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Developer Says Exclusivity Deals Can Help Indie Games

| 20 Apr 2013 10:50
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Minority Media's Vander Cabarello says Sony helped to raise awareness for Papo & Yo

There's a reason why most Americans are never more than one hundred miles from a Starbucks. The more venues you have for your products, the more you're going to sell. Videogames might not be delicious Cinnamon Dolce Lattes, but they aren't much different in the sense that titles available on multiple platforms often have a built in advantage over their exclusive counterparts. There are exceptions, of course. If you're Super Mario, odds are you're going to sell millions of copies regardless of what console you're on. That said, there are reasons why Demon's Souls sold fewer copies than its spiritual successor Dark Souls, and it might be safe to place the former's PS3-exclusivity among them.

Some would argue, however, that exclusivity deals can be a good thing for developer. Vander Caballero, co-founder of Minority Media, the makers of Papo & Yo, recently espoused the value of exclusivity as a lifeline for cash-strapped developers. "If you are an independent you have zero marketing money," Caballero said. "You have nothing. Then you need someone to support your project. So, if someone asks you for exclusivity and it's going to help you to bring out your product into the market, I think that can be good. Sometime, I think it's the only way to get something out."

Even if Papo & Yo might never have been released without its PS3-exclusivity, it is in some ways an exemplar of the limitations of exclusive releases. Despite being a top selling game on the PlayStation Network, the game has failed to cover its development costs. Minority Media is now hoping its port to Windows PCs, via Steam and other digital retailers, will help cover the rest of the difference and push the game to profitability. Despite any shortfalls, Caballero is still grateful for the deal made with Sony. "Sony really helped us to push the game out and make people know about it, and then they really helped us in the development, too. It was an amazing relationship."

Source: Kotaku

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