Sony to match dev budgets in return for exclusivity

It seems that Sony have done a U-turn on comments made back in 2007 by SCEA president Jack Tretton who said, ” We don’t buy exclusivity. We don’t fund development. We don’t, for the lack of a better term, bribe somebody to only do a game on our platform.”

At GDC, Sony have announced they will be doing just that, by launching a scheme which offers to match the development budget of self-published titles with guaranteed royalties, in return for Playstation exclusivity.

The first game to take advantage of the deal is Doublesix’s Burn Zombie Burn, which is available on PSN today. Sony has indicated it’s “looking for a great many more titles” to take advantage of the fund.

“It’s all very well for us as platform holders to say, ‘Put all your money into PlayStation Network, it’s a fantastic idea,’ but are we prepared to put or money where our mouth is? The answer is yes,” said Chris Eden, Sony’s development relations manager.

“We’re looking for a number of great games, and in return for exclusivity we’ll match your development budget with guaranteed royalties,” he said. “A really important thing to point out is that this is not first-party publishing, this is not Sony buying your product. You’ll be the publisher, you’ll own the IP and you’ll control your product. This is assisting you to make your next step from developer to publisher.”

This seems like a great incentive for smaller developers to create games for PSN without the fear of making a loss on development costs. Will Microsoft now offer anything similar to stop developers from shying away from XBLA?