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Sony on Rise of the Tomb Raider: “We Haven’t Had Any Conversations With Square Enix”

August 18, 2014 Written by Jason Dunning

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Never ones to back down from asking the more interesting questions, Metro interviewed PlayStation Europe President Jim Ryan last week at gamescom, and true to form, they talkedabout the biggest point of controversy from the event – Rise of the Tomb Raider being a timed-exclusive on Xbox.

First highlighting how it appears as though Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and Rise of the Tomb Raider will go head-to-head in holiday 2015, Metro asked how the RotTR exclusivity worked (note: This interview took place before Phil Spencer clarified that Rise of the Tomb Raider is a timed-exclusive):

We haven’t had any conversations with Square Enix recently. I’m not… I’m not clear if it’s wholly exclusive or if it’s timed…

After Ryan remarked how “there was a strange use of commas at the Microsoft event,” he was asked if PlayStation would do a similar deal where they’d take a multi-platform game and make it PlayStation-only:

I never rule anything in or out, but we’ve got all our studios, in all parts of the world, working on stuff for PS4 – some of it announced, some of it yet to be announced – and we’re pretty happy with what they bring.

Ryan added, “I never rule anything out, but I don’t see a necessity for it right now.”

These comments are similar to when Ryan spoke with CVG at gamescom, where he said, “So do we feel the need to go out and buy outright exclusivity? Probably not. You saw last night [at Sony's press conference] that before the media briefing we showed updated videos of games that we had revealed at E3. That’s because we wanted to keep the show itself full of new, fresh things. We think that gave us a good, strong, convincing portfolio of exclusive stuff and we’re happy with that.”

Getting back to the Metro interview, Ryan discussed how everything related to Project Morpheus is extra resources on top of the PlayStation business:

Yeah, and you know we’re looking at it very carefully. What is the right sort of gaming experience? What’s the development effort required? Because if we can’t afford to do it then other people won’t be able to afford to do it. But there is something there, everybody that tries it goes ‘wow!’ and so there appears to be consumer acceptance of the concept. And when that happens usually businesses find a way, to meet consumer demand. Now, like I say, it’s just R&D at the moment and that is one of a long list of things that we’re trying to figure out the answer to.

Elsewhere in their Q&A, Ryan addressed the topic of complacency:

We’re aware of the dangers of complacency, which is why I used the word twice last night in the press conference. And you know, is it necessarily the case that there’ll always be a static gaming console? Not necessarily. And you know, the work we’re doing on PlayStation Now is evidence of us exploring alternatives.

When asked if PlayStation Now is their practice run for PlayStation becoming a software service or PlayStation Now becoming the PlayStation 5, Ryan said:

I certainly don’t want to, and wouldn’t, use the term PlayStation 5. But as a significant component of our means to get PlayStation experiences into the hands of as many people as possible, absolutely. Potentially.

There were also a few other choice quotes from Jim Ryan during the interview:

  • The Last Guardian is “still being worked on” and it’s “gonna be special.”
  • Shadow of the Beast is “still coming.”
  • When the summer drought was brought up, Ryan replied, “The publishers are all independent businesses and will release their games when it makes sense for them. I will just say that with the next generation, budgets are now so big that people simply can’t afford to release a game if it’s undercooked.”

Be sure to check out the full Metro interview, which also features a lengthy back-and-forth about Sony’s stance on EA Access, with Metro asking if it’s them “being a bully and ensuring you haven’t got any competitors” in the subscription space.