Simply put, Sony owns the rights (among other factors).
Harmonix’s Amplitude saw a wave of support in the last few hours of its crowd-funding campaign on Kickstarter that helped it reach its goal. Now that the dust is settled and the game is being made, Harmonix director of communications and brand management John Drake explained to GameSpot why Amplitude is exclusive to PS3 and PS4.
“Our desire to make Amplitude ourselves and publish it with the help of fans didn’t mean that we could just go out and do what we want. Sony published and funded development of the original titles in the early 2000s, and their ownership stake in the franchise is deeper than just the name of the game.
“So revisiting Amplitude meant we were exclusive to Sony consoles. This definitely gave us pause, as we would have loved to bring the fun of Amplitude to as many platforms as possible, and because Kickstarter is known for its propensity to launch PC-driven experiences.
“But at the end of the day, we couldn’t shake our desire to make Amplitude. Once it crawled into our studio’s consciousness, it was clear that we had to give it a chance to be made. That we had to take the risk that the audience wouldn’t be there to fund it because it was exclusive to PlayStation or because the original games hadn’t reached as broad an audience as we thought…luckily, the audience showed up and we were fortunate enough to fund the project.”
Drake also clarified that it wasn’t simply a matter of changing the name and slightly altering the gameplay. “To be direct, just changing the name and altering a bit of the visual style wouldn’t have divorced the new title from its predecessor to the degree that we’d be able to bring it to other platforms.
“Working alongside Sony, who have been really supportive of our efforts to secure crowdfunding for the title, was our best bet to make Amplitude that both we and the fans want from a dream into a reality.”
Amplitude is currently slated to release in March 2015.