Leaked Sega Doc Reveals Industry Workings: Exclusivity, Interoperability and Differentiation

Sega's presumably accidental publication of a confidential talk with PlayStation maker Sony did more than just leak word of downloadable PS2 games for PS3--it provides a rare glimpse into the workings of the industry and the deals that determine exclusivity, what controller is in a commercial, and whose game will be displayed where at E3.

The document, which inexplicably appeared recently on Sega's Media FTP, covers a number of topics, such as Sega asking Sony for a list of "Sega IP that would work well with the motion controller"--an "easy way to differentiate the PS3 SKU."

Interoperability between PlayStation 3 and PSP games was a major focus--"think of features that would make users want to buy both PS3 and PSP SKUs," wrote Sega. In fact, "SCEA would be really interested in having [Sega] at their booth next E3" should Gearbox's upcoming Aliens: Colonial Marines somehow support such functionality.

The discussion even ventured into marketing, with Sony offering Sega cash should it "show PS3 controller on TV ads" and possibly "helping on MKTG side if [Sony] can have period of exclusivity" on PlayStation Network releases of Japanese imports.

Additional things that would "garner a lot of positive attention from SCEA" or that "SCEA would love" include Sega-branded "destinations" for PlayStation Home, like Iron Man 2, and "exclusive power ups/different game modes" through PlayStation Network.

Other topics broached include upcoming Sega releases--a product evaluator said Obsidian's Alpha Protocol "felt barely RPG" and was "too challenging" in its first level, Sony wants a look at movie tie-in Thor soon--and even means of potentially counteracting the admittedly underperforming sales of movie-based PS3 titles "this cycle."

SCEA Meeting Aug 5th Notes
Aug 6 2009 - DRAFT FOR COMMENTS

Objectives of Meeting

  • Dyer agreed to regular quarterly meetings with SOA

Sony PS3

  • SCEA reiterated plans to sell 13 million PS3s this year
  • Big announcement back half of year they can't talk about (potentially price cut of PS3 to reach hardware goals)
  • SCEA commented on indexing between PS3 and 360 SKUs, should be around 2:1 to garner most favorable treatment.

Motion Controller

  • Spring 2010 launch (March in JP)
  • No bundle/pricing details yet, should come Sept 1
  • Plan on selling 4-5MM units WW
  • SCEA agreed to provide a list of Sega IP that would work well with the motion controller, Virtua Tennis was an example
  • Motion Controller support allows easy way to differentiate PS3 SKU
  • Other differentiation opportunities include PSP/PS3 interoperability - think of features that would make users want to buy both PS3 and PSP SKUs.

Alpha Protocol

  • Michael Foster, product evaluator, said AP felt barely RPG. Initial level too challenging for players. "Mass Effect felt more RPG."
  • Review notes sent to John Merlino a few weeks prior. After meeting Gerald mentioned AP is a high priority for his team.

Planet 51

  • Sell in of PS3 SKU - SCEA noted that other movie titles on PS3 had underperformed as well (inc. Transformers) this cycle.
  • Dyer suggests contacting Susan at Walmart and asking what she wants in the pack to sell this SKU (movie tix etc)
  • Other possibilities are Hybrid movie disc (BD 25 or 50 with Game and Movie on same disc).

Bayonetta

  • Collectors edition with Bayonetta Action Figure
  • Novo recommended launching PSN demo around Xmas based off a Jan 5th Ship date with 2-3 week run out to launch.
  • 3-4 weeks is usually ideal demo timing with fresh content every week leading up to launch (trailers, insider video about PG heritage, video blogs).

Vancouver 2010

  • HOME, Olympic destination would garner a lot of positive attention from SCEA
  • Should be doing same with Bayonetta, Marvel etc. Easy to launch in all territories.
  • HOME merchandizing opportunities (clothes etc).

Sonic Racing

  • Open to DLC to differentiate PS3 SKU - not ratchet and clank but other characters
    • maybe characters from Rare or Fable universes

Yakuza

  • Could put Japanese games directly on PSN for download in a special Japanese Import section (pricing $9.99 to $39.99 for full game).
  • Might need to localize menus at least with subtitles.
  • SCEA interested in helping on MKTG side if they can have period of exclusivity.

AVP

  • Another great HOME candidate
  • AVP avatars
  • Hybrid BD disc with movie

Iron Man 2

  • Great candidate for HOME space - explore Tony Stark's lab etc.
  • Should have one for Marvel in general.

PSU2

  • Could do bundle at GameStop with PSP 30-35K units on UMD, Go, or both.

Valkyria 1937

  • Could bundle with PSP as well.

Vanquish and Aliens: CM

  • Opportunity for PS3/PSP interoperability (see Eidos Batman, Army of Two, Assassin's Creed for good examples).
  • If we offer that SCEA would be really interested in having us at their booth next E3.

Thor

    SCEA would like a look at the code soon.

Sonic Anniversary

  • Could put out collectors edition with all old sonic games on one BD disc.
  • "Best of Sonic" for around $99.
  • SCEA would love PSN exclusive power ups/different game modes (like Castlevania's flip it over/backwards)

PS2 emulator for PS3 (confidential)

  • SCEA wants to sell all PS2 titles on PSN (GTA Vice City/Sonic/etc)
  • For co Marketing money show PS3 controller on TV ads - similar to EA Madden Spots, NCAA, etc...

London Olympics

  • Perfect opportunity for Motion Controller integration.

DC Digital Titles

  • If we provide a list of DC titles SCEA will let us know which ones they're interested in having exclusively.
  • If we give them a long period of exclusivity they'll give us more marketing support.

PSP Titles

  • For SKU differentiation it's best to offer features that are slightly different from PS3 version.
  • Titles that are coming up on PSP are Assassin's Creed II, GTA China Wars, Resident Evil, Little Big Planet - all massive franchises.
  • SCEA has a specific PSP deck which they can send up with their hardware director for a chat.