Claws out in Splinter Cell snub catfight

San Francisco (CA) – A Ubisoft designer has insisted that the decision to designate Splinter Cell: Conviction an Xbox 360 exclusive was “purely business.”

“Ubisoft as a company now has a lot of experience with PS3,” Steven Masters, lead designer of Conviction, told Kikizo. “Our processes, tools, techniques are very well-developed – we could absolutely execute on the PS3 if we had the opportunity, but like I said it was a business decision.”

However, Edwin Evans-Thirlwell of Kikizo had his own interpretation of Ubisoft’s latest explanation.

“Presumably this means Aaron Greenberg (Microsoft Xbox 360 and Live product manager) popped across the Atlantic and force-fed Yves Guillemot (Ubisoft CEO) banknotes till it was literally impossible for him to utter the words ‘multi-platform,” wrote Evans-Thirlwell. “Or perhaps Ubisoft’s dashing marketing seers have worked out that PS3 Conviction sales wouldn’t recover the additional outlay.”

Dan Massi expressed similar ideas on the PlayStation Lifestyle website.

“It’s safe to assume that this ‘business’ decision may have had something to do with Microsoft, as they’ve done exclusive deals before,” speculated Masi. “It could also be assumed that Ubisoft didn’t want to make a PS3 version, as sales may have not recovered the costs of development.”

It should be noted that Ubisoft recently offered an official explanation of its controversial decision on the company’s online forum.

“Splinter Cell conviction is a true Microsoft exclusive title and there are no plans to have Splinter Cell Conviction on other platforms. There are several reasons behind this choice. First of all, Splinter Cell games are historically linked with Microsoft platforms. The first Splinter Cell on the original Xbox was one of the first games to fully exploit the console’s technical possibilities,” explained a Ubisoft developer.

“At that time, Microsoft really believed in the game potential and provided strong support to promote it. So, there is a ‘link of heart’ between the franchise and the platform. Some games are like this (think of Final Fantasy for instance). The second reason behind this choice is purely linked to production. Having a single target platform means that we can optimize the game even further, because we only have one type of – console – hardware to support.”