Cross Buy strategies

The world of cloud gaming is changing the possibilities and the ways that we can game. The upcoming Skulls of the Shogun is one of the clearest demonstration of that, with the ability to play across 3 device types, and at least 4 different OS.

However the way that we buy games has largely stayed the same with a few exceptions, we typically buy games or "licenses" for one platform. There are exceptions with Sony Cross Buy with its very limited list of games that support it or the Portal 2 release where if you bought the PS3 copy, you get a PC/MAC license but not the other way around. This makes sense because 1) Sony probably wouldn't allow the situation where you could get a PS3 game for pennies everytime a Steam sale came around.

The current strategies are:

  • Buy a license for all platforms (not really introduced because well revenues would be hit)
  • Buy a game and get a discount on other platform (Sony Cross Buy)
  • Licenses are platform specific as usual

I think that a solution of basically if you buy on Console or PC you could buy additional license for mobile versions quite heavily discounted (tablet or smartphone obviously) is the best compromise for both consumer and the producer etcs. Basically like Sony are doing but with more options.

i.e £30 for a game and then £5 for additional license

Will it happen across the board or will the business side of companies stop it? Also are Microsoft currently and I say currently (Valve might do soon and Apple) the only ones that have anything to gain largely from something like this ?