Why are Microsoft not throwing money @ their 1st party in the same way that Sony are?

G_H_G

Ahead of the Game
Mar 3, 2006
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#1
I just thought I'd make a post on something thats come to light for me during this E3.

Microsoft are filthy rich and have billions of dollars. Sony on the other hand have looked to be in a bit of trouble financially in recent years. Why is it that Sony are throwing money and time at their 1st party studios, allowing them freedom to create whereas MSFT are more happy to give their 1st party just a little, but throw money at 3rd parties to secure deals?

To me, it doesn't make any sense at all. At the moment MSFT are getting upstaged by Sony's 1st party games. They look a cut above the 3rd party offerings on their console and look better than anything on any other console. On the other hand with MSFT we have 3rd party games looking better than the 1st part games. How is that even beneficial? How does it help when COD4 looks better than Halo 3 and you are having to showcase that at your conference when it is multiplatform? The same goes for other titles such as Forza 2 where titles like Dirt look streets better.

The most impressive games on the system are coming from 3rd party studios or independant developers. Games like Gears (Epic), PGR (Bizzare), Mass Effect (Bioware) are all from external studios. The only 1st party company that seems to know how to get a lot out of the hardware is Rare.

It also seems to me that MSFT work with stricter time constraints than Sony do with their 1st parties. Rather than allowing their devs more time to nurture their games and create something that will be remembered, they will rather get them to finish up the game and get it on the shelves. If Forza 2 was allowed 6 more months, I'm sure it could have looked a darn site better, had all the features originally promised and have been more balanced in terms of the career mode. The way I'm seeing this is that they'd rather make money quicker than delay games until they are ready (like Sony does) and lose more money. More dev time = more wages and possibly more capital investment = money being spent.

I'll just add in something interesting. This is a quote from the Team Ninja's blog:

Publisher #1: "We think your gameplay features are too ambitious. Perhaps you could simplify it and make it more like…" DROPPED.

Publisher #2: "We love the ambition and production goals, but can you do it for [a third of the budget it would cost to develop]" DROPPED.

Publisher #3: "We will not fund a prototype but we are happy to direct you while you develop it" DROPPED.


http://www.ninjatheory.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=24&Itemid=52
Thats the response they got from 3 out of the 4 publishers they presented Heavenly Sword to. Any guesses as to which is Microsoft? I certainly have my suspicions.

So where is Microsoft's $20 million game that will come out and set new standards for the industry? Where are the games with high production values? Where's the game that will help further blur the line between the film and game artistic mediums? They can afford to do it, so why isn't it happening? Is Microsoft simply not daring enough to take such big risks with their games? Games such as Halo should be pushing the bar higher than anyone could have imagined, but to me it looks like they are playing it safe.

IMO its a risky game that MSFT are playing. While they are pouring money into 3rd party titles at the expense of 1st party titles, that money could ultimately be ending up going into projects that end up on Sony's consoles as well. In an age where game engines are flexible and assets/techniques are shared amongst different IP's within the same dev studio, there's nothing to say thats not already happening.
 
A

Aleman

Guest
#2
Probably because the successes of PS1 and PS2 were largely due to strong third party support. Lack of 3rd party support is what hurt the N64, Dreamcast, Gamecube, and original Xbox.
 

Dorfdad

Super Elite
Sep 8, 2005
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#3
Microsoft is throwing around cash they spent millions on GTA content :) they spent tons on other games. Relax E3 belonged to Sony they HAD to have a strong showing Microsoft is in control right now sales wise and felt comfortable problem is they pissed off and woke up the giant...
 

Nunalho

Tekken Elder
Nov 13, 2005
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#4
Because that´s not their stratagy...that´s where Sony s good at.

MS just tries to grab its rival´s exclusive titles instead of developing their own big new IPs. Sony this year alone is coming with 15 new first party titles.
 

G_H_G

Ahead of the Game
Mar 3, 2006
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#5
[QUOTE="Aleman, post: 0]Probably because the successes of PS1 and PS2 were largely due to strong third party support. Lack of 3rd party support is what hurt the N64, Dreamcast, Gamecube, and original Xbox.[/quote]

Its different now though. Dev costs are rising to such an extent that 3rd parties are not going to do exclusive games anymore. You need a strong 1st party line up to go along with the multiplatform games. Sony didn't gain that 3rd party support by throwing money to the same extent that MSFT are at the moment. The money that is being thrown towards the likes of Epic could instead be going towards a 1st party effort.

I'll give you an example. At the start of this gen, MSFT threw money at Capcom so that they would gain 2 exclusive games in Dead Rising and Lost Planet. Now when Capcom started making those games they made their next gen engine that would be the platform for all their next gen games. It turns out that this engine is adaptable to the PS3 and will be used on multipltform games like DMC4 and RE5. So using the money that MSFT gave them, they would have developed this engine and the PS3 later on gets free use of it. Who wins there?

The thing with 1st party is that you can throw money at it and it will not benefit any console other than your own in any way shape or form. You don't get that garuntee with 3rd party.
 

Shrinnan

Forum Guru
May 24, 2005
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#6
You don't seem to understand Microsoft's strategy. And you don't even know how much money Microsoft gives their first-parties to develop games - we haven't seen the true single-player of Halo 3, and for those gaming sites and press that have (even they probably have only seen a fraction of it), they are VERY impressed. One likened it to Crysis, though saying it isn't quite on par with that title.

With that said, when Microsoft pours money into the third-parties, it's usually for exclusive content. You won't see Too Human, Mass Effect, Gears of War, the exclusive downloadable content for GTA (at least for months-years), Lost Odyssey, Blue Dragon, etc. on PS3 or Wii, for example. This is, overall, a much better strategy than buying out companies for your first-party assemble - here you buy out exclusive rights to titles while still holding a good relationship with the development studio. And the titles that Microsoft has the exclusive rights to are considered part of Microsoft's first-party pool of games.
 

reality

Super Elite
Dec 12, 2005
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#7
Seems to me that Sony is trying to use the ps3 to the max or all they can get out of it for their first party games because the ports aren't working for them. I will do the same. Maybe Microsoft feels a little comfortable at the moment which is a little risky, something else that now is going to be a rock in the shoe for Microsoft is that billion $ due to the 3 year warranty for the 360.
 

Gbeav

Elite Member
Dec 31, 2005
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#8
Years and years of preparation.

Sony slowly has grown their development team to the 2nd largest in the industry because of looking forward. Same thing as how they grew(bought) movie and music companies so that they controlled the HD movie format with studio support. They know gaming, TV's, and electronics.

MS does what they do very well in the PC world and nobody can compete with them because of the power and leverage they have built. They don't know consoles and are falling behind in 1st party development, but they still have some good stuff.

My final thoughts is that because the xbox division just can't make any money they can't piss off investors much more.
 

Pink

Dedicated Member
Jul 13, 2005
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#9
you do realize that MS does have budgets right? they cant just throw around money like it is no tomorrow...
 

Aift

Superior Member
Jun 5, 2006
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www.digg.com
#10
Good games just don't come out the ass.

Its simple Microsoft is trying to milk the 1st party titles they have... did you hear Peter Moore, Halo will become a $1,000,000,00.00 series very soon. Expect them have something to come in Halo's place while Halo probably will rest until XBOX III. Gears and Mass Effect will get milked also.
 

Kaako

Believe in me!
May 31, 2006
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#11
M$ need to acquire more 1st party developers and studios...
Right now they rely too heavily on 3rd party studios because of their lack of 1st party ones...

Sony is much much more focused on its 1st party studios and titles and I think that it'll pay off for them in 2008 when you'll get a glimpse of their heavy hitters!

M$ does have its own game studios as well as RARE and Bungie and I'm sure they're working hard on creating 360 games, but they need more IMO!
 

exYle

Master Guru
Aug 16, 2006
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#13
Microsoft aren't throwing money at their 1st party titles because they're not desperate to get games to sell their console. Neither are Nintendo.

Fanboyism aside, for third-party games I agree with you. All the money given to them could easily go towards making the game better on another console.
 
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Andronicus

Guest
#15
[QUOTE="Pink, post: 0]you do realize that MS does have budgets right? they cant just throw around money like it is no tomorrow...[/quote]
like 50 mill for DLC? thats 2-3 first party games right there.
 

X2

Elite Guru
Oct 13, 2004
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#16
MS has 30-40 internal first party games in development. Just like Peter Moore said in the Gameindustry.biz interview, there is 40 titles that they wanted to show, but they main focus was this holiday season which it should be. With the lineup they got coming out, why would they want to drown that out with 08 release that we won't see for a while.
 

Makagoto2

Apprentice
Mar 27, 2007
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#17
they don't? i thought they already did in the case of games like blue dragon, LO, Too Human, mass effect, Gears of War and others i am just to lazy to think about, do you people really think all that great games on the x360 came by an accident ?
 

G_H_G

Ahead of the Game
Mar 3, 2006
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#18
games[/URL] move hardware, then it's about the great games.
So we made the decision several months ago that we've probably got 40 games we need to show in some way or another - but for 2007 we don't want to short-change either our first-party stuff, or more importantly our third-party partners. So we said we were just going to focus on right here, right now, and, as we said last night, put our cards on the table.
We felt good about what we showed. Call of Duty I think blew a lot of people away.

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/content_page.php?aid=26670
I would be willing to bet that of those a maximum of 10 will be 1st party and the rest 3rd. And I bolded out the last sentence in that quote. The star of their show was a 3rd party multiplatform game. I've never seen anything like it before. Yeh the game looked great, but its advertising for other companies as well. MSFT did similar things at X06 as well with Assasins Creed. The only reason they could get away with it for AC was because many people thought it was a PS3 exclusive previously.

Makagoto2 said:
they don't? i thought they already did in the case of games like blue dragon, LO, Too Human, mass effect, Gears of War and others i am just to lazy to think about, do you people really think all that great games on the x360 came by an accident ?
Did you not read the thread or did you just read the title? None of the games you mentioned are 1st party and I explained that.
 

G_H_G

Ahead of the Game
Mar 3, 2006
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#20
[QUOTE="Vampirtc, post: 0]I don't think you should touch the money issue topic from a gamer standpoint.[/quote]

Why not :confused: ? Suddenly anything related to money is not allowed to become a topic of discussion? Its just something that I've noticed over the past couple of days and I wanted to hear other peoples views on it.
 

Vampirtc

Super Elite
Jan 24, 2006
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#21
[QUOTE="G_H_G, post: 0]Why not :confused: ? Suddenly anything related to money is not allowed to become a topic of discussion? Its just something that I've noticed over the past couple of days and I wanted to hear other peoples views on it.[/QUOTE]

Because money decisions aren't made on whats best for gamers but whats most profitable. Sometimes those decisions go along but most of the time they probably don't.
 

G_H_G

Ahead of the Game
Mar 3, 2006
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#22
[QUOTE="Vampirtc, post: 0]Because money decisions aren't made on whats best for gamers but whats most profitable. Sometimes those decisions go along but most of the time they probably don't.[/quote]

So because of that reason money decisions are not allowed to be questioned? Judging by your last sentence thats even more reason to question them :lol: .
 

TidalPhoenix

The Last of Us
Staff member
Dec 16, 2006
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#23
I'm not entirely sure, given MS only showed you this year's line up, that you are able to determine exactly what they have lined up as first party games for 2008. That's half the reason people are so pissed - because they didn't talk about what the line up is for next year. Remember that a lot of what Sony talked about (rightly so) is coming next year. You cannot make the sweeping assumption you have based purely on E3. If we'd heard MS's line up for 08 and it was weak then you'd have a strong case.

I am afraid that until MS show all their cards none of us can be sure exactly what's in the pipeline from a first party perspective.
 

Vampirtc

Super Elite
Jan 24, 2006
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#24
[QUOTE="G_H_G, post: 0]So because of that reason money decisions are not allowed to be questioned? Judging by your last sentence thats even more reason to question them :lol: .[/QUOTE]

Well you are allowed to question anything. I just think that any theory based from a gamer point of view is realistic.

From my general impression MS has far less and less important 1st party developers. I'm sure though that Halo gets all the funds though. On the other hand they do make life easier for developers with easier developer tools as well as ability to port games to PC to further increase profits.
 
S

Sockpuppet

Guest
#25
This is basically answered above and by my previous thoughts on this years E3, Microsoft are hyping games this year. Sony have seemingly been pretty open with trying to push all it's big hitters and alot of them flow into next year, Microsoft have said absolutely nothing about it's 2008 projects. Actually it's been a little concerning from one point of view because after this year they haven't pointed at any single direction for 08 but it's very likely that they do have a lot of stuff happening in the background they aren't ready to announce yet, better to hype whats coming soon and then when thats hit or just after show your portfolio for the next big wave.
 
Jun 2, 2006
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#27
[QUOTE="Aleman, post: 0]Probably because the successes of PS1 and PS2 were largely due to strong third party support. Lack of 3rd party support is what hurt the N64, Dreamcast, Gamecube, and original Xbox.[/QUOTE]

And therefore they felt the console would succeed with more third party support. Which is true, more third party games are bought then first party across home consoles.

[QUOTE="G_H_G, post: 0]. You need a strong 1st party line up to go along with the multiplatform games.

.[/QUOTE]


How strong is the first party though? It's all based on opinions. I had PS2 and loved it but out of the many games I played, owned and liked from it's library I believe only about 10 were first party and most of those were sequels within the same franchise. Same was true for PSone. Just because you feel Sony has an excellent first party library for the PS3 does not make it true. In essence the ONLY console who relies heavely on first party is Nintendo. Always have.