Ico was risky business, says Sony

It’s a platform holder’s duty to bring new games and new ideas to the market, even if it’s risky, according to Sony.

“It’s one of the roles of a platform holder,” SCE UK sales director Mark Howsen told MCV. “We’ve got to do that, to push boundaries as well as pushing strong franchises across their various iterations.

“Ultimately, the industry is dependent on creativity, new product and new ideas. As soon as we stop doing that then we’re all in trouble.”

One of Sony’s latest “new ideas” was Quantic Dream’s Heavy Rain, which fortunately matched its critical reception at retail. Looking back, that can’t be said for every risk Sony has made.

“Sony has a bit of history with this sort of thing,” UK PR boss David Wilson added. “Ico is the shining example where we did something that was critically acclaimed but only did, I think I’m right, three figure sales in its first week and 50,000 overall.

“It was unbelievable. Journalists were dumbfounded. They rung me up. They were devastated. All those great reviews but it just didn’t capture the public’s imagination. As a platform holder we have to invest in new IP. Even with Ico, years later it’s still being held up as one of the best games ever made, one of the top five on PS2. The sequel did better.

“The same questions were asked of Heavy Rain and it’s fantastic that it was eventually a success. I was also amazed that we beat the French, too. They’re often quite parochial with their own games.”

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