Jump to content



Photo

How Sunset Overdrive Became an Xbox One Exclusive

sunset overdrive insomniac games xbox one microsoft ted price

  • Please log in to reply
12 replies to this topic

#1 BajiRav

BajiRav

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 04
  • Location: Xbox, where am I?
  • OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8
  • Phone: Lumia 920

Posted 10 May 2014 - 13:14

IGN
 



The story of Sunset Overdrive begins during the tail end of Resistance 3's development. After working for years on the PlayStation-exclusive post-apocalyptic shooter series, the pair -- who are, by the way, good friends in and out of the office -- settled on another, very different dystopian story. But they weren't quite sure how to pitch it to their bosses.

"We were really convinced people didn't want to get bogged down in details of gameplay mechanics or story," Smith said facetiously, with Murray laughing alongside him. "And so, instead, we did a presentation where we just showed a bunch of influences." Those influences ranged from the Hyena Men of Kenya and the Tank Girl comics to the novel I Am Legend and the TV series The Young Ones. "[There were] '60s Halloween masks, and LEGOs were in there somewhere," Smith said.

"We were presenting to the owners of [Insomniac] and the CEO," Murray continued, "and afterwards, they were all like, 'what the #### are you guys talking about?'"

With the idea of Sunset Overdrive set internally, it was time to bring it around to publishers. While Insomniac ended up settling with Microsoft, Insomniac pitched it elsewhere first.

"We pitched it a few different places, and it was really important to [Insomniac CEO] Ted [Price] that we own the IP, so some of the conversations broke down over that," Smith admitted. "With Microsoft, they just came in very energetic and excited to work with Insomniac, period. And we'd heard some really good things about them and some resources that they would be allowing us to have."

Insomniac's obsession with owning its own IP started with its co-op shooter Fuse, and comes from a long legacy of making famous franchises -- like Spyro, Ratchet & Clank, and Resistance -- that it doesn’t own. "Most publisher conversations begin and end with IP ownership," Murray said candidly, "and I think [Microsoft] has been talking to Ted for a while, and at some point it was like, 'you can retain the IP,' and suddenly, it was a conversation point."

Murray and Smith went to Seattle multiple times to pitch Sunset Overdrive directly to Microsoft. Murray remembered "the main" pitch, where he wore his lucky shoes, riddled with holes, which he hadn't changed in two weeks. "We're presenting, and I have these wet socks up in Seattle. I swear, there must have been six or seven levels of hierarchy at this thing."


So looks like Microsoft doesn't mind if developers own their IP whereas "other places" wanted to own the IP and wouldn't publish the game without it. So much for the anti-developer / anti-gamer Microsoft. ;)




#2 Enron

Enron

    Windows for Workgroups

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 30-May 11
  • OS: Windows 8.1 U1
  • Phone: Nokia Lumia 900

Posted 10 May 2014 - 13:27

Good move on Microsoft's part. Although they did goof up on that other game that ended up going to the PS4 instead. I forget the name but it looked like a fun game.



#3 Showan

Showan

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 28-November 12
  • Location: Amurrika
  • OS: W8
  • Phone: Lumia Icon

Posted 10 May 2014 - 16:44

This is the way it should be. Let those who poured their soul into the game keep their IP (if created by the developer and not the publisher of course)

Now if an IP doesn't live up to sales expectations, then that's a different story of course.
Something I'm sure the suits and lawyers hash out...

#4 trooper11

trooper11

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 5
  • Joined: 21-November 12

Posted 11 May 2014 - 22:10

I think its good to hear these positive stories along with the negative ones, it can help bring some perspective to the topics floating around the internet.

I also think that sometimes we get tunnel vision for what a company is all about simply based on the stories that come out. We rarely get the whole picture and so we fall back on assumptions.

I don't think MS is out to give developers a hard time and they have shown plenty of examples of working with developers. So when there are bad issues, it would be interesting to find out why sometimes deals are not made and why they are made other times. MS is not alone in that process. Sony, Nintendo, Apple, Google, etc, etc, all have made good deals and bad deals over the years. Maybe its as simple as the MS reps that happen to work with one game developer which results in a positive deal for one and a negative deal for another.

#5 neoadorable

neoadorable

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 01-August 05
  • Location: Flyover Country/Pacific Isle

Posted 13 May 2014 - 07:55

IGN
 


So looks like Microsoft doesn't mind if developers own their IP whereas "other places" wanted to own the IP and wouldn't publish the game without it. So much for the anti-developer / anti-gamer Microsoft. ;)

 

We've known that for a long time, hence why Sony has such a strong emphasis on first party studios. MS were rarely willing to spend money on 100% owned exclusives, it took them nearly a decade to get their act together and flatout buy Gears. This is why Mass Effect, Bioshock, and Alan Wake lasted all of a year or two as Xbox exclusives, and why Titanfall will end up on PS4. Expect Sunset Overdrive to do likewise. Of course it may not, or it might take forever, after all Dead Rising 1 still hasn't been released on anything other than 360 nearly eight years later.

 

Can't say i'm a huge fan of this approach, but at least MS are honest. To wit the box art no longer says anything about exclusivity or "only on Xbox"



#6 Andrew

Andrew

    Guardian

  • Tech Issues Solved: 9
  • Joined: 14-September 03

Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:16

We've known that for a long time, hence why Sony has such a strong emphasis on first party studios. MS were rarely willing to spend money on 100% owned exclusives, it took them nearly a decade to get their act together and flatout buy Gears. This is why Mass Effect, Bioshock, and Alan Wake lasted all of a year or two as Xbox exclusives, and why Titanfall will end up on PS4. Expect Sunset Overdrive to do likewise. Of course it may not, or it might take forever, after all Dead Rising 1 still hasn't been released on anything other than 360 nearly eight years later.

 

Can't say i'm a huge fan of this approach, but at least MS are honest. To wit the box art no longer says anything about exclusivity or "only on Xbox"

 

Dead Rising 1 was on the Wii, although it was classed more as a remake.

 

But you're right about MS preferring to spend money on timed exclusives rather than studios. Doesn't always work out in their favour, but a healthy balance of owning studios and third partry is necessary otherwise they wouldn't have bought Bungie (built 343), Lionhead, Rare and Turn 10 etc.

 

Pretty certain Sunset will make it's way to the PS4 at some point, if not the sequels (if they're successful / planned).



#7 neoadorable

neoadorable

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 01-August 05
  • Location: Flyover Country/Pacific Isle

Posted 13 May 2014 - 09:22

Dead Rising 1 was on the Wii, although it was classed more as a remake.

 

But you're right about MS preferring to spend money on timed exclusives rather than studios. Doesn't always work out in their favour, but a healthy balance of owning studios and third partry is necessary otherwise they wouldn't have bought Bungie (built 343), Lionhead, Rare and Turn 10 etc.

 

Pretty certain Sunset will make it's way to the PS4 at some point, if not the sequels (if they're successful / planned).

 

Thanks for pointing that out, didn't have a clue it made it to Wii - it's one of those weird aberrations, like Manhunt 2 being on PS2 and Wii of all devices, but not PS3 and 360...yeah that made a lot of sense Rockstar :rofl:

 

These timed exclusives are a conscious decision on the part of Microsoft, i think we can agree they can afford to match Sony on money spent on first party releases and studios. They just choose a different strategy - a cheaper one heh heh. No, it does not work in their favor, like them and their products though i may, no one in the history of gaming can touch Sony for first party support and catalogue, not even Nintendo for my money. I do believe MS should invest in more real exclusives, as this is the way of the future. As physical hardware becomes less important, it's software exclusives that will be a deciding factor.

 

To the point, for sure Sunset Overdrive will go to PS4 eventually, Insomniac can't deny Sony forever, they've too much history together  :D



#8 +Audioboxer

Audioboxer

    Hermit Arcana

  • Joined: 01-December 03
  • Location: UK, Scotland

Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:29

Dead Rising 1 was on the Wii, although it was classed more as a remake.

 

But you're right about MS preferring to spend money on timed exclusives rather than studios. Doesn't always work out in their favour, but a healthy balance of owning studios and third partry is necessary otherwise they wouldn't have bought Bungie (built 343), Lionhead, Rare and Turn 10 etc.

 

Pretty certain Sunset will make it's way to the PS4 at some point, if not the sequels (if they're successful / planned).

 

MS seem to be publishing, so while Insomniac has retained IP control, Sunset Overdrive will likely not be able to be released anywhere else. Sequels are another matter if MS does not publish them, that's where IP control gives you flexibility.

 

As always unless we can see the contracts in place it's all guesswork, but that's usually how things go with publishing - Sometimes it's just timed, for a year or so, or if you differentiate the game differently on another platform you get to release (calling it the "complete/special/tweaked" edition). Pretty sure MS published Mass Effect 1, but in the end it somehow ended up finally coming to PS3, maybe as it was part of a trilogy release on disc (only standalone digitally)? 

 

I think Sony just expected the same situations as with Ratchet/Resistance, so it's good to see Insomniac get a change and retain their IP. If it's a good game I just hope it sells well, Insomniac have a lot of fans on the PS side, time for Xbox fans to prove this was a good decision and support the game.



#9 Andrew

Andrew

    Guardian

  • Tech Issues Solved: 9
  • Joined: 14-September 03

Posted 13 May 2014 - 10:42

MS seem to be publishing, so while Insomniac has retained IP control, Sunset Overdrive will likely not be able to be released anywhere else. Sequels are another matter if MS does not publish them, that's where IP control gives you flexibility.

 

As always unless we can see the contracts in place it's all guesswork, but that's usually how things go with publishing - Sometimes it's just timed, for a year or so, or if you differentiate the game differently on another platform you get to release (calling it the "complete/special/tweaked" edition). Pretty sure MS published Mass Effect 1, but in the end it somehow ended up finally coming to PS3, maybe as it was part of a trilogy release on disc (only standalone digitally)? 

 

I think Sony just expected the same situations as with Ratchet/Resistance, so it's good to see Insomniac get a change and retain their IP. If it's a good game I just hope it sells well, Insomniac have a lot of fans on the PS side, time for Xbox fans to prove this was a good decision and support the game.

 

Maybe, maybe not. It could be in the same boat as Titanfall (although that again is a little different as it was PC and Xbox). We'll have to wait and see

 

As for Mass Effect, it eventually got a standalone release on PSN in 2012. I guess by that time they didn't see the point in retail versions when the trilogy was complete and a boxset on the horizon.



#10 OP BajiRav

BajiRav

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 04
  • Location: Xbox, where am I?
  • OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8
  • Phone: Lumia 920

Posted 13 May 2014 - 14:55

 time for Xbox fans to prove this was a good decision and support the game.

That's a weird thing to say. I don't own X1 (yet) but I wouldn't have bought SO even if I did.

 

PS fans need to support Bungie in the same vein. Go buy Destiny. :p (I know, I know - not exclusive)



#11 OP BajiRav

BajiRav

    Neowinian Senior

  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 15-July 04
  • Location: Xbox, where am I?
  • OS: Windows 8.1, Windows 8
  • Phone: Lumia 920

Posted 13 May 2014 - 14:59

Thanks for pointing that out, didn't have a clue it made it to Wii - it's one of those weird aberrations, like Manhunt 2 being on PS2 and Wii of all devices, but not PS3 and 360...yeah that made a lot of sense Rockstar :rofl:

 

These timed exclusives are a conscious decision on the part of Microsoft, i think we can agree they can afford to match Sony on money spent on first party releases and studios. They just choose a different strategy - a cheaper one heh heh. No, it does not work in their favor, like them and their products though i may, no one in the history of gaming can touch Sony for first party support and catalogue, not even Nintendo for my money. I do believe MS should invest in more real exclusives, as this is the way of the future. As physical hardware becomes less important, it's software exclusives that will be a deciding factor.

 

To the point, for sure Sunset Overdrive will go to PS4 eventually, Insomniac can't deny Sony forever, they've too much history together  :D

Honestly, I don't know what is better. Buying studios outright like Sony and keeping exclusives sounds all good until you have them close the studios down the line for whatever reason (not saying Sony did it but Microsoft surely did).

I believe no approach is better as long as we get good games, exclusives or not.

 

So what if SO lands up on PS4 in future. Most X1 players would have already moved on.



#12 Kvally

Kvally

    Neowin Veteran

  • Joined: 18-June 03
  • Location: USA
  • OS: Mac OSX
  • Phone: iPhone 5S

Posted 13 May 2014 - 15:01

I wouldn't buy studios....they are too costly, and everyone ends up getting laid off.



#13 neoadorable

neoadorable

    Neowinian Senior

  • Joined: 01-August 05
  • Location: Flyover Country/Pacific Isle

Posted 14 May 2014 - 01:22

Honestly, I don't know what is better. Buying studios outright like Sony and keeping exclusives sounds all good until you have them close the studios down the line for whatever reason (not saying Sony did it but Microsoft surely did).

I believe no approach is better as long as we get good games, exclusives or not.

 

So what if SO lands up on PS4 in future. Most X1 players would have already moved on.

 

No no, didn't mean to say it would be bad thing. Just because more people get to enjoy a game doesn't detract from your enjoyment of it. But from a business standpoint and a prestige angle then obviously exclusives are important. As to which approach is better, i believe Sony's is, but this is my impression. This isn't science, the closest we can get is sales - whose exclusives sell more? I personally really like exclusives, they show commitment on the part of the platform holders, they stoke pride of participation and ownership (legitimate sentiments i think) and they often serve to showcase the platform/device at their finest.

 

 

Maybe, maybe not. It could be in the same boat as Titanfall (although that again is a little different as it was PC and Xbox). We'll have to wait and see

 

As for Mass Effect, it eventually got a standalone release on PSN in 2012. I guess by that time they didn't see the point in retail versions when the trilogy was complete and a boxset on the horizon.

 

My thoughts are that EA came up to MS with the moneybags and bought their end of the contract so they could turn it into a franchise. But of course i haven't seen the contract, nor will we be able to for the next 75 years or so i guess :wacko: