Interviews

Insomniac's Ted Price

The studio's CEO on firm's decision to go multiplatform...

We never believed them when they said the only certainties in life are death and taxes. We used to think you could add "Insomniac only develops for PS3" to that list. We were wrong.

The Ratchet and Clank studio announced last month that it was teaming up with EA Partners to create its first ever multiplatform title.

It would retain the rights to the IP of the game - a different set of rules to those governing its creation of Resistance and Ratchet & Clank for Sony.

But why has it decided to embrace Xbox after 16 years of developing for Sony systems? And what do we have to expect from its all-new universe?

Zoom

CVG caught up with Insomniac CEO Ted Price to ask those questions - and a few more for good measure...

Why have you made the decision to embrace Xbox 360?
Simple. It's to reach more players.

Were you not satisfied with the number of players you had being exclusive to PlayStation in these last 16 years?
Well, clearly we still love our PS3 fans. I mean, we love the people who play Ratchet and Resistance and we've been having a great time communicating with them. And our dedication to PS3, Sony, Ratchet and Resistance remains as strong as ever.

However, we've talked for many years now about reaching a broader audience on the Xbox 360 with our games. Working with EA Partners - one of the best multiplatform publishers in the world - allows us to do that, as well as retaining the rights to our intellectual property.

Why haven't you been tempted to do this previously?
We take a measured approach to everything. The timing is simply right for us now to go multiplatform.

It's been 16 years that you've been exclusive to Sony's platform. Are you worried this is going to be seen as a defection? Does that matter to you at all?
I think they're going to be just as excited about the new franchise that we're creating. Because it will be on the PlayStation 3. It will give them a great piece of what Insomniac does well - which is create great entertainment experiences.

To bring this up again, our commitment to Ratchet and Resistance - which are two PlayStation exclusive franchises - will remain as strong as ever.

Just to clarify, there's no chance whatsoever of you brining your other franchises to 360?
Yes - that's correct. Sony owns the intellectual property for Resistance and for Ratchet.

Did Sony approach you for a similar exclusive publishing deal for this IP? Why did you turn them down?
We talked to many multiplatform publishers and we found that we really had a lot of compatibility with EA Partners in terms of their approach to the creative process and to their feeling that quality trumps quantity every time. It matched very well when it came to what we're doing with this particular franchise.

So was Sony interested in publishing this title?
I'm not going to give you any details about our negotiating process. I can just reiterate that we're very excited to be working with EAP.

Obviously this comes just weeks after Bungie signed a similar multiplatform deal with Activision. Is the death of the platform exclusive third-party developer becoming an industry trend?
Absolutely not. Every situation is different for every developer. It depends on your track record, on your expertise on a platform, your relationship with publishers.

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