The days of the independent developer creating games exclusively for one console are very much on the wane – you need look no further that Wii U’s anemic library to confirm that developers want, even need, to try to reach as big an audience on as many platforms as possible to recoup the increasingly costly budgets for blockbuster AAA games. It just isn’t practical or realistic for most to stay with just one platform any longer, unless they are owned by that manufacturer. Bungie made headlines by announcing that it was leaving the confines of the Xbox in favor of multiplatform development for its new title, Destiny, and even Insomniac, who has developed games exclusively for Sony consoles since the 1990s, decided to partner with EA for the multiplatform shooter Fuse. And yet there is at least one prominent hold out: Quantic Dream.
The developer of Beyond: Two Souls and Heavy Rain has confirmed that it will remain independent, but will still create games exclusively for Sony.
“We proved with Heavy Rain that we can be profitable by making a game for just one platform,” said Quantic Dream CEO Gillaume de Fondaumiere in an interview with Official PlayStation Magazine, “Would we have made more money by going multi-platform? Of course, but on the other hand, we wouldn’t be working with Sony as a publisher.”
The trade off, according to de Fondaumiere, is a level of creative freedom that Quantic Dream might not get if it were working with a one of the major publishers like Electronic Arts or Ubisoft. For example, Quantic Dream got in a heated disagreement with Sony over how Beyond would be marketed, the CEO told GameSpot. Sony’s marketing partners wanted the lead character played by Ellen Page to be holding a gun on the cover art, but Quantic “categorically refused” and ultimately Sony stood by its decision. That’s another reason that Quantic will stay a Sony-only developer for the time being.
“We’re certainly not going to change partner for the sake of making more money; that’s not the philosophy behind out studio. As long as we can create the games we want to create, we’ll stay with Sony.”
“Ever since we started our partnership, Sony just said it was going to give us the money to build these games and we said we were going to work as hard as we could and reward it for its trust.”
Beyond: Two Souls won’t be out until October, but Quantic Dream is already toying with Sony’s next console, the PlayStation 4. Quantic Dreams co-founder David Cage made an appearance at Sony’s February event announcing the new console, giving a rather peculiar demonstration of new facial animation on the new console. Rumor is that is impressive 2012 tech demo “Kara” will be the basis for its new PS3 game.