Microsoft slammed by Sony for Xbox 360 publishing rules

A report that suggests Microsoft has some pretty strict policies on publishing Xbox 360 and Xbox Live Arcade games has come under attack by a Sony Playstation executive. Several days ago, Eurogamer reported that Microsoft's policies could allow them to refuse to release a game on its Xbox Live Arcade downloadable service if it appears first on Sony's Playstation Network. Microsoft also strongly suggests that multi-platform retail games have the same content across all of the game's version. If a PS3 game has any extra content, Microsoft reserves the right to not publish an Xbox 360 version of that game.

Those restrictions have caused some fighting words to come out of a Sony Playstation representative. IndustryGamers.com reports that Rob Dyer, Sony Computer Entertainment America's senior vice president of Publisher Relations, claims Microsoft is "protecting an inferior technology" with their restrictions for game developers. Dyer says, "I think they want to dumb it down and keep it as pedestrian as possible so that if you want to do anything for Blu-ray or you have extra content above 9 gigs or you want to do anything of that nature, you’d better sure as heck remember that Microsoft can't handle that."

Dyer also claims, " ... any time we’ve gone out and negotiated exclusive content of things that we’ve announced at things like DPS or E3, publishers are getting the living crap kicked out of them by Microsoft because they are doing something for the consumer that is better on our platform than it might be perceived on theirs." Ultimately, Dyer would like to see more game publishers make a stand against Microsoft's policies. He says, "... it’s only going to dumb down what could potentially come out for a number of these games. And whether people are willing to stand up to Microsoft on this stuff or not is up to that publisher and they do it at their own risk."

While it may be Microsoft's policy to discourage PS3 exclusive content on multi-platform games there are some exceptions. A recent one is the April release of Mortal Kombat, where the PS3 version had Kratos (from Sony's God of War series) as an exclusive fighter. The Xbox 360 version of the fighting game had no such exclusive.

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