According to a report by Eurogamer it looks like Microsoft is playing hardball with its digital titles. The word is that either a downloadable game comes to XBLA first or at the same time as it comes to PSN or the publisher can forget about it EVER coming to XBLA. Microsoft did leave themselves a little wiggle room saying they “may not” publish the PSN first games but it seems as if the may would only be in very rare cases. Microsoft also apparently demands that publishers release games with at least the same content “on-disc” across platforms, meaning they don’t want any PS3 exclusive content on the actual game disc. This doesn’t affect exclusive DLC, which MS loves and is highlighted with their major deal with Activision for first release of all Call Of Duty DLC.
Not only did Microsoft confirm this stance but they defended it essentially saying that they know they are a bit biased but are looking to protect their business and will seek exclusivity when they can.
Apparently Microsoft’s Content Submission and Release Policy has a section that states:
“Titles for Xbox 360 must ship at least simultaneously with other video game platform, and must have at least feature and content parity on-disc with the other video game platform versions in all regions where the title is available.”
“If these conditions are not met, Microsoft reserves the right to not allow the content to be released on Xbox 360.”
Honestly, I think this a bunch of you know what. Microsoft is doing what they always do, trying to dominate the market and create an uneven playing field disguised as them protecting their business and seeking parity. For big publishers, it doesn’t really matter but for smaller publishers it really puts them between a rock and a hard place and I just don’t like it. It’s a damn bully tactic is what it is and I can’t believe that publishers aren’t making more noise about this.