Insomniac Explains Why Sunset Overdrive is Exclusive to Xbox One - Update

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Insomniac Explains Why Sunset Overdrive is Exclusive to Xbox One - Update

Sunset Overdrive guns

Sunset Overdrive co-creators Marcus Smith and Drew Murray explain why the game is exclusive to Xbox One.

Update:

In tweets spotted by OXM, the official Insomniac Twitter states that "exclusivity wasn't about money."

So, yeah, it's most likely a factor of Insomniac wanting to retain ownership of the Sunset Overdrive IP than the usual "moneyhats" that people might have presumed.

Original Story:

Just yesterday, Insomniac Games revealed the first-ever gameplay video for Sunset Overdrive, which is exclusive to Microsoft's Xbox One. So, just why is the game exclusive to Microsoft's platform? Speaking to IGN, game co-creators Marcus Smith and Drew Murray explains why and it's not as cut-and-dry as Microsoft throwing a truckload of money at the studio and calling it a day.

With Sunset Overdrive's concept set internally at Insomniac, it was then time to look for a publisher. According to Smith, Insomniac CEO Ted Price wanted to retain ownership of the brand, which was a deal breaker to some of the publishers the studio talked to.

We pitched it a few different places, and it was really important to [Insomniac CEO] Ted [Price] that we own the IP, so some of the conversations broke down over that...With Microsoft, they just came in very energetic and excited to work with Insomniac, period. And we'd heard some really good things about them and some resources that they would be allowing us to have.

As for the actual pitch to Microsoft, Murray and Smith went multiple times to Seattle to sell the game. Murray recalls how in the "main" pitch, he was wearing his lucky shoes, which he hasn't changed in two weeks and was riddled with holes. "We're presenting, and I have these wet socks up in Seattle. I swear, there must have been six or seven levels of hierarchy at this thing." Smith agrees with the hierarchy levels and mentions, "It's the guy we know, and his boss, and his boss, and his boss... But it started off with us cluing into the speaker system in the conference room and playing the sample from the beginning of MC5's 'Kick Out the Jams', where it's like, "kick out the jams, mother fucker,' not knowing that one of the executives there hates swearing. And then it ended with Drew on top of a chair, mimicking how the game was going to play, and the last minute heroics. It was epic, and I'm shocked they didn't walk away from the table at that point. But for some reason, here we are."

Just assuming here, but I'd take it "resources" in this instance means money Microsoft gave to Insomniac to fund development of the game. Regardless, though, Insomniac wanting to own the franchise it's creating seems like a reasonable demand to me. From what Smith said, it seems the studio might have shopped it to Sony first, but Sony wanted to own the brand, which killed the deal.

For more on Sunset Overdrive, make sure you read up on The Escapist's preview, where it's dubbed "Tony Hawk with guns."

Source: IGN

Permalink

Dammit Sony, you fools! You could've had it all!

Well, you could've had this great game at least, and I would've been able to play it.

well i'll never get to play it, hope Xbone owners enjoy it.

i thought it wasn't possible without the cloud though? so it'll probably be a worse game now?

Microsoft being behind Sony may actually help some developers in situations like this. They're likely to be more invested in finding ways to get exclusives, so they make concessions other publishers might not.

Let me translate:

$$$$$$

Funny world when Microsoft have the most flexible publishing deal for a smaller developer.

oldtaku:
Let me translate:

$$$$$$

Exactly. They got payed, therefore exclusive. That's how exclusives work. Anyone who thinks otherwise is very naive.

Sony, what u doin' you dummy. E3 went to your damn head and you forget to get the exclusives you thick burk. This pains me to say this, but I'm jelly of Xbox owners. As I've said before though, Insomniacs track record with multiplayer is pretty... Ehhh. The art style and game looks right up my ally if it weren't for the Mutiplayer focus.

But then by the sounds of it, they have the rights, so as soon as the contact reaches it's limit, a PS4 port doesn't sound impossible (ala Mass Effect 2's eventual release to the PS3).

J Tyran:
Funny world when Microsoft have the most flexible publishing deal for a smaller developer.

Adam Jensen:

oldtaku:
Let me translate:

$$$$$$

Exactly. They got payed, therefore exclusive. That's how exclusives work. Anyone who thinks otherwise is very naive.

That's definitely a factor, but the "keep the IP" angle makes sense. Xbone doesn't seem to be doing that great, and I think Microsoft want to have as many exclusives as they can to try and change that. Therefore they may be more willing than other's to allow devs keep IP rights. With only one example we can't be sure, but it bears watching.

Seems reasonable. Good to know that Microsoft has become so desperate for exclusives they are willing to do something that goes against the very core of their being; be reasonable and give someone the right to their own work. Hmmmmm... if they still own the I.P. then i assume that this exclusive deal will only be for a limited time. I know they would never say it because Microsoft wants to sell copies/ systems to people thinking it isn't going to appear on another platform. Maybe in a year or so we could see the game on all systems once Microsoft thinks it has rung the last drops out of it.

Insomniac seems to want to have their own success but establishing a AAA franchise with the kind of sales it takes to be able to say to another publisher "We still own this IP, it makes money, publish our next game" will be difficult with the VERY limited install base of the Xbone. I hope this isn't going to be an Xbone exclusive until the end of time because then they could just end up owning a dead franchise no one will publish without them forking over the deed.

It's the publisher trap. They like to hang, draw and quarter those who have the gaul to ask to retain I.P. rights.

Scrumpmonkey:
the VERY limited install base of the Xbone.

What? What? The Xbone is doing very well, not as well as the PS4 but its selling in decent volumes and the software is flying of the shelves[1]. Do the words "very limited" mean something different for you or is it simply wishful revisionism?

[1] PS4 = 2.3 games per console, Xbone = 2.7 games per console w/ Xbox actually accounting 48% market share of sold software despite the large gap in console sales between the PS4 and Xbone. All statistics retail, http://www.ibtimes.com/ps4-vs-xbox-one-microsoft-closing-sony-consoles-sold-1561823

"and excited to work with Insomniac"
I'd say "duh!!!". These guys have a great reputation of making awesome, beloved games that sell like hotcakes.
I'm pretty sure everyone would be excited.

PBMcNair:

J Tyran:
Funny world when Microsoft have the most flexible publishing deal for a smaller developer.

Adam Jensen:

oldtaku:
Let me translate:

$$$$$$

Exactly. They got payed, therefore exclusive. That's how exclusives work. Anyone who thinks otherwise is very naive.

That's definitely a factor, but the "keep the IP" angle makes sense. Xbone doesn't seem to be doing that great, and I think Microsoft want to have as many exclusives as they can to try and change that. Therefore they may be more willing than other's to allow devs keep IP rights. With only one example we can't be sure, but it bears watching.

Being allowed to keep your IP while still getting paid by a major publisher is a HUGE deal.

They may throw all the money at the world at you, but if at some point down the line you want to change what you're doing and they own the IP, you're SOL. See also: the situation with Halo and Bungie.

I gonna defend Microsoft here, because I think it's worth pointing out that Sunset Overdrive was one of the first games announced for the Xbone, long before the actual launch. Microsoft's current woes and alleged need to play catch up couldn't have been such a deciding factor in publishing the game and agreeing to let the creators keep the IP. It sounds like a legitimately fair deal to me, not an act of desperation.

And lest anyone call me a Microsoft fanboy, I'm a Mac user (though I do have Windows installed for gaming) and I've never owned a console of any description.

J Tyran:

Scrumpmonkey:
the VERY limited install base of the Xbone.

What? What? The Xbone is doing very well, not as well as the PS4 but its selling in decent volumes and the software is flying of the shelves. Do the words "very limited" mean something different for you or is it simply wishful revisionism?

The system is only a single new generation system. In comparison to the wider market the install base of the PS4 right now is pretty limited too. That's not mentioning Xbox One's 5 million sales to PS4's 7 million. The days of console exclusives in general seem numbered. There is a reason most games are still coming to PS3 and Xbox 360.

Pickup of this new generation doesn't seem that urgent considering the wait for them to come out and the growth of the audience in that time. I think anchoring yourself to any single relatively new system limits your market considerably.

You actually wanted to keep the IP?...Ok fair enough, that's actually a really good reason. I just hope that we see a port a year or two down the line.

You probably won't see a port but something like titan fall you'll see part 2, if they can fund it themselves, be on whatever they want.

I guess other then halo and gears, other games like mass effect started on MS then branched off onto sony and nintendo.

They got all the money is what I took from their "explanation".

This is why I hate exclusives, I hope they would just die in a fire and make everything multi platform so that everyone can enjoy what games they want on what platform they want.

That's why I like the big publishers such as Ubisoft that releases their games for everything.

So the assumption is that Sony's need to own the IP has ironically led to Sunset Overdrive being an Xbox exclusive (for the moment).

Well, as an Xbox One owner, I'm certainly not complaining.

image

Can't wait! :D

Insomniac have been Sony exclusive for a long time now, so I'm assuming Microsoft here are trying to get of their good side so that they'll make their future games Multiplatform/Xbox Exclusive.
Microsoft would never do this to be nice people. They clearly have an agenda behind such a good deal.

MazokuRanma:
Microsoft being behind Sony may actually help some developers in situations like this. They're likely to be more invested in finding ways to get exclusives, so they make concessions other publishers might not.

It might help them get the game made, but developing exclusives for a lagging console may be an issue. Especially for companies who have put some money into their titles. Insomniac looks to have spent some decent cash on SO, and so there will be sales expectations. On a single console. While this could work, it also smells like a recpie for a game industry "failure."

Mr Ink 5000:
well i'll never get to play it, hope Xbone owners enjoy it.

For what it's worth, it really looks kind of boring. I mean, the new video makes a strong case for "Show, don't tell" by offering us high octane thrills in a voiceover while showing a fairly ho-hum shooter where you grind on things and shoot not-zombies.

There really are too many damn games coming out this Fall that have me waaaay too hyped, and this is one of them. Between this, Evolve, Destiny, Evil Within, Alien Isolation, Halo 2 HD Remake (Possibility), I am going to be way too busy.

Considering the last time Insomniac hashed out a deal to keep their IP they made "Fuse" of all things I can't really support them as much as I'd like on this.

Sunset Overdrive looks fun though.

Might be able to play it on my cousins Xbone if I don't get one in the future, I like the look of the game, but I tend to get bored of sandbox games relatively quickly (like Prototype)

Will keep an eye on it.

hope we can expect a PC port in the future, or a sequel thats not an exclusive

Interesting story to say the least. Good to see they got their foot in the door and the game got made. Honestly I'm not one to complain when either console/format gets an exclusive. Usually it does mean that the publisher got money to do so, or it's part of the contract in funding said project. Unless they're using some kind of underhanded method to prevent the other guy from getting a port. Look at Bayonetta 2. Everyone had a chance at it, but Nintendo was the only one that bit. So, yeah they get the exclusive. That surprised me since I figured the first game did so well everyone would be jumping at the sequel.

*nods thoughtfully* Fair enough, can't blame them wanting to own their work after all. As much as we gamers like to complain I can certainly understand the importance of freedom to use your IP and the "resources" to make it.

Shame that it won't be multi-platform (at least not in the near future) but here's hoping they find success.

Keeping the IP huh? Well I can't blame them in that case. I'm actually rather surprised that Microsoft allowed Insomniac to keep the IP, because normally all 3 of the console manufacturers would have said that they get to keep the IP. Good on Microsoft for that one.

As for the game itself, honestly Sunset Overdrive is that only game I'd ever consider getting an Xbox One for. But even then I don't know. Last gen, I started off with a Wii and later got a 360. I enjoyed the 360 at launch because it had many genre that were single player. But then after 2010 the main thing I noticed was that more online multiplayer games and shooters were coming out, and then Live went up in price. I then switched to the PS3 and was gaming on both the 360 and PS3 for a while, but eventually I switched more to PS3 because I was getting more games I liked on it than the 360. I feel that will be the case for me with the Xbox One as well.

Arawn:
That surprised me since I figured the first game did so well everyone would be jumping at the sequel.

Actually Bayonetta 1, as I must now call it, didn't exactly do that well at all like how most Clover/Platinum games do, and is still considered niche. SEGA had a 5 game contract with Platinum Games and it didn't turn much of any profit from it, so I don't blame SEGA for not jumping at the idea of funding more Platinum games. Heck the trend still continues because Wonderful 101 completely flopped in the market unfortunately. Platinum makes games that do terrible for a long while, and eventually become cult classics. In an industry in which many people want the monetary returns right then and there, you can see where the problem is. I'm glad Nintendo took the chance with Platinum games for Bayonetta 2, but I hope they don't expect that game to move like 5 million Wii U's or something because I highly doubt it'll move that many units.

I think I'm almost the only one here that doesn't mind this being what it is, I'm certainly not going to twist this story to make MS look like some saturday morning cartoon villain like some will already be doing.

At the end of the day it's en exclusive, I don't mind because I don't feel I'm entitled to have it come to my platform, I game on many different ones anyway and if we wanted exclusivity to end then that would mean every game and I mean every game would have to be made available on every platform currently out, if not then exclusivity will always stand.

I can understand the hate for exclusivity but I also understand that if we're to end it we are all to end it, not take the half the cake and eat have it for yourself while going back on your own word (take a rough guess at that anaology in terms of platforms and you'd understand).

Apart from that it looks like a decent fun looking game and good for Insomniac on their part and MS for providing what Sony could not apparently.

Zachary Amaranth:

Mr Ink 5000:
well i'll never get to play it, hope Xbone owners enjoy it.

For what it's worth, it really looks kind of boring. I mean, the new video makes a strong case for "Show, don't tell" by offering us high octane thrills in a voiceover while showing a fairly ho-hum shooter where you grind on things and shoot not-zombies.

i wasn't paying too much attention, but i did hear that voice over boast that there were no chest high walls. not much of a unique selling point.

I actually get it now, because Sony is known to fuck around with studio's IPs. I'm still disappointed I won't get to play a game by one of Sony's "Big Four', but at least the devs are doing what they believe in.

Well goddamn... the only smart decision Microsoft made. Good on them... those bastards.

Now I just need to find a close psychop-friend that actually bought an Xbone so I can play such a neat looking gem.

Mr Ink 5000:
i wasn't paying too much attention, but i did hear that voice over boast that there were no chest high walls. not much of a unique selling point.

They also told us how whacky and outrageous it was, when even the "outrageous" stuff looked sorta meh.

Hopefully, the game goes full Deadpool and reminds the player how much fun they're having. Otherwise, with the content, they might forget.

Huh. Microsoft's poor decision making from the xbone drm snafu might have benefited someone. Good luck to Insomniac on this game being successful.

I hope this causes more devs to be able to break free from publishers scooping up their hard work and either forcing the dev to water it down with spinoffs and sequels every few months or taking the dev's IP away from them to do the same.

Sony to be honest probally don't care with there in house studois donig pretty good. Exclusives only happen when sony, microsoft or nintendo cough up the dosh. Bayonetta 2, Sunset Overdrive and so on.

So sony missed out on this colourful funfest, a logical thought is just to hope they have invested in something with better or equel bang for its buck down the line. And as Microsoft don't own the IP a Sequel may appear on a PS4 down the line.

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