Sony isn't the only one rolling the dice on this generation of gaming -- third party developers are feeling the sting as well. Notably, Namco-Bandai claims to need sales of 500,000 units per game before they turn a profit on PS3 titles. These titles include the well-reviewed Ridge Racer 7 and the pile of... well... you know that is Mobile Suit Gundam. What trash. According to an article over at Bloomberg, graphics alone for high-def games cost about $8.6 million dollars -- around one billion yen. For graphics. One billion. Shoot me... that's insane. Don't actually shoot me, please.
A major concern for third party developers not meeting their profit margin is the fact that the number of units may not be what Sony intended -- in fact, the numbers of units is far, far less. We know that Sony is concentrating more on first-party titles for now and with this in mind, we've got a decent hypothesis. What if Sony knows they have too few units out right now for third parties to reel in profits, so they're keeping third parties at bay for now? It would explain why they're releasing mostly first party games -- it only "hurts" Sony. Not others. Yeah, it's pretty far-fetched, but it would be the "right" thing to do.