Does Europe hold a special place in the heart of Sony or something?

Does Europe hold a special place in the heart of Sony or something?

I’ve updated Twitter a couple of times today as the details of Sony becoming the publisher for Ghostbusters emerge, but frankly the situation has become so complicated that it’s impossible to sum up in 140 characters, so here’s the full story:

Sony has signed the rights to publish Ghostbusters on PS3 and PS2 in PAL territories, which basically means Europe and Australia. It will also publish the PSP version (yes, there is one apparently), but not until the Autumn (so much for the resurgence of the PSP; Sony itself won’t back it, or maybe it’s just not ready?). As part of this agreement there will be a period of exclusivity for Sony’s platforms, with Xbox 360, PC, DS and Wii versions of the game coming later in the year, but published by Atari – it’s unclear whether these will be published at the same time as the PSP version, or later still.

This agreement doesn’t include Ghostbusters outside of Europe which will be published in the USA on all formats, as planned, by Atari on June 16th.

So, how do we look at this? If we’re fans of the PS3, perhaps we say that it is Sony finally showing some love to Europe by giving their platform an exclusive. Given the release of the games on the other formats in other parts of the world months earlier though, it looks like this move could alienate more people than it excites. Sony, of course, has the original Ghostbusters movie coming out on Blu-Ray on the day of release of the game in Europe, so there is that ugly word, synergy. Sony must feel that timed exclusivity will help the PS3, and that it can make extra revenues by selling the game to those who buy the Blu-Ray, and the Blu-Ray to those who buy the game. Limited to the PAL territories though, it’s a double-edged deal, because it could be viewed as akin to a Spiderman game being released only on the PS3 because of the film licence (although that’s such a complicated deal between Sony and Marvel, that it would never happen).

What’s in it for Atari? Some money up front, I would guess. Atari has had its share of problems over recent years, so a cash injection for any reason will be welcome. Atari will surely retain a royalty share on sales so there will also have been some calculations presumably based on how many extra copies can be sold by Sony doing the marketing and tying it in with the Blu-Ray marketing. The assumption must surely be that these numbers more than offset the potential revenues by simultaneous multiplatform release. Someone somewhere will have been doing some elasticity calculations based on timed exclusives and decided that thsi deal will increase overall revenues.

How does the deal make you feel? Does it make you feel like the PS3 is being shown some love in Europe, or is it Sony, once again, giving Europe a good kicking?

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