Saturday, September 05, 2009

7 Deadly Sins of Gaming - Sin 5

Sin 5: Exclusivity

Exclusivity, the practice of a game franchise being exclusive to a specific console, is a lot of things. It is a sound business plan, a means of increasing console sales, and a way of associating newer consoles with major titles.

Sounds great, right?

Unfortunately, the one thing exclusivity is not is good for gamers.

Basically, and I don't want to overstate my point here, exclusive titles are game companies' way of screwing us in the ass as consumers.

See, no matter what console you purchase, each of the other two major consoles is going to have exclusive titles. Microsoft has Halo. Playstation has Resistance.

Nintendo has all the Marios forever.

But what function could this really serve?

It's not doing anything for us. It does not present a new value, but instead creates a system that centers around us not getting to play many games.

That just sucks.

Sure, these are business decisions and all, but really, shouldn't someone think of the consumer?

ie, Me.

Like most people on the planet, I just can't afford to have every single game system on the market. It's just not financially feasible.

Especially since my daughter will just not go without food.

This perfectly normal situation, however, means that I will have to go without playing several major titles this year.

What the hell?!

So, I'm stuck either shelling out for the other system OR missing out on what could be the defining game of the decade.

And, to top it all off, the entire idea is counter-intuitive. Somehow, these companies decide they will make more money by selling games to a smaller group of people.

How does that even make sense? They're going to make more money by selling less games?

How is that even going to work?

Theoretically, they stand to make more money by broadening their scope to include all consoles.

Ever see those freaking Disney games that come out for every single console ever made? I'm pretty sure there's a version of The Incredibles that will run on a toaster.

That's how you make money while also not alienating gamers.

Sure, it's shallow and completely self-serving, but at least we get to play the game no matter what system we have.

But no. The big guys constantly throw their exclusive title in our faces, big letters printed on the case just to turn the blade a little more.

Oh, you don't have an Xbox 360? No Halo games for you.

Not because they wouldn't be awesome on a PS3 or even a Wii, but because the game designer totally pinky promised that you'd be the only one allowed to sell it.

And the whole thing just screws us over.

Yeah, occasionally our system of choice gets its own exclusive title and we feel all happy about it.

Still, there being three major consoles on the market, you basically have a 67% chance of being dicked over.

So, the entire concept of exclusivity revolves around limiting your potential market, insulting your potential market, and then abusing your potential market.

Good job, guys. Way to think outside the box.


At 10:14 PM, Blogger Pimp Midget said...

I'm not to bothered about exclusives. Right now I have every console out there so doesn't matter either way.

Before I had every console though this wasn't too much of a problem, I mean there need to be some differences otherwise there'd be no point having competing consoles. Just one overlord console.

There aren't really many exclusives going about lately though to be honest. I get gamefly and I'm always debating on which console to get the games on as pretty much every friggin' one is out on all of them.

At 10:39 PM, Blogger Kenny said...

Sometimes I can't see sarcasm in print, but I wanted to make sure you knew that the Marios, Halo, and Resistance are all first party games, and there's no way in hell they'd show up on other systems.

In some cases, a company would make less money by releasing on all platforms. Recently Activision started threatening Sony to lower the PS3 price to make it worth developing games for the PS3. With high development costs for the PS3 and the least amount of systems in the field, it can make it a big risk to release games on the system.

Plus, some companies just don't like doing business with Sony because they're a bunch of whores.

At 11:52 PM, Blogger illustrated said...

I remember the smile on the face of that fucktard that announced FFXIV to be a PS3 exclusive.

Why are you smiling? Why, as a PS3 owner, should i smile? Do i get to play the game? Yes. Should i feel like smiling just because 360 owners will not be able to play? No.


The fact that a game is exclusive to a console, is only bad news for people owning a different one. Not good news for the owners of that specific console. They are going to play the game ANYWAY, so why would they care if its exclusive or not?

In fact, i bet most of us have friends that own a different console than we do, or a pc. So the only thing that comes to mind when you first hear about an exclusivity is your friend not being able to play it. Not that you're so special for choosing that console over the other. Unless you're a pointlessly mean 13 year old kid.

At 6:09 AM, Blogger Tiran Kenja said...

Actually FFXIV appears to be a good example of a game that got less cool when it was decided to multi-platform. Mostly because it means it will now be restricted by the space on a DVD.

So compromises will have to be made to make the game function off several DVDs instead of being all on one media. And that applies on the PS3 too, even tho it is actually all on one media.

But yeah. Exclusives are annoying. But it works for 3rd party titles only because the console vendor pays huge sums of money to keep it exclusive - and the game developer can save cash on not having to consider other platforms.

What really annoys me majority is exclusive DLC tho. I know we already decided it was a "sin of gaming". But it really boggles my mind that anyone can decide it is a good idea to piss off part of the people who already shelled out for your game, by telling them they cannot get some cool new feature because they got it for the 'wrong' console.

At 7:45 AM, Blogger King of Solomon said...

@Kenja: I think you meant FFXIII, there.

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Zal said...

The funny thing about exclusivity right now, is that more or less every game IS released on both PS3 and 360.

And many 360 exclusives are now getting enhanced PS3 versions after a while of being out, too. See Tales of Vesperia.

The only games you can really say will forever be exclusive anymore, are those either developed by studios belonging or funded by the console makers - and they bank on these games to be the deciding point on why people should by their console, so like hell is the other getting them.

Many 360 exclusives, as I've said are showing themselves to be Microsoft buying what is likely a temporary contract of exclusivity, and then the PS3 getting a potentially better version when that's up.

At 10:41 AM, Blogger Kahsha said...

"Many 360 exclusives...likely a temporary contract of exclusivity, and then the PS3 getting a potentially better version when that's up."

This is what pisses me off the most.


Because I have an addiction!

At 11:06 AM, Blogger Abraham said...

I have a 360, had a PS3, and since the PSP and DS came out, I've made sure to have one of each. Not a big Wii fan. I love Nintendo, but I'll stick to dling roms in my spare time. Too much bullshit comes along with the Wii to make it worthwhile. I'll stick to my FPS Xbox titles, and my RPG PS3 games as well.

At 11:27 AM, Blogger Mil'bereth said...

Tales of Vesperia HAHAHA!

The new PS3 version has so much more stuff, they are calling the Xbox version a beta now!

Dave, I mentioned this in a previous comment in another post; but have you kicked the Motherf@%*er that decided Dissidia, FFT, FF Crisis Core, and Star Ocean 1 remakes should be PSP exclusives only yet. Cause that just sucks donkeyass.

At 2:21 PM, Blogger Carlos said...

I might be an ignorant and simple minded, but, IF I were a game designer, and IF I had to chose if I wanted to sell my game to 1/3 of the population, or to the whole 3/3 of it, I would fucking chose the entire population, no brainier there.

At 8:53 PM, Blogger ~G said...

It's not like there's a check box they have to click for it to work on all platforms, most of the time the game needs to be entirely remade aside from art assets. And a lot of the time, that won't pay off in the end if their target market isn't on the other consoles. You guys are all using big titles as examples, those are going to sell regardless, and if people are fan boy enough, they'll buy the console for it as well, makes sense for exclusivity. But take something like Elmo's number journey, and put it on all platforms, they're bound to lose money cause of the extra costs. -They're bound to lose money anyway, but that was an extreme example.-

At 11:47 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I agree, just that it doesn't effect me. I never feel I need anything that is exclusive to XBox.

As long as I have my Zelda and my Team ICO games, I'm happy.

If I wanted shooters, I'd buy them for PC anyway. What other reason is there to get an XBox again? (not to sound like a fanboy).

At 4:34 AM, Blogger Zal said...

"have you kicked the Motherf@%*er that decided Dissidia, FFT, FF Crisis Core, and Star Ocean 1 remakes should be PSP exclusives only yet. Cause that just sucks donkeyass."

Surely if there's that many games on the system you want and more bound to come, it justifies a purchase? The old fat PSP's go for very little these days, and being a late adopter of the console myself I have to say most people who slander it like that simply haven't played them - There's actually nothing wrong with the system, it may not be selling as much as the DS but damn if the games aren't that much nicer looking and that much more fun to play.

At 7:04 AM, Blogger Cidolfas said...

Agree, my PSP has my favorite games right now. 8-)

I'm not quite as bothered by exclusivity as I might be, for the simple fact that a) I own not a single current-gen console, because b) I don't have enough time to play all these games anyway. I'm still finding games for my PS2 I enjoy playing. When I do get a new console, I'll have more than enough good games to keep my busy for a long time.

At 6:02 AM, Blogger Scott said...

speak of the devil, uncharted 2 comes out next month =p

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Yanni said...

What bothers me more is the multi-platform titles that are released for the PC months after they are released for every other console. Come on! I'm pretty sure you're doing the development on a friggin' computer.

At 12:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is why I'm glad I own every single system that's available right now. That way I'm not stuck in this predictament. I know others can't afford that, but you can also wait and get some of these systems or games at a cheaper price too.

Maybe trade in old games that you don't play either towards one of the systems or games.


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