Answer: Assassin's Creed
From a blog comment by "Mid-LifeCrysis":
Do you have any insight on whether "Assassin's Creed" is going to be a PS3 exclusive game? There's lots of inconsistent information out there on the Web. The game looks so spectacular that I think many console purchasing decisions would be influenced by the answer. Tks again.
And, from "JJ":
If possible, I would like to know if you can get any information as to whether Mercenaries 2 will be a Playstation 3 exclusive. It would seem strange to me if it was, considering the original Mercenaries sold well on both Xbox and PS2. Perhaps you could also speak more generally about third-party decisions to grant exclusives. Is it simply that one console maker will pay a lot for the exclusive? If so, do bidding wars for exclusives happen frequently? Thanks again.
John Gaudiosi replies:
Ubisoft has not gone the exclusive route for any of its previous new game franchises, and Assassin's Creed is a new franchise. Sequels are already mapped out for the game. What they have done in the past (as have other publishers like Rockstar Games), is release a PS2 version of a game first for an exclusive window and then release the same game on Xbox later.
I expect Assassin's Creed, which stands out as one of the most original and best-looking games of the show, to ship for Xbox 360, PS3 and PC next year. Not even Rockstar is doing the "exclusive window" thing with PS3 and Xbox 360 (although Xbox 360 will get exclusive episodic content for download). The same will likely hold true for Mercenaries 2, unless Sony or Microsoft pick up that game to publish as a first-party game.
A good example of this shift in strategy for third-party games can be seen with THQ's WWE Smackdown vs. RAW 2007. Over the years, THQ has released exclusive WWE games on each of the three platforms. With the added production costs for next-gen games (which can be twice as much to create), THQ is releasing a single WWE game across all platforms. This saves them money and builds a single brand with gamers.
I think you'll see a lot more of this from publishers, who will want to sell as many units as possible across as many platforms as possible to cut their potential losses. Next generation has changed the dynamics of game publishing for the big publishers. It's always a tricky proposition with a console transition, because there are fewer gamers out there to sell their next-gen games to at first. But increased costs have really made placing bets on a one-platform game a costly gamble.
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