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Is the PlayStation 3 Dangerous for Small Companies to Develop for?

From the article:

So is it dangerous for smaller studios to develop big budget titles for the PS3? If making a single PS3 game has the risk of bankrupting your company, surely that will make the idea less appealing. It's unlikely that developing a game for the PS3 was the sole cause for the two studio's untimely demise -- but there is no denying that Free Radical and Factor 5 both released just one game this generation, and now they're both out of business. Was this just the sign of two small studios not being able to run with the big dogs, or is this a sign that developing for the PlayStation 3 is the industry equivelent of Russian Roulette?

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Kamikaze1355687d ago

It's just that Haze and Lair sucked pretty bad. Nobody wanted to buy those games because of the number of glitches within the games. Doesn't matter if they were an Xbox 360 or even a Wii exclusive. Bad games don't sell.

HighDefinition5687d ago

Are sh!t games dangerous for companies to develop.

Fixed.

chaosatom5687d ago

But I guess they knew that it won't fair well on xbox either, so they didn't.

I think Ps3 install base is big enough for small developers to make games for it.

The sales have been picked up dramatically for EA, Ubisoft, Konami's, so it's fair to say that Good games made by small developers will sell.

WANNA GET HIGH5687d ago

But it is HARD for and very COMPLEX for small companies to work on.The ps3's cell is very powerfull but also very hard to work with.

CrazzyMan5687d ago (Edited 5687d ago )

Ensemble Studios say hi.

Anyway,
Evolution Studios(Motorstorm over 3 mln., Motorstorm:PR over 1 mln.)
Ninja Theory(Heavenly Sword around 1,5 mln.)
Media Molecule(LittleBigPlanet around 1,5 mln.)

Make a GREAT game and you will have GREAT sales, well atleast over 1 mln. LTD. =)
Bad or average games usually don`t sell, unless were advertised much.

And motorstorm also used sixaxis as optional control scheme, for Factor 5 not using same was just stupid decision. And Haze, it just needed to deliver and sales would be big.

@The Lazy One - the difference, we won`t see anymore games from Ensemble Studios. What the difference?

Harry1905687d ago

By today's standards achieved something out of this world. They are also one of the smallest teams. Small in number, Ginormous is talent.

The Lazy One5687d ago

ensemble wasn't bankrupted, it was shut down. Yes, it is very different.

badz1495687d ago

American media always trying hard to downplay the PS3 these days and this is their latest attemp? PS3 doesn't kill devs, but sh!tty games do! Lair and Haze were not up to the standard/hype thus they were both bashed critically! plus, the economy is unforgiving as of today and even EA has to lay it's employees! NFS studio was closed, right? so...what's the true point of this article? is it saying that 360 is easier to developed for? if that so, why the hell do NG2, Fable2, Gears2 are full of glitch and problem? come on...sonsoles only can kill their makers but never the devs! what kill the devs are bad games!

Oner5686d ago

It's not a matter of how big or small your company is. If you don't make a QUALITY title or just resort to shovelware then you have no one to blame but yourselves...and that goes for ALL consoles PS3, PS2, PSP, Wii, DS & 360. That is the real truth.

Dannagar5686d ago

Poor games did Factor 5 and Free Radical in. However, I can't help but feel that the games were released half finished. I think these projects could have been better on Xbox 360 because they wouldn't have had to spend extra time researching and trouble shooting the PS3 hardware. That extra time could have been used developing the actual games. We all know that games developed on the PS3 takes months longer due to the complexity of the architecture and development difficulties that plagued many early PS3 third parties.

Two or three extra months working on the gameplay could have made all the difference in the world.

iamtehpwn5686d ago (Edited 5686d ago )

If PS3 had many AAA games that did poorly, then as a Developer, I'd worry. buuuuuuut. That's definitely not fact. Most of the top PS3 exclusives such as MGS4 and Uncharted have done extremely well on the platform.

baum5686d ago

If you're a small company developing an ambitiously epic game, then your company is in big danger. Level-5 and Free Radical were small devs, and while they didn't pay for themselves, companies wouldn't want to pay for another one of their games as you're pretty much remembered for your last game. Both Lair and Haze were not only very hyped and had a very high budget, they were original IP.

These are probably some of the riskiest projects any gaming company has ever tried to overtake considering their size.

Danja5686d ago (Edited 5686d ago )

so Lair can't be the reason why Factor 5 went under..

Free Radical could have went multi-plat if they wanted , PS3 isn't to blame..

and to answer the question No the PS3 isn't dangerous for small companies to develop for it's actually quite the opposite PS3 is actually the best system for small developers they can easily make PSN games and make profits off it.....

@Crazy_Man - Lair does give you the option of using Motion controls or Analog...

Xelai5686d ago

Both games sold around half a million copies, so sales were not so dismal even though the games were. So the problem had to be developing costs rising and mounting with the delays.

Factor 5 HAD to implement sixaxis, and they were forced into doing it in a point the game was already far ahead in development.

Free Radical went exclusive because Ubisoft accepted Sony's money for it, MS is not the only one paying for exclusives, surprise.

BigBaehr5686d ago

The analog use was not patched in until it was too little too late.

Danja5686d ago

I know Analog support came with a patch just felt like getting that out there..that it does support Analog..

medziarz5686d ago (Edited 5686d ago )

There's a lot of Sony hate and misinformation in this article.

"Multiple lengthy delays, hit or miss hands-on reports, and rumors of massive development issues started to plague both games."

I've been following gaming news for the last two years and I don't recall any MULTIPLE or LENGTHY delays.
Lair was one of the games presented at sony E3 PS3 unveiling as a preview of what u can expect for the system, just as Killzone 2,
and it launched in less than a year after the console. Haze was meant to be released in fall 2007 but it slipped to 2008.

I also don't recall any development issues either.
All i remember is that Lair pushed video game tech and PS3's SPUs a bit by doing certain tasks in real time to make the game look good from the ground all the way up to the clouds. Notice that other games don't that to this day, except for Warhawk - it's always corridors or closed valleys and you're always on the ground.
As for Haze, it features vast levels and there's no loading screens in the campaign and there are no ELEVATORS to mask it, you're always in your character's head whether it's a cutscene or action - and it's all seamless.

You can find a couple of other possible reasons for the studios' failures if you're goal is not attacking sony but looking for answers.

Both developers started their projects long before the PS3 launched and with no particular platform in mind. Lair was in development for approx. 4 years before it launched and it was initially announced a 360 only title just because the 360 was available to the developers A LOT earlier than the PS3. Haze was announced quite early 2007 as a 3 platform game.

But in the middle of development they both realized their games are going to suck probably because both the studios lost the ability to produce a good game.
They also lost all their money and years not developing anything else.
So they figured that the only way out is to sell the games using HYPE.

Factor 5 probably ran out of money so they talked Sony into funding the game under the first party umbrella, promising making a significant use of PS3's futuristic architecture before anyone else does. Something Sony was in need and looking for. They looked at F5's past record and took the bait. Unfortunately, the 1st party funding was not enough to cover F5's debt, and the game didn't make the money in sales because it was slaughtered by gaming media in an anty-sony hate campaign that began with the PS3's launch.

Free Radical realized that making the game a broken multiplatform that nobody cares about isn't going to make them enough money to survive. They were already far behind schedule and decided to cancel the PC and X360 versions in order to free themselves from multiplatform development issues and to be able to concentrate on making one version actually work, so that it can be released on the PS3 in line with HALO3.
With that decision, their past record and the PS3-exclusive-shooter marketing campaign they generated media attention and hype among Playstation enthusiasts.
While 360 shooter fans would be buying HALO3, the PS3 owners and fanboys would have an exclusive shooter - crappy or not.
But they failed and the game slipped to 2008 and then was butchered by the media and therefore didn't sell, and there was no exclusive
agreement in this case.

So there u have it.

Time_Is_On_My_Side5686d ago

Wow, I'm shocked, someone finally on N4G.com uses their head with another negative Sony article. People should listen to this user and no, I'm not being sarcastic.

r3xmund15686d ago

I think Lair was not a bad game and I was hoping to see a sequel.... On the other hand I put Haze in yesterday cos I felt bad for FRD (I loved Timesplitters), and it wus BAD>

Sub par graphics and real bad textures/environments, crap AI, lazy level design, appalling dialogue, glitchy animation and a host of issues plagued Haze.

I wanted it to succeed, I waited for a year for it to be released. It sucked. Should they have closed? No. But I think its just a recession and notoriety busting exercise. A new studio is formed, no association to Haze, everyone wins.

I want moar Lair.

ultimolu5686d ago

I agree.

Just because those games were bad, doesn't mean that the PS3 is dangerous to develop for.

IdleLeeSiuLung5686d ago (Edited 5686d ago )

I think other questions should be asked instead:

- What demographics and interrest does the console base have currently in the region you plan to sell your game?
- Size of the console user base (in your sales region)
- How much resources you have and complexity of developing games for the platform (PS3 might not be harder than 360 if you aren't pushing the limits i.e. downloadable PSN indy type games)
- Distribution method, downloadable or disc
- What marketing power do you get from the platform holder, if any
- If you are game just plain sucks

Pretty obvious stuff. Game studios go down and new ones get resurrected all the time. It is just the nature of the business for smaller studios, that rely on one hit wonders.

+ Show (18) more repliesLast reply 5686d ago
Raoh5687d ago

bad for small companies. unless they dedicate to PSN titles.

good for sony.. the worse a small company is financially the easier it is for sony to buy them.

morganfell5686d ago

And that is a boon for small developers. PSN has no download limit as regards game size and it assists small developers in distribution. It is why companies like Blackfoot studios are going PC and PSN for their titles.

Working with the PS3 is not the difficult bash it used to be. You just have to have people willing to learn. Plenty of companies do. As Ubisoft France stated, work with the PS3 was no more difficult for them than with the 360. It just required a willingness to learn new tools, techniques and programming. On deve at Ubi France felt blaming the PS3 was a copout.