Editorial

Sony Needs to Work On How They Handle Their Exclusives

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Delays, exclusives that never come, and marketing issues — Sony has some big issues to work on with their exclusives, and the sooner they fix them, the better.

Content wise, most of Sony’s first-party exclusives are stellar experiences. The Last of Us remains as my favorite gaming experience of all time, and I enjoy a number of other first-party Sony franchises like the Killzone series, Resistance, Ratchet and Clank, Infamous and so on. So, for those of you that are stout Sony fans, don’t take this as a knock on the content quality of Sony’s exclusives, but more so on how Sony is getting those experiences into the hands of consumers.

Sony, since the beginning of this current generation of consoles, has made quite a few blunders with the handling of their first-party titles. While there’s a number of issues I have, my main concern with Sony at the moment is with their tendency to announce games way too early.

It’s fantastic that Hideo Kojima is working on his next game and it was awesome to see just how ecstatic fans were when I attended Sony’s E3 2016 press conference. However, the game isn’t going to release anytime soon, according to Kojima. He’s hoping for the game to be out by 2019 at the latest. So, why do I need to know about it now? I mean, Kojima literally just selected the development engine for the game, three months after the game was initially unveiled.

The Last Guardian was announced seven years ago. It was supposed to release in October, but has suffered a delay yet again and will now release in December… provided there are no further delays for the game, which, based on recent press previews of the game, is a possibility. Maybe the game will be great, maybe it won’t. After you’ve let anticipation build for seven years though…well, good luck meeting the expectations of your fans and critics.

Agent has seemingly faded away from existence, so I’m not even going to bother talking about that one.

Horizon: Zero Dawn was originally scheduled to release this year, but was delayed to February 2017. Gran Turismo: Sport, delayed to 2017.

Delays happen. Developers need more time to polish their games — that’s fine. Uncharted 4, I’m sure, benefited from the couple delays it had. However, when a Sony exclusive is announced and a tentative release date is displayed on screen, I tend to not even pay attention anymore, as I just automatically assume the game will be delayed at some point.

Microsoft has delayed a few exclusives too, of course, such as Scalebound and Crackdown 3, but more often than not, they release games on time. Just to name a few that released on time without delay: Gears of War: UE, Halo 5, Forza 6. Forza Horizon 3 is just about to release, with Gears of War 4 soon to follow.

Kotaku does a fantastic job of keeping tabs on both Sony and Microsoft for which promises they keep and break and when they make announcements at E3 pressers, if you’re interested in looking at the bigger picture.

Sony has a plethora of great looking exclusives on the horizon, but in this author’s opinion, of course, they really need to work on their marketing approach and make sure to not announce games too early. Expectations are high for any exclusive that is announced, but when you’re constantly pushing release dates back it not only looks bad for the publisher, but for the development studios as well.

The opinions of this editorial are the author’s and do not represent OnlySP as an organization. 

Nick Calandra
OnlySP founder and former site owner.

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