Gears of War. Fable. Forza. Mass Effect. Banjo-Kazooie. Perhaps, even Halo? There’s a fine line observed by every PS3 fan, myself included, over what games deserve to remain on the 360 and which ones would be best suited for multi-platform support. Developer desires, budget and profit constraints and moreover, the rights to the intellectual properties often contribute to what stays exclusive. But the #1 360 exclusive that should be and could be on the PS3 - which returns a staggering 1,260,000 million links in regards to its exclusivity?
Yes, that’s right. No other title has been so hotly debated or so eagerly longed for on the PS3 quite likeLeft4Dead. In this case, the PS3 is more apt as a multi-player platform for gamers, as the Playstation Network is virtually free-of-cost and doesn’t suffer from the scalability issue haunting most PCs.
But the PS3 is apparently “not good enough” andSony “should start over from the beginning”. Great idea but current estimates put “punching God” as an easier task to carry out, than simply calling for a recall of all PS3s.
It’s already been tested. The Source engine works, if not thrives, on the PS3. Secondly, the scope of revenues for providing any A-list title to a whole new audience is always astounding, especially when you’re talking about a market in the millions and one that hungers for quality FPS titles (the popularity of Resistance 2and Killzone 2 attest to that).
Thirdly, Valve is a third party developer. It doesn’t suffer from messy console loyalty entanglements nor does one expect any less from a company whose every title came to all major platforms in the last two generations.Half-Life did come to the PS2 even when it was canceled for the Dreamcast (a consoleValve apparently liked so much they tried developing an entire extra scenario - Blue Shift - to ship with it) while The Orange Boxcame to the PS3. Fourthly, the 360 version was developed by Certain Affinity andnot Valve; this shows they could easily port the game to the PS3 without interfering with their in-house productions (as EA did for The Orange Box, though Valvestringently stated it’s desire to not make the Team Fortress 2 DLC available for PS3).
Finally, Left4Dead is already finished. Unlike Final Fantasy XIII, there are no translations, optimizations, re-fittings or compressions to be done. Bioshock came to the PS3 and didn’t consume any more space than it does on the 360 or PC. Many companies see the advantages of adopting a multi-console stance. So, when there is nothing to do but gain, why does Valve see fit to ignore PS3 gamers?
I have this mental image of Gabe Newell, sitting on his little throne, dictating what isn’t even his creation (Mike Booth directed Left4Dead for Turtle Rock Studios before it was purchased by Valve halfway into development) and chuckling over the inferiority of PS3 gamers – who don’t even deserve a single bone from his endless buckets of fried chicken. One who called the PS3 a “total disaster” and “a waste of everybody’s time” one year and immediately considered going to it the next with his hat in his hands. Hallelujah? But wait, PS3 fans didn’t jump with joy or inaugurate theGabe Newell Is Awesome day, so he immediately, almost violently, backtracked and said Valve “is still not a PS3 developer”.
A rumour began circulating earlier this month – you could pre-order L4D on the PS3from HMV, where a Summer release is indicated. But what does Valve say on seeing this? Rather than casually dismissing it, a Valve rep decided PS3 gamers needed a much harsher rebuttal. Would Valve, or any sane company, dare utter any of this to its long-time fans? Doubtful.
Games like Gears of War 2 and Fable II, despite the inclusive nature of their companies, are on the 360 for economic reasons that stretch beyond profits. The latter, for instance, is a subsidiary owned by Microsoft Game Studios while the former’s exclusivity is a result of “loyalty money”. Crude, but it can and does happen. However, there is absolutely no reason why Left4Dead should be the same – especially when it’s not under either Epic or Lionhead Studios. There is clearly an audience, both online and offline, for the game. Valve and Gabe Newell don’t want to cater to a burgeoning audience, mocking it in an unprovoked, indiscriminate and malicious manner – simply because they don’t “like” the hardware?
Unless Newell is worried about living up to his previous comments on the console’s viability, he should do well to remember the difference between “blatant egotism” and “sound business sense”. Lest he run the risk of Sony fans never forgetting howValve went the extra mile to slight them for no fault of theirs.