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I Asked Sony Why It Hasn't Signed Johann Sebastian Joust

The best reason to own a Move controller still doesn't have a deal. Why?

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Whatever you think of motion control and the surplus of peripherals released since Nintendo popularized the concept with the Wii, it’s tough to argue with the genius of Johann Sebastian Joust. Sony’s Move controller has been looking for a reason to exist, and Johann Sebastian Joust justifies the glowing device.

Thing is, Johann Sebastian Joust is only available if developer Die Gute Fabrik has sent you a build, which means you’re probably a member of the media or a friend of designer Douglas Wilson. The game doesn’t have a publisher, and it’s continued to drive me crazy that Sony hasn’t picked it up.

Going through the last of my notes and interviews from E3, I discovered I did ask Sony about it.

During my chat with Sony’s head of worldwide studios, Shuhei Yoshida, I probed him about Johann Sebastian Joust, an as-of-yet unsigned game that's selling many people on Move controllers. I asked how he hasn't picked it up yet.

“I’m not totally sure,” said Yoshida. “I think I’ve played it.”

He then paused for a moment, seemingly thinking hard.

“Yeah, yeah--I tried it at worldwide studios,” he said. “We were talking to the guys. As far as I’m concerned, the game is already complete, so I played it, and I had fun playing it, so I was expecting, in some way, first-party or third-party would [help that] come out.”

At this point, I’m wondering if Yoshida is about to hand me a hot scoop.

“But I’m not familiar with the state of the things with that game,” he said.

Of course, he could be lying.

(Scroll to 00:12:16 to see our Johann Sebastian Joust segment from the Big Live Live Show Live.)

The last we heard from Die Gute Fabrik about the future of Johann Sebastian Joust was when developer Ustwo was criticized for creating an iPhone game, Papa Quash, that was incredibly similar. Papa Quash was eventually removed from the App Store, and it prompted Die Gute Fabrik to discuss the game's status.

“Publisher negotiations involve iterative processes that take time,” said the studio during the Papa Quash controversy. “Nevertheless, we believe the inherent risk and delay are worth the reward. We’re doing everything we can to bring you the version of J.S. Joust we’ve always envisioned – even if that path is a more arduous one. Partnering with the right publisher and/or distributor will help us spread the word about J.S. Joust to players who might not otherwise get exposed to the game.”

Look, I don’t care if Sony publishes Johann Sebastian Joust. I just want other people to play it. Hurry up!

Patrick Klepek on Google+