamond1179d ago

Disagree for no reason as usual. Its just one game made by a famous indie dev.

That's it, X1 has announced other compelling indies at E3 and Gamescom. Its just one game. Disagree fine but at least tell me why.

jb2271179d ago

The creator of one of the most lauded indies of last gen in Braid is making a new game, whether or not its released now, 2 years ago or 2 years from now, it'll still be an interesting proposition. Also MS have started to get their indie ball rolling finally but we have seen very few of these compelling ones release yet. Below & Inside both look great, and they are interesting for the same reason that The Witness is interesting, 3 independent devs that released groundbreaking games last gen in the indie space are finally releasing games in the new gen. If you care about Inside & Below for the XBO, then you should care about The Witness as well if you are basing your interest off of the history of devs.

People disagree when you bring an obvious inclination to downplay anything on a particular platform w/ no real reasoning. If you are expecting people to explain their reasoning behind their disagrees, shouldn't you explain your reasoning why The Witness would've only been a big deal 2 years ago? Seems like The Witness would be a bigger deal for you if it were launching simultaneously on your platform of choice.

The idea that more cool games aren't a big deal because you already have some cool games coming makes no real sense...more games is better than fewer games after all.

SpaceRanger1179d ago

They're disagreeing because you're trying to downplay it just because it's not on the Xbox.

Having that "Oh there's better things coming out so I don't care much for this" attitude is what got you those disagrees.

gangsta_red1179d ago

You know jb and Spaceranger, those accusations can go both ways.

Maybe it's you who like to hype up and over sell this game just because it's on PS4. Even though you know nothing about it, it's been in development forever, no one has even mentioned it, hardly anyone even remembers it from it's first reveal.

"If you care about Inside & Below for the XBO, then you should care about The Witness as well if you are basing your interest off of the history of devs."

Except we have seen more for Inside and Below, gameplay, interviews and details more than any of us have seen for The Witness. And caring for those two games has nothing to do with it just being on X1, it has everything to do with what was shown looks incredible. Can you say that about The Witness?

"...more games is better than fewer games after all."

This type of logic makes no sense and yet I see used everytime. What if those "more" games are not interesting or just shovelware. The original Wii had more games it didn't make that system better now did it.

There's no reason to be excited for The Witness, curious maybe, but excited, anticipating? No, not when there are better indie games announced and actually shown for each system.

DigitalRaptor1179d ago (Edited 1179d ago )

"Even though you know nothing about it, it's been in development forever, no one has even mentioned it, hardly anyone even remembers it from it's first reveal."

This is the biggest load of fantasy land crap I've read today.
-----

"Except we have seen more for Inside and Below, gameplay, interviews and details more than any of us have seen for The Witness."

Another lie. Present your proof or go home.
------

"And caring for those two games has nothing to do with it just being on X1, it has everything to do with what was shown looks incredible. Can you say that about The Witness? "

What looks incredible about either of those 2 games, out of interest?
------

"There's no reason to be excited for The Witness"

Why ever not? Because you have the opinion that better games exist? That's insane, truly mad. People were excited for Myst, for Ethan Carter, for Everybody's Gone to the Rapture, for The Talos Principle. Better games exist, so I'm just going to put my excitement for them on hold.... what? Just because you fail in your methods of research for this particular game... and of course revel in trolling PlayStation 4 articles when anything detrimental to the Xbox One is introduced, as usual.

gangsta_red1179d ago

@Digital

"This is the biggest load of fantasy land crap I've read today."

Please provide proof other than what was provided today. In fact I'll provide it for you Digital...

http://n4g.com/news/1792435...

Wow, look at the heat in that article.

------

"Another lie. Present your proof or go home."

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

I'm sure I could link more but those alone is more than what we have seen of The Witness.

-----

"What looks incredible about either of those 2 games, out of interest?"

Really? You can sit on N4G and make up designs and gameplay about games you never even played or seen but you yourself have no idea what makes Below or Inside incredible? Below, randomly generated Zelda like action from the guys who made Super Time Force.

Inside, more atmospheric and moody platforming from the guys who brought you the one of the best games last gen Limbo.

The Witness...Myst style point and click action that no one has seen...yea...

-----

"Just because you fail in your methods of research for this particular game?"

Wait...you asked me all those questions above and I failed?

But your right, I shouldve looked for gameplay for The Witness and I would have found this:

https://www.youtube.com/wat...

How exciting!! You can see the presenter having the most fun ever lol!

jb2271179d ago (Edited 1179d ago )

@gangsta

There are no "maybes" in this argument...Braid is one of the better indie games released last gen, anyone who played it can tell you that. I base my expectations off of the talent involved and not solely on what's been shown. By that same token, where is this amazing footage for Inside & Below? I've looked and I've seen less than 2:00 of Inside gameplay and it consists of a darkened space & a figure walking right, how is it that the hype behind that title is any more real than The Witness based solely off of gameplay again? Seems like it's exactly what I said, people are excited to play the next entry from the creator of Limbo based off of the promise of that title. If Limbo didn't exist, are you honestly expecting anyone to believe that any gamer would be excited to play the game based off of less than 2:00 of a figure walking through a shadowed landscape?

As far as the Witness, I absolutely remember it from its first reveal, not sure where you are getting the "hardly anyone" metric from but it sounds like complete conjecture to me. Gamers who enjoyed Braid are interested in seeing Blow's next project, and gamers who enjoy puzzle games & Myst in particular are excited to see what the final game will be like. I can honestly say for my own personal tastes that what has been shown from the Witness looks absolutely as intriguing as what's been shown from Inside & Below, and since you are expecting us to take you guys for your word in not having any kind of bias at play, then you are absolutely required to do the same. For my own personal opinions, Superbrothers was highly overrated, the music wasn't nearly as great as some made it out to be and the game was monotonous for my personal tastes, the environments were rudimentary & drab & Below looks to be the same, just a lot of angular shapes & dark colors, no life & no soul. Doesn't mean I'm going to claim that my opinion is somehow correct, I accept the fact that people enjoy the dev and their prior work & I respect them for their opinions, something you all are apparently unwilling to do in this instance. How again is it a given that a "Zelda like" game is somehow more legitimate than a "Myst like" game? Opinions exist, and you guys can downplay other genres all you'd like but to actually try to legitimately "prove" that your opinions are some "correct" is just backwards & "factually" incorrect.

To call something like The Witness "shovel ware" shows where you are coming from. If my favorite band is Radiohead but I hadn't heard much from their new record, should I assume it's garbage or is it well within my rights as a fan to expect something interesting? The Witness cannot be compared to Wii shovel ware, to insinuate as much at this point is a blatant disregard to the facts in front of us. At this point I have a better idea of what to expect from The Witness than I do from something like Below in terms of actual gameplay.

I'm honest enough to admit that the timed exclusive Rise of the Tomb Raider is absolutely a game I'm interested in, regardless of the fact that I'll have to wait a year to play it, the difference is you two can't accept that regardless of your opinions or how they may be colored, there are plenty of gamers interested in playing Blow's next title. Again there is no doubt in my mind that if The Witness were releasing as an XBO exclusive that you all would be anticipating it in some way, nothing you've said has changed that potentiality. Doesn't matter to me at the end of the day, only thing that matters to me is that I'm personally excited to try the Witness and I know for a fact that I'm not alone.

jb2271179d ago

I'll also just leave this here since you two seem to assume that it's a given that Capybara & PlayDead make "better" games than Blow

Superbrothers: 83
Super Time Force: 80

Limbo: 88

Braid: 93

Those scores are from an aggregate of people who enjoy gaming in general and people who have made their living off of critiquing games, not those who have obvious platform preferences that they tout in almost every comment. I don't even care or begrudge you all if you honestly aren't interested in The Witness in the slightest, but to somehow try to "prove" that everyone shares your opinion is just fundamentally wrong, I take issue when you try to downplay or belittle others for their tastes while actively working to pass your own off as some accepted norm.

AngelicIceDiamond1179d ago

@Space I basically said the same thing here

http://n4g.com/comments/red...

Has nothing to do with it not comin to Xbox. Its just one game by a famous Dev, again just one game. MS has other indies releasing just like I said above in that link that Sony has other third parties under their belt that allot will play until TR releases not a huge deal.

Seems ppl have short term memories or something.

guyman1179d ago

There's no reason to be excited for The Witness, curious maybe, but excited, anticipating? No, not when there are better indie games announced and actually shown for each system.

There's no reason to be excited for below and inside then. In fact, there's no reason to be excited for any game, unless you know, people actually are excited for it. In this case, people are looking forward to the witness.

Tiqila1179d ago

@AngelicIceDiamond
Let me rephrase your argument for you: "Since there are enough good indies on any platform, no one should care for any single one of them in particular anymore."

Hopefully this is not really your attitude, maybe you only tried to defend your favorite platform...

gangsta_red1178d ago

@jb227

I'm just going to scan through your wall of text and just say this.

Below and Inside gave us more to look forward to in terms of visuals, gameplay and style more than The Witness ever did. And it's funny that anyone who doesn't like what they saw or not excited for it is automatically branded as trying to "DOWNPLAY" it because it's on some other particular platform.

Not once did I say or compare Witness to shovelware. I suggest you re-read what I stated and where I applied that analogy too.

"...the difference is you two can't accept that regardless of your opinions or how they may be colored"

Actually it's you JB who can't accept that not everyone is interested in this game. You read Angelic's comment and instantly went into a console war debate. This game doesn't look interesting, regardless of whether it'll make it's way to Xbox One or not. Good for you and your excitement for The Witness, not everyone shares your opinion of that game. And not everyone who is not interested in the game is only doing so because it's on a particular system.

Your second comment...and again what does console preference have anything to do with personal opinions?

"I take issue when you try to downplay or belittle others for their tastes while actively working to pass your own off as some accepted norm."

Like you did to Angelic and I when you automatically and keep assuming that we are not interested in The Witness only because it's appearing on PS4. Hilarious how a lot you preach from high horses with noses stuck in the air when it's actually you that are the main culprits in most of these accusations.

DigitalRaptor1178d ago

@ Gangsta_red

jb227 just unloaded a proper and respectfully knowledgable response on you and you have this to say "I'm just going to scan through your wall of text”. You dodged his points that proved you wrong. You spun and spun hard. You simply amaze me with your persistent hypocrisy mate. Calling out others for being hypocrites, but proving you are one.
-------

"Wow, look at the heat in that article."

Oh, jeez. Oh, god. You linked an article with 2 comments. Did you even bother to click through to the article? Plenty. That many comments would get a lot of heat on here, but at the end of the day it doesn't matter if people are talking about the game on N4G or Polygon or wherever else.
--------

"Except we have seen more for Inside and Below, gameplay, interviews and details more than any of us have seen for The Witness."

You provided a 5 minute interview about Below. You provided a 1.5 minute gameplay video of Inside. THEN, you provided a 15 minute stage demo of The Witness. Are you just trolling here? Not doing yourself any favours. If that isn't failing, I'm not sure what is.

And what does the guy playing it have anything to do with the game itself? He is conducting an interview whilst trying to solve a puzzle for a game he's not completely sure what it's about. I can't handle your foolishness.

The Witness has had demos at events, just like the videos you posted of those 2 games you believe are incredible. The Witness has a development blog. http://the-witness.net/news... .... Blow regularly tweets about the details of his game and technology behind the systems. oh yeah but those 2 games have more details... sure.
---------

"but you yourself have no idea what makes Below or Inside incredible?"

At what point did I say I have no idea? I was asking YOU what you thought was incredible about them. Can I not do that? And you brought as much substance to the conversation as people are who are excited about The Witness. You very recently called me out for "overselling" games but HERE YOU ARE. You're overselling games. "Incredible" is overselling and then some.

Braid was one of the best games of last-gen too, and here is another game from the same dev, that looks great. By your logic that should make it "incredible". Your reasoning is just a complete mess.

1) It's nothing like a point-and-click game as referenced by the numerous gameplay videos out there. Point and click???? Seriously? This is your definition of a point-and-click game? Go back and play more games.

2) People have seen it because there is more gameplay out there of this game than you care to get off your ass and find.

I distinctly remember you admitting that Everybody's Gone to the Rapture was a good quality game worthy of the praise, and what does The Witness do that is less "gamey", "exciting" or worthy of getting excited about? You're being so fickle and hypocritical, that you don't even realise when you are.

gangsta_red1178d ago

@Digital

"jb227 just unloaded a proper and respectfully knowledgable response"

No he did not, stop trying to back pack on the comments of others just because you have crazy issues with me.

"...there is more gameplay out there of this game than you care to get off your ass and find. "

Then link some that will get people including me excited like you seem to be Digital. How about you link these great gameplay videos since my lazy ass can't do it. How about you PM me those links so you won't waste another bubble.

"I distinctly remember you admitting that Everybody's Gone to the Rapture was a good quality game worthy of the praise,"

Hmmmm...I don't seem to remember me doing this because Rapture sounds interesting but it is definitely not my type of game. And a game can be of quality but can still not have my interest sooo...

"and what does The Witness do that is less "gamey", "exciting" or worthy of getting excited about?"

What does it do? It doesn't do anything because NOTHING was shown of it, and what was shown was boring. Can you not even fathom this? Exactly what was exciting from what you saw in the video or what was shown in the trailer?

Once again it's just you hyping a game and over selling gaming features and designs that you think you saw based on a trailer and what not.

"You very recently called me out for "overselling" games but HERE YOU ARE."

Huge difference and you know this Digital. Big difference when you list designs, features and gameplay that you made up based on what you saw from a trailer.

Feel free to PM me Digital since you apparently have so much to say. =)

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 1178d ago
1179d ago Replies(3)
XanderZane1179d ago

True and it will probably end up on the XB1 several months down the road anyways. So what does it matter? Most Indies will end up on both platfoms eventually.

1179d ago
Godmars2901179d ago

@AngelicIceDiamond:
Kind of - I said kind of - ironic you make light of this when its losses like this, the number of mistakes MS made prior to all of their policy reversals, which included how they treated indies, which resulted in them seeking and getting the level of support they have now.

Even if to a degree the damage was already done.

saywat2471179d ago

just looking at the hurt xbox fan boys trying to make themselves feel better lol. u want a game and all of a sudden it's not coming to your console all of a sudden yall talk all this shit. always got some comeback and rebuttal but its all so weak. whatever makes yall sleep at night though :)

Dinkis1179d ago

I don't think anyone's talking shit as you say. I think the thing we are talking about here is how Ms passed up on this game. There's games that are Guna be on PS and not on X1 vice a versa. So be it. I don't think anyone's hurt, this is just a discussion dude grow up

lvl_headed_gmr1179d ago

You are exactly right. MS have plenty of indies coming down the pipe. I would take cuphead over any other indie released this gen thus far.

But lets be honest here. The only reason there are even articles like this is because Sony lacks good AAA games thus far, Sony has said expect less AAA games from them and to expect more indies...so suddenly indies are taking center stage in the gaming media.

Sony and the media are playing Wag the Dog here and are hiding what the truth is behind a vail of indies.

Sony lacks high quality AAA titles.

PistolsAtDawn1179d ago

MS is just more selective about their Indies, and to be honest...it seems like a smart move, MOST of the stuff that doesn't make it onto X1 actually looks crappy anyway. Sure there are gems here and there, but for the most part most don't seem worth my time. As far as witness specifically, it looks like it might be good, and I'm sure if it does well it will come to X1 as well...that being said I still haven't been blown away by any indies this gen...some were good, but I have far too many AAA games to play to be impressed. More than that, all the indies on the horizon that I am excited about happen to be X1 exclusive anyway....and witness, while possibly good, was not on that list.

ChronoJoe1179d ago (Edited 1179d ago )

Helldivers, Rocket League, N++, Spelunky, Axiom Verge, Transistor, Journey, Towerfall, Sportsfiends, Dear Esther etc are also only on PS4 of the two consoles, as far as I know.

The point is it's not the Witness that's a big deal, it's Sony and the PS4s approach to indies generally. It's definitely been a successful selling point for the system so far.

otherZinc1179d ago

Lol, what? No one gives 1 damn about this game. XBOX ONE owners have too many AAA Exclusives to play, and all the top AAA Multiplats to play this year.

I'm positive more XBOX ONE owners would Much Rather Play:
Gears Ultimate
Forza Motorsport 6
Halo 5 Guardians
Tomb Raider
Fable Legends

than:
The friggin Witness.
GTFOOH with that garbage.

guyman1179d ago

I wonder if you like xbox and hate playstation? mmm no one will ever know.

Ciporta19801178d ago

Worried why? Because you can't play it?

NeckBeardBSMTDweller1178d ago

Jonathan Blow's games Blow worse than his name.

+ Show (12) more repliesLast reply 1178d ago
OpieWinston1179d ago

I still remember when this guy was being a complete moron having a whole shit fit on Twitter about MS using PCs for X1 demos then got owned by the Twisted Pixel dev when he confirmed they were the only ones using the demos.I mean seriously Lococycle using PC demos doesn't say much.

KionicWarlord2221179d ago (Edited 1179d ago )

Ah yes but him braggin about using 5 gigs of ps4 ram in witness is laughable

MCTJim1179d ago

I seems to recall that too...LOL poor guy just wants to stir the pot I guess.

donthate1179d ago

Remember the Blowfish incident!

Jonathan never liked the Xbox or MS. That has been clear from multiple communication from him, so he is just back peddling here as the game will release on Xbox One eventually.

I want no part of Blowfish though!!!

StanLee1179d ago

He can be a jerk, yes, but his problems with Microsoft were well documented though and not unfounded. He didn't dislike the XBox or MS, he just didn't like the way they did business. Braid's success made him a bit arrogant and he came across as bitter and angry most times he spoke about his experiences with Microsoft.

vega2751179d ago

@ stanlee

http://n4g.com/news/1484081...

Actually donthate is right.

Johnathan issues with MS was unfounded. Maybe next time he should read before signing contract and blaming other for his idioticrisy

kraenk121179d ago

Except Turn 10 used PCs for their Forza 5 demo as well.

donwel1179d ago

I enjoyed when Marcus Beer called him a dipshit.

donwel1179d ago

Sorry my mistake, he called him a tosspot not a dipshit.

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 1179d ago
LoveSpuds1179d ago

Talented guy and a great game in the offing, I am excited for The Witness.

Cohagen4201179d ago

His answer was pretty straightforward if you bothered to read the article. The ppl that get so defensive over something that any game developer would find reprehensible, shows what a true fanboy you guys are.

Gh05t1179d ago

Or maybe some don't trusts what this person says because his history and track record aren't really reliable when it comes to Blowhole and his feelings about MS.

user99502791179d ago

eye m angered by things that happen to people and stuff.

PUZZLES!!!!