I've been having so much fun playing my import copy of Tales of Eternia on my PSP, I decided to look more into the Tales series. As is the norm, Wikipedia was quite the bounty of information. This page proved to be very informative, as well as linking to great descriptions of the various games. While reading the information for Tales of Rebirth I discovered some information that got me to thinking. From the article:
Due to Sony Computer Entertainment America's policies, which forbid publishers from releasing individually-packaged games with sprite-based characters, it is highly unlikely that Tales of Rebirth will ever be slated for a North American release, much to the grief of fans in the United States, Canada, and Europe who are unable to import the game. Additionally, if Namco was going to port Rebirth to a market outside Japan, it would have announced its intentions to do so within a year of its Japanese release (by the end of 2005).
I had basically hear a rumor that Tales of Eternia for the PSP wasn't going to be released here due to a 'New content required' policy that Sony has for re-releases of titles.
Basically, this got me to thinking about Sony, Nintendo, and Microsoft's publishing policy and how much say they did have over what is released on their consoles. When you make a PC game, as long as I have properly purchased my licenses for the development software, I can release the game with very little input from Apple or Microsoft. But if I want to publish a console title, it has to go through rigorous standards checks from the console manufacturer and even then may still be rejected. This seems to go contrary to what a standard market economy would want. At the most basic logic, you would want as many titles for a system as possible on the market to promote a need for your hardware. Is this limiting of titles through the publisher a hold-out of older practices with console systems before they were issued on CD or DVD? Is this a method that ensures that the manufacturer of the console gets its own cut of the profits one way or another? Or is this their way of keeping their library of games under control so that there isn't a flood of poor quality titles out there? What do you think? Email me at [email protected]
with your thoughts (or post right here in this thread!)