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SCEA Koller on Microsoft’s First Party Studios

In an interview, SCEA hardware marketing boss John Koller, says:

“Microsoft has had a much more lenient policy to writing cheques than we do”

“We don’t feel the need to write cheques necessarily with every publisher, like they did with the Lost and Damned and some other titles, because we feel very strongly in our first-party line-up.”

First, it’s generally a better idea to speak positively about your own products rather than speak negatively about competition, but more to the point…

Microsoft’s position is intentional. They don’t want to be in the content business. They want to be in the technology infrastructure business. They want to own all technology used to author games, sell games, and play the games: the protocols, languages, APIs, and codecs. They want to earn toll-keeper fees from the traffic that rides on top of their platform.

This is Microsoft’s position with


Microsoft has custom music codecs, e-commerce tech, and playback tech, but they clearly have no interest in managing individual music artists.


Microsoft has custom movie codecs (VC-1), authoring software, playback technologies (Silverlight, Windows Media, Zune), and they’ve done extensive lobbying to push those into popular use, but they aren’t involved (and don’t want to be involved) in funding or managing movie production.


They aggressively promote their own authoring tools (Visual Studio IDE, Microsoft programming languages, and DirectX APIs), e-commerce platform, and playback technology (Xbox, Live, Zune, etc). However, they don’t want to be involved with the actual content production. They will buy exclusive content, but only when necessary to drive traffic to their technology platform