Deconstructing David: More Fun With Sony's David Reeves!


Posted January 30, 2009 - By r_pad

Oh David Reeves...thank you for being so quotable. Although your boss has stolen the spotlight with his recent crazy talk, I can always count on you to provide consistency. In an excellent interview conducted by Eurogamer, Reeves says a lot of things -- some of them are actually quite smart, while others are...well, you know, things David Reeves usually says. Here are some quotes and commentary on my current favorite executive in gaming.

"What happened was, we overtook them, and they dropped the price. It's almost as if we've gone ten rounds as Mohammed Ali and we're still standing, because we didn't drop the price. We held firm."

First off, I have to chide Eurogamer for this one. This is an outstanding interview, but the man's name is Muhammad Ali! Please show some respect to "The Greatest" and spell his name properly.

Now getting back to the point, if you're comparing yourself to Ali and you're in third place then that would make you the version of Ali that got trounced by Trevor Berbick. I suppose he could have been referring to the Ali that lost to Joe Frazier and went on to beat up George Foreman, but still, that version of Ali was past his prime and wasn't nearly as brilliant as the pre-Vietnam Ali. I'm nitpicking here, but Reeves should have used an athlete with a bright future ahead of him (or her).

"In the videogames industry, we've all been winners for the last two years. We've had more people coming in who have never played games before. The industry is not recession-proof, but it has done extremely well."

Okay, he has a point here. Just because Sony is currently behind the competition doesn't mean that the company isn't doing well and won't do well in the future. Like many of you, I believe Sony is going to have an excellent 2009. That said, I want my executives to be full of piss and vinegar, not flowery rhetoric! Don't give me this "we're all winners" crap. Davey needs to bust out his inner Highlander. In the end, there can be only one.

"It's not a question of survival of the fittest, it's the survival of people who are professional, and don't just go around cutting their prices and destroying the market."

So Microsoft is being unprofessional by cutting its price so that more people will buy its console instead of yours? That's one way to look at it....

"At the beginning, we had very few IPs and relied on other people for exclusivity. Now, our strategy is to have 15 to 20 IPs by the time we get to 2009, 2010. We don't have to go to Capcom or Take-Two and ask for an exclusive. And I don't think we could afford it anyway. In the cold light of day, I would do exactly as those publishers have done and go multi-platform.

Heavy Rain is a good example. That will be, de facto, an exclusive; we haven't just given them a paper bag full of cash, we've built up a solid, long-term relationship."

In the past, Reeves has said denounced the importance of exclusives. I agree that it's vital for any console company to invest heavily in building first-party franchises, but I also think third-party exclusives are still incredibly important. The millions of dollars spent on exclusives is a necessary evil. Companies just need to be smarter with their money, especially in 2009, and can't waste resources on things like, oh, I don't know, Haze.

"Now I can look you in the face and say, the line-up for PSP in 2009 is two or three times stronger than it was last year. We ran out of steam on games around August, September last year. We didn't have a Monster Hunter or a Dissidia. But probably from March to July, you're going to see that type of thing starting to kick in."

He's completely correct. Hopefully this should stop people from saying moronic things like "it's the end of the line for the PSP".

What did you think of Reeves' comments? How about my analysis of them?

Deconstructing David: More Fun With Sony's David Reeves!


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