The boss of the Xbox team has said that Sony’s buying up third party exclusive deals.
There’s no doubt that Xbox has been focusing on first party efforts recently for the Xbox One. Think about the stuff that’s been announced and shown off lately for the system, and most of the biggest titles are coming from within.
That’s been by design, as Xbox boss Phil Spencer previously discussed.
“My strategy is more around our own first party franchises, and investing in franchises that we own. I want to have strong third party relations, but paying for many third party exclusives isn’t our long term strategy…”
Now, Spencer was asked about all the third party exclusives Sony has with the PlayStation 4 by Gamespot at gamescom 2015. Here’s the question (in bold) and his response.
Microsoft appears to be doubling-down on its first-party titles while Sony is securing a lot of third-party deals. How difficult is it to be successful, in terms of market share, when Sony is gobbling up so many third-party deals now? How difficult does that make your job?
So, they don’t “gobble” the deals up. They buy them. You know, I read the same things you do, and I know some people think it’s somehow less expensive to sign third-party exclusives if you have a bigger market-share. I can tell you, it has nothing to do with market share.
When you go in to do a deal, with a third party, that third party has its own view of the global market and the value of it. And they should, they should think about their assets and how valuable they are, just like anyone would when they are selling their goods.
I ran first party before I took on the job as head of Xbox. And when I was picked to do this job, I think people would have expected that my focus would be on first party. My view is, there are some bellwether companies out there in terms of first-party games, like Nintendo, which has incredibly strong IP, and a breadth of characters and games to play, which allows them to do a great job in lighting up peoples’ interests.
Despite the yarn some folks are spinning, third party adoption isn’t entirely dictated by market share, based on what Spencer is offering here. It’s based on what companies are willing to pay and what studios think their work is worth.
For now, it looks like Sony’s in the buying position.