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Microsoft's Kim:  Metal Gear Solid  For Xbox 360 Shows 'Level Playing Field' For Third Party Exclusivity

Microsoft's Kim: Metal Gear Solid For Xbox 360 Shows 'Level Playing Field' For Third Party Exclusivity

June 16, 2009 | By Staff, Brandon Sheffield, Kris Graft

June 16, 2009 | By Staff, Brandon Sheffield, Kris Graft
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Microsoft VP Shane Kim has told Gamasutra that the company has "effectively" reached a "level third-party playing field" for exclusive titles with the announcement of Metal Gear Solid Rising for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and PC.

Xbox veteran Kim was talking as part of an in-depth new Gamasutra interview conducted at the recent E3 Expo in Los Angeles. When asked about how vital exclusive games and content were to any console's success, Kim commented:

"I still think exclusive content is really important. First of all, in games, we've said for a long time that a key part of our strategy with Xbox 360 was a level third-party playing field. Now we've effectively done that with Metal Gear Solid coming to the Xbox 360.

The economics are such that third parties also have to support multiple platforms, and you can't ignore Xbox 360. It's the second leading platform.

It's too much of a business-driver to just be focused on a single platform if you're not a first party. So, it's up to the first parties to deliver the bulk of the exclusive game content.

Now, we're having success with third parties because we can still get exclusive downloadable content, because of the service we've built with Live and the business we've been able to generate for third-party publishers there.

But I also think we have to broaden our definition of exclusive content now. It has to include things like Xbox Live, because I do think Xbox Live is a real competitive differentiator for us.

And now Project Natal is going to be an exclusive thing, too. And so, we feel good about how that's shaping up, but it's really not about relying on third parties, because I don't think that that is sustainable, as we've proven. And it's up to each of us to differentiate on our own."

The full Gamasutra interview with Microsoft's Shane Kim is now available, including lots more on plans for Natal, social gaming initiatives such as 1 Vs. 100 and Joy Ride, and more.


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