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Brave or stupid? New publisher focuses exclusively on PS Vita games

23 Aug 2012  by   John Robertson
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OK, I know that brave and stupid can (in some people’s eyes) be one and the same. So imagine, in the hope of keeping the comment thread on topic, that they’re mutually exclusive.

Is the following brave or stupid?

Ripstone, a new publisher based in Liverpool, UK, will focus exclusively on publishing games for Sony’s PS Vita handheld. The obvious question here is, why?

The answer, in the words of company co-founder and creative director Phil Gaskell:

“I’m a passionate hardcore gamer, and I love my Vita. I don’t see another portable device currently servicing hardcore gamers. There are other devices out there, but none of them are dedicated gaming machines as good as this one.”

I agree with him, I really do. I don’t play my Vita enough, but when I do I really enjoy it (although Uncharted remains a disappointment).

However, there comes a point that – as a business – you must think about things like a business. 

The PS Vita is hardly the most successful console of all-time. Hardly the most successful handheld of all-time. Hardly successful at all, in fact. Last year the console shifted roughly 400k units worldwide in quarter number four, not stunning numbers. More over, Sony has admitted that it’s difficult to attract third-party developers to create software for the console.

That does not sound like the kind of environment best suited to a small publisher.

Part of Ripstone’s reasoning for the exclusive approach is that they’re out to set an example to others in the industry. That’s an undoubtedly noble notion. We’ve had noble notions before. Mother Teresa, for example, dedicated her life to helping those in need. That went right. Jumping in front of a bus in a bid to save a struggling child is also noble, but kind of silly if you both end up dying.

I wonder which of those two this Ripstone/Vita situation more closely resembles?

Source (quotes): GamaSutra

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  1. sebastiaan van vliet

    there are less PS3 owners then X360 or wii owners, all sony is doing is making more hand held crap while barely anyone has interest.
    it is also because the smartphone has dominated a part of the hand held console market, they could better focus on making their PS4 more attractive then making this…..

    August 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm
    1. Not exactly true. XBox is only super popular in England and the US afaik

      August 23, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    2. Facelord

      Yeah, the 360’s only popular in the UK and USA. Everywhere else it’s a lesser device, if I remember correctly it’s selling more poorly in Japan than the old Gameboy Advance or the PS2. Rightly so, with its lack of exclusives, poor manufacturing and monthly fee required to play games online.
      Also, the Wii died at retail in 2010 and the PS3’s still going strong in all regions. The Wii moved a ton of units for Wii Sports and occasionally a Mario game, but they should’ve learned their lesson that casuals aren’t return customers with the Wii. Instead they’re continuing their casual focus with the Wii U and 3DS, and that totally sucks. I expect the Wii U to bomb and HOPE that the 3DS bombs so they can make a handheld that doesn’t suck ass or go software-only. They lost the right to make hardware when they made the public statement that they “can’t” compete with Microsoft or Sony on a hardware level. Apparently from now on they plan on making lesser devices, thinking that casuals will eat it up. They’re gonna learn their damn lesson, hardcore gamers are much more valuable than casuals and they care when you make prehistoric dinosaur hardware… except the retards who make idiotic statements like “hurr durr gameplay is what matters, not da graffics” without realizing that better hardware means larger environments, better physics and animations, higher framerates and lower development budgets due to there being less optimization required on more powerful hardware. Seriously, why do people say idiotic things like that? It’s pretty sickening.

      Anyways, what was your point again? I kinda forgot mine in the rant, it just sucks that Sony’s the only hardware manufacturer making good hardware right now. I want choices, not just one really good hardware company.

      August 24, 2012 at 1:38 am

  2. Slow Down Bolt

    should have released the vita closer to the launch of the ps4, then they could have properly integrated (and promoted that integration) the two system

    August 23, 2012 at 3:28 pm

  3. djstar

    Noble but incredibly risky to bet your shirt on one device. I don’t envision this ending well.

    August 23, 2012 at 3:40 pm

  4. fanoultimate

    Brave. Actions like that are sometimes necessary to push the sales of a console. Now, it’s matter to see if this will give fruits or not.

    August 23, 2012 at 4:29 pm

  5. Facelord

    Definitely noble. The Vita’s the best handheld gaming device ever released and yet people don’t seem to understand just how amazing it is, it’s selling poorly. It has an amazing lineup of games and it’s more than worth its $250 pricetag, but for some reason consumers are only interested in Nintendo’s first horrible handheld since the Virtualboy, the 3DS. The 3DS single-handedly turned me from mindless Nintendo fanboy to a consumer who chooses whatever the best product is at any time, breaking the spell they cast on me as a child(lul). It’s terrible, horrible, no-good, very-bad, and yet people are buying it up like mad and ignoring the infinitely superior Vita. I literally do not understand this. Is it fanaticism? Are people really that cheap? Do they not realize that there’s a better alternative? It’s very sad.

    August 24, 2012 at 1:29 am

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