Gaming news source Shacknews interviewed the Vice President of Microsoft Game Studios, Shane Kim, about acquired companies, products and the shifting terrain of exclusive titles.
With many gamers’ eyes affixed on Halo 3, Kim referenced the broader picture in reference to the series’ original creators, Bungie Studios:
As the creators of the material, we need their support to execute those well. They’re working with Ensemble Studios on Halo Wars, they’re working directly with Peter Jackson on the Halo interactive series, so they’re pretty closely involved with all of that stuff.
Alluding to the increasingly heavy investments required for game development, Kim also said that exclusive third-party titles could no longer be counted upon to prop up a console’s success:
You’re not going to get exclusives from third parties in the future–not very many, anyway. The economics of the business just don’t support it. It costs too much money to make and to market the titles, so third parties almost can’t afford it, and hardware guys can’t afford to pay a third party publisher to compensate them for the opportunity cost. You’re going to see third party titles on every platform, and we can’t count on third parties to do our heavy lifting.
The dwindling number of titles previously declared to be “exclusive” for the PC, 360 or PS3 is giving way to more concurrent cross-platform development, a trend which likely hits Sony the hardest.
Kim also commented on the acquisition of Rare and Lionhead, and the “longer tail” of console life cycles.