William D’Angelo
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The former PlayStation boss Shawn Layden in an interview on the What’s Up PlayStation podcast stated exclusive games will always be important for consoles gaming.

“Exclusivity will always be important, it helps focus and highlight the features of your platform,” said Layden (via VideoGamesChronicle). “What can you do here technically that you can’t do someplace else.

“But, as your platform becomes established as the market recognizes where you sit in that pantheon of gaming options, I think the necessity of exclusivity becomes a little bit less.”

He added, “PlayStation was never a first-party-driven platform. You look at Nintendo & Sega in the 90s, their first-party output was the lion’s share of the software market. You could publish on N64 but the top 10 games were always going to be Nintendo games on there.

“PlayStation always began with a third-party focus of the platform business. First-party isn’t there to steal market share from Electronic Arts or Square, first party is there to grow the pie bigger.”

Layden in another recent interview with GamesBeat stated that ballooning budgets on first-party AAA games is an “Achilles’ heel.”

“When your costs for a game exceed $200 million, exclusivity is your Achilles’ heel,” said Layden at the time. “It reduces your addressable market. Particularly when you’re in the world of live service gaming or free-to-play. Another platform is just another way of opening the funnel, getting more people in.

“In a free-to-play world, as we know, 95% percent of those people will never spend a nickel. The business is all about conversion. You have to improve your odds by cracking the funnel open. Helldivers 2 has shown that for PlayStation, coming out on PC at the same time. Again, you get that funnel wider. You get more people in.

For single-player games it’s not the same exigency. But if you’re spending $250 million, you want to be able to sell it to as many people as possible, even if it’s just 10% more. The global installed base for consoles–if you go back to the PS1 and everything else stacked up there, wherever in time you look at it, the cumulative consoles out there never gets over 250 million. It just doesn’t.”

A life-long and avid gamer, William D’Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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