In an interview at this year’s Games Conference in Leipzig, SCEE President David Reeves spoke on his belief that the days of making deals with game publishers for console exclusivity are on their last leg. “I think we have to accept that exclusivity is not a thing of the past, but it is probably with publishers,” Reeved said. “We might do a few things, where we feel that we need a push here or a push there.”
From what can be extrapolated from his interview, his feelings translate to exclusivity being possible with developers who are owned, or otherwise controlled by the console manufacturers themselves, while the opportunities to buy out third-party publishers are becoming slimmer and slimmer. It’s hard to say whether or not that is a positive trend or not. On one had, this means that the vast majority of games will be available across platform lines and more gamers will get to experience them. While on the other hand, we might be seeing fewer and fewer “epic” titles since the development teams must work on multiple builds, as opposed to being able to concentrate their forces on one, pristine product. Or, this could just be a fancy way of Sony saying sorry to their loyalists for once-exclusive titles like FFXIII jumping ship. It’s rather hard to tell.