OK, I know that brave and stupid can (in some people’s eyes) be one and the same. So imagine, in the hope of keeping the comment thread on topic, that they’re mutually exclusive.
Is the following brave or stupid?
Ripstone, a new publisher based in Liverpool, UK, will focus exclusively on publishing games for Sony’s PS Vita handheld. The obvious question here is, why?
The answer, in the words of company co-founder and creative director Phil Gaskell:
“I’m a passionate hardcore gamer, and I love my Vita. I don’t see another portable device currently servicing hardcore gamers. There are other devices out there, but none of them are dedicated gaming machines as good as this one.”
I agree with him, I really do. I don’t play my Vita enough, but when I do I really enjoy it (although Uncharted remains a disappointment).
However, there comes a point that – as a business – you must think about things like a business.
The PS Vita is hardly the most successful console of all-time. Hardly the most successful handheld of all-time. Hardly successful at all, in fact. Last year the console shifted roughly 400k units worldwide in quarter number four, not stunning numbers. More over, Sony has admitted that it’s difficult to attract third-party developers to create software for the console.
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That does not sound like the kind of environment best suited to a small publisher.
Part of Ripstone’s reasoning for the exclusive approach is that they’re out to set an example to others in the industry. That’s an undoubtedly noble notion. We’ve had noble notions before. Mother Teresa, for example, dedicated her life to helping those in need. That went right. Jumping in front of a bus in a bid to save a struggling child is also noble, but kind of silly if you both end up dying.
I wonder which of those two this Ripstone/Vita situation more closely resembles?
Source (quotes): GamaSutra