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Randy Pitchford Talks PSN Outage And The Dangers of Exclusive Games

May 20, 2011 Written by Zak Islam

Gearbox Software co-founder Randy Pitchford has given his stance on the recent PlayStation Network outage and how he believes that the downtime is an example of why developers should release their games on a number of different platforms.

Gearbox normally aim to release all their games on the major consoles instead of having an exclusive title, with Borderlands having come out on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 as well as the PC (here’s hoping for a Borderworlds announcement at E3). So it’s no surprise that Randy is giving his perspective on multiplatform games as well as exclusive titles, and how releasing on several platforms is far safer – especially due to events like the attack on the PlayStation Network.

Pitchford recently told VG247:

We choose to be multiplatform because the reason that Gearbox software exists – and the reason I exist – is to entertain people. The goal isn’t to find the most exploitable business model, obviously I have to be smart about this because I have to make more than I spend, but the goal is about entertaining people and so the metrics that we use measure ourselves are how many people have we reached and to what extent have we gratified our customers.

For us it becomes interesting to think about entertainment that can work on a number of platforms because different customers play games in different ways and I’ll tell you what, diversification is really nice because things change a lot. Sometimes you’ll see a burst in demand in one area and then that changes. Or something disruptive happens like right now with PSN being down and we’ve just seen the first information of how that’s affecting the market place, so imagine if you were not diversified and that was your only platform.

He continued:

In addition to the diversification helping with our entertainment goals it also fits with different business goals and makes it easier for us to take bigger risks and make different types of games. So, we can do stuff like take on the challenge of shipping Duke Nukem Forever or to create a game like Borderlands because of how diversified we are.

Pitchford’s thoughts on platform diversification are certainly food for thought, with many developers surely thinking twice about platform exclusivity – especially on such easily disrupted markets as the PlayStation Network and Xbox Live.

Gearbox Software’s next title, Duke Nukem Forever, is currently scheduled for an international release on June 10th and June 14th in North America, and will be released on PS3, 360 and PC.

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