Flamebait Friday Debate – Are paid-for exclusives ruining the industry? 
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Darryn Bonthuys
August 15, 2014 at 10:30 am

equal

Competition is good. Competition is something that can lead to rivals from across various fields actually making an effort to have you invest in their product, instead of taking advantage of supply and demand. Unfortunately, this can also have negative effects, with the playing field tipped sometimes way too far in the favour of one side at the expense of the other.

Which is what we’ve seen more and more of in gaming lately. Sure, the latest copy of Ace McStab Yo Face V: The Stabbening may be on various systems, but you can bet that it’s going to have added DLC on a specific platform more than the other. Hell, if it even reaches that other platform is another question.

We’ve seen more and more of this lately, with Watch Dogs having a plethora of content spread across systems, PlayStation having a far more enticing amount of goodies available for Destiny and of course the timed exclusives of Call Of Duty on the Xbox One. With Rise Of The Tomb Raider being one of those timed exclusives, we’re starting to wonder if such deals are having a negative effect.

Of course, the upside to this is that developers and publishers get a guaranteed payday that allows them to make such a game. The downside being that this also excludesexludes an entire segment of the gaming population. At the end of the day it’s just business, but rant below and let us know what you think.

Because he's the writer that Lazygamer deserves, but not the one it actually needs right now.So we'll hunt him. Because he can't take it. Because he's not a hero. He's a loud-mouthed journalist, a watchful procrastinator. A dork knight.

  • Jac7

    First of all, I agree with what Geoff says in the header. Secondly, I don’t really care, Destiny incoming.

  • Sith JJ

    I don’t think it’s ruining the industry. Just like with everything else, if you’re willing and able to pay for it, why won’t you? That said, I hate exclusives and I think the real problem is that it hurts the titles (especially in the case of the new Tomb Raider).

  • Kensei Seraph

    Exc***ves in general are a bad idea.
    I can understand developing initially for one platform and then porting it across sometime after the release but sticking to one platform and losing a significant portion of the potential market seems like a poor economic decision to me.

    • Sith JJ

      I’ve seen this a few times where I work. People don’t care if they have set their target market as a specific one (like Forza always having been on Xbox only) as it doesn’t affect them much. But it’s considered pretty damn stupid if you pull yourself from one market entirely (like Tomb Raider). Because in the end every single decision comes down to investment value. Long term sustainability always have and always will outweigh short term gains.

  • Lardus-Resident Perve

    Think of timed exclusives this way – by the time the game is released on the other console, it might have all the DLC bundled in! Or not. Who cares. As long as I get Dragon Age on the console I buy, and the next Mass Effect, I don’t give a crap.

    • Kensei Seraph

      Just watch, the next ME will be either a paid-off timed exclusive or a paid-off full-on exclusive.

      • Lardus-Resident Perve

        Probably on Xbox. So by the time it gets to PS4, we will already have the extended cut for the 3-colour ending!

  • Hammersteyn

    It’s just business. You have to draw people to your product. But don’t do what MS did and claim TR as exclusive when it’s a timed exclusive. The only one that will lose is Square Enix

  • Umar Ver 1.Happy

    Gamers sending death threats are ruining the industry

    • Sith JJ

      Then maybe, Umar, you should stop.

      • Umar Ver 1.Happy

        I’ll kill you….errr, I mean…..Hug you!

        • Sith JJ

          Subtle. Very subtle. ;)

        • Alien Emperor Trevor

    • CAE9872

      Agreed

  • Alien Emperor Trevor

    No. Platform exclusives sell platforms. Platform-specific exclusives like the skins & whatnot in Destiny is basically just fluff, it’s a nice selling point but otherwise meaningless. Nobody can honestly say they have shit fits about something like that. Timed exclusives on a platform suck for those not on that platform, but really it’s not going to kill you to play it a few months later because you still do get to play it.

    What’s brought this to the fore is the semantic games played by MS during their Xbox presentation regarding the Tomb Raider sequel & deliberately implying that it was an Xbox platform exclusive, not a timed exclusive. They deserve the legitimate scorn they’re getting for it.

    • CAE9872

      As do Crystal Dynamics and Square Enix for not clarifying it.

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        True. I’m guessing they couldn’t because of contractual reasons while MS boasted about their coup.

        • CAE9872

          For once I am not going to just blame MS – that’s too easy. I am sure CD and SE must have seen the show prior to airing and were happy. But it did seem to say “this holiday” or something. Somewhere along the way people (media) seemed to think this was exclusive and things snowballed from there.

          In the end it all got out of hand very quickly.

          • Sith JJ

            I actually don’t think MS is the ones to take the hit for this. It’s business and it was a good business decision for them. And that’s fine. Their obligation is to their customers (the Xbox gamers) so they’re doing fine there. The one to blame is Squeenix for not being loyal to their customers.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            I don’t blame MS for getting TR to be a timed exclusive on Xbox, it’s a really clever move. I blame MS for being… ambiguous… in their announcement of said exclusivity.

            I’m torn between wondering if they did it deliberately or if it’s just a continuation of their normal stellar PR.

          • Sith JJ

            Maybe they’re doing it because the timed exclusive is going to be really short and they want people to think that it’s not.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            That’s what I’m guessing. Probably just over xmas & a month or 2 after that which might tempt a few people into going Xbox instead of PS4 if they’re big TR fans.

          • Sith JJ

            So it’s a good plan that’s being terribly managed.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Oh they deserve it too, but they weren’t the ones that initially announced it. If I remember correctly they also confirmed it was exclusive when asked, and not a timed exclusive. MS have so far refused to confirm a time period for this exclusivity & went so far as to basically say it’s none of our business, while the others have also said nothing. Which leads me to conclude they’re not allowed to, otherwise why would they keep their fans on other platforms in the dark?

          • CAE9872

            Yeah some insight into the exclusivity deal would be justified if you now all comment that it is timed. Just say – a year, 3 months, 50 billions years, whatever. Can’t hurt now I would think.

          • Sith JJ

            50 billion years seem a bit unrealistic. I mean, what’s the chance Squeenix will still be around in three years at the rate they’re going now?

          • CAE9872

            Hyperbole

    • Sith JJ

      It’s funny you should say “platform exclusives sell platforms” (with which I agree, of course). But does that mean PC’s sell themselves? ;P

      • Alien Emperor Trevor

        Why would you need to sell a PC? Everyone wants one, unlike those other… things.

        • Sith JJ

          It just sucks that pc’s are so exorbitantly expensive these days where the consoles and their games are getting cheaper by the day ;)

        • CAE9872

          It’s OK those “other…things” are not all pure evil.

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Hehe I know, but don’t tell anyone I said that.

          • Sith JJ

            Well, this had been enlightening. ;)

  • CAE9872

    No it isn’t – no gamer has an entitlement to “their” game! You played Tomb Raider since you were born on PS…well tough its going to Xbox for while. WE as the gamer have no right to the game in the first place.

    But ruining the industry – hell no. On that basis then why doesn’t everyone throw their toys over Halo, Last of Us, Forza, Gran Turismo i.e. platform exclusives? It is no different being – to entice gamers to your platform.

    Please note there is a difference between “ruining the industry” versus you being happy about it.

  • R4ziel

    I think it does in some situations quite hurt the industry indeed. Look at the tomb raider thing for example, although I dont agree with the way gamers handle complaints I agree with what they are saying. Tomb Raider has since its inception and before consoles could run it been on PC and we supported the living crap out of that game for years, but now that the console kids are in the picture, the Master Race has to wait to play our game again. What would the reason behind timed exclusives be? Its not like im going to buy Tomb Raider if I wasnt because its now exclusive on my Playstation One X4 library and me playing it is a big finger to anyone else on PC, even for a little while?

    Complete exclusives I somewhat understand, look at Forza for example, its always been an exclusive and they have perfected the code to a degree, now to do that on another console would maybe not be so hard. But if they say its to hard to dev for one console, and then port it 2 months later anyway, that pisses me off.

    Imagine I had an XBoX (yep, imagination greatly required here) and a PC, I would buy the game on PC and if I enjoy it and want to play it with friends on a drunken night of MKX or whatever, maybe ill even buy it there too. So if it was exclusive I would only buy it once.

    Maybe im missing something here…

    • Lardus-Resident Perve

      Was it not released for DOS (PC for the young folk), Playstation and Sega Saturn? I remember playing it on my Sega Saturn back in the 90s. Rented the game from a video shop.

      “The original game, titled Tomb Raider, made its debut on the Sega Saturn, PlayStation, and PC. It was one of the major titles responsible for the PlayStation’s success in the mid-1990s, and helped ship over 100 million PlayStation consoles.”

      • R4ziel

        Haha you are correct good sir, maybe a bad example then :) but you still get the point though. Now making it a Xbox exclusive (even if timed) is nt going to magically make me buy an Xbox, I’d much rather be pissed off that they are screwing me over on purpose.

        • Sith JJ

          I feel exactly the same. Just like how PC gamers reacted to GTA V. Did we go out and buy consoles? Hell no. We’ve only come to hate Rockstar a little bit more for doing that.

          • R4ziel

            Exactly, and how many would have bought GTA V on PC if they released it for us? Granted half would probably pirate the crap out of it, but even if 1000 people buy a legit copy, thats money in their pockets they didnt have. Maybe there is something going on behind the scenes were not seeing?

            If I made a game and published it, I would do it for everything that would ever be able to run it, even if its just barely. I would want as much people as possible talking about it and playing it. I dont understand exclusives it seems.

          • Sith JJ

            I think exclusives work for those who have the money to buy every platform and for those who aren’t fanboys and use it to decide which console to buy.
            It just pissed me off that I supported Rockstar through the years, buying their games on pc and then they decide to f*&# me over by not offering GTA V to pc gamers.
            All it does is influence me to support those companies that do offer games on all platforms even more.

          • R4ziel

            But it would still be freaking stupid though, being manipulated into buying an Xbox now because you want to play TR earlier, so what the heck is the point?

            Ive always wanted to play Forza and Gran Turismo through the years, but I had a PC and couldnt play them , So I didnt buy a PS , I just didnt care about their games any more.

          • CAE9872

            Programming for “everything” cannot be as simple as that. And there must be a reason they didn’t make it for PC – whether it be staffing issues, back-room deals, whatever.

            But it is Rockstar’s decision as to what they do – and yours how you respond to that.

          • R4ziel

            I agree, and understand what your saying, therefor my reaction is not to go throw blood soaked ponies covered in sprinkles through their windows, I just carry on playing whichever game I prefer on my platform of choice :)
            PS: Nosgoth on PC is freaking epic!!!

        • Lardus-Resident Perve

          Yup, I understand the point and the frustration. Now what grinds MY gears, is exclusive DLC grrrrrrrrrr

          • R4ziel

            Were not going there as I am trying to avoid swearing om my Disqus account… XD

  • Sith JJ

    I recall a simpler time when some games were on PS1 and some games weren’t. Some games were on pc and some weren’t. And people didn’t care because that’s just how it was.

    But taking a game that’s been on other platforms and suddenly making it exclusive. Well, that’s just idiotic and traitorous to your customers.

  • Darren Peach

    I think it is a problem because it creates anger through consumer manipulation and breeds fanboy syndrome.Ask yourself this, What happened to just being a gamer ? Now we are forced to pick a side through financial blackmail.Not everyone can afford to play on all platforms.

    • Norm

      ^This!

    • CAE9872

      I will have to disagree – the entire point of any developer, publisher and console/PC maker is to make money! Pretty much.

      So of course its financial blackmail – but then you need to decide what to do and also realise you cannot afford everything in life. I want an Aston Martin but will never ever afford one. I don’t go bitching and threatening the motor industry about how they have taken something away from me. Yes I know it is different and not best example maybe, but games are unique as well.

      • Darren Peach

        That is part of the problem.We accept it too readily.The best thing I have seen in years was the outcry from the gamer community forcing Microsoft to do a 180 in terms of the bonkers requirements for owning a XBox One. But I guess being a lifetime gamer has made me question the direction that the commercial side the medium has taken, A loss of innocence.

        • CAE9872

          Couldn’t agree more re: MS issues. But those issues they originally had is on a whole different level to this topic.

          Can you imagine the creek poor MS would be in now if they had not relented – man it hardly bears thinking. And in that regard gamers united – it was a joy to see.

          This though – nah it isn’t nearly as big a deal in my opinion. Sure it pisses us off perhaps, but ruining gaming? Personally I don’t think so.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    Yes! It’s a practice for the shadiest of shady pond scum. It’s a different matter when your funding a game under your corporate umbrella. It’s a different matter if you save a developer from going under and their next game is destined to be exclusive. It’s disgusting when you PAY developers to drop support or drop a multiplatform game and turn it into an exclusive. That is bullshit. That shit needs to get kicked in the Ben Kuchera.

    • CAE9872

      Why?

    • J_Joestar

      yeah, look at Dreamfall Chapters being console exclusive to PS4 now despite…

      https://www.facebook.com/RedThreadGames/posts/495723240509125

      • demfax

        Dreamfall Chapters is only timed exclusive on PS4.

        https://twitter.com/RedThreadGames/status/500314969419055104

        • J_Joestar

          that still doesn’t stop it from being shady considering they’ve outright said that N was the first console manufacturer to approach them and that they got a dev kit and praise their help and support a year ago.

          • demfax

            I don’t know about that but apparently they’re open to Wii U or other consoles after PS4.

  • Ryanza

    There are three games that are ruining the gaming industry. Call of Duty, Clash of Clans, Candy Crush. The industry is trying to tailor most games around those 3 games.

    • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

      You sir win the internet!

    • CAE9872

      No one game ruins the industry! And right now it would appear quite a few game developers are trying to move away from the template you envisage.

      • J_Joestar

        well he isn’t really blaming it all on 1 game, he is blaming 3.

        • CAE9872

          This is true

  • Wraith

    I’m all for the general concept of exclusives i.e. a publisher investing their cash into a new/their own IP which results in an awesome game being released for their platform (Uncharted, Forza etc).

    What really annoys me is when Microsoft and Sony throw cash at third party developers in order to purchase timed exclusivity which only marginalises and ANNOYS they rest of the gaming community.

    While I don’t particularly like how Sony is getting exclusive content for Destiny (from my understanding it’s mostly aesthetic content), what I can’t stand is when Microsoft essentially bribes publishers into only releasing initially on their platform.

    Sorry for the rant. TL;DR make sure you have a PS4, Xbone and pc and just buy the definitive edition.

  • Sith JJ

    The console makers are not to blame here. They are looking out for their customers by giving them exclusives.
    The game developers are the ones who are creating a problem by allowing their games to be made exclusive.

    • Viking Of Science

      This is why Console makers have 1st Party Studios, to make exclusives. but what I’m seeing here, especially from Microsoft, is a lack of trust in their Owned Studios. Why Else would they approach companies like Crytek and Crystal Dynamics to “buy” exclusives?

      • Sith JJ

        Because it might potentially bring them more customers. They don’t give a crap about the longevity or the history of a game. They care about getting a larger portion of the console market. And if this is the way they’ll get it, that’s what they’ll do. Microsoft isn’t in the business of only making consoles, they’re in the business of making business. I still blame the developers, because their loyalty should lie with their customers and fans.

  • Viking Of Science

    In extremely dumbed down terms: No Exclusives = No Console Competition. If You Own a PS4, Why would you buy a WiiU if you could get Bayonetta 2 on your System.

    Without Exclusives, There would cease to be a console war, and there would eventually be only one Gaming System. And that’d be boring as Hell!

    • CAE9872

      That is a good point.

    • R4ziel

      Why would it be boring if EVERYONE was playing on one platform? Say PC for example, no more empty servers, no more wondering whether youll find a game, MMo’s would really be as massive as they claim… I dont see that as boring…

      • Viking Of Science

        if there’s no competition, would anything New and exciting be made? I’m not so sure, I mean, over the past few years, we’ve seen multiplatform games devolve into Greybrown shootathons with little to no innovation. (of course there are exceptions) and all the sequels!. Think about it. How Different from AC2 was AC4 really? Besides the setting and Naval combat? Has Halo really evolved since it’s first iteration? Even GTA hasn’t changed much since 3 back in 2002….

        • R4ziel

          Im almost sure Call of Duty on PS 4 and on Xbox isnt cometing with eachother…
          Pc’s will always evolve in tech because the games would get better and better.
          Having one console only will give the devs the chance to fight on equal grounds to make the best game they possibly can, and not see where they can make the most money off a console exclusive by skimping on GFX and dev time…

      • Sith JJ

        I like how you say PC’s would be the only platform. I can support this ;)

        • R4ziel

          I fully and unashamedly support the PC master race, dreaming of a day console peasants reminisce around a overheated Xbox about their beloved consoles that died out years ago because the argument of PC’s being better was always true.

          • Kromas of City17

            Valve is working hard to realize your dream.

          • Sith JJ

            Already sold my soul to Valve (on sale)

          • R4ziel

            Paise LorD GabeN and pray that he will save us from these lesser beings, uplifting and enlightening our souls with the magic of summer sales and humble bundles. Take me to a better place I pray thee, LoRD GabeN

          • Darren Peach

            LOL

          • Darren Peach

            Haaaaaallffffff Liiiifffffe 3

          • R4ziel

            The prophecy of Half Life 3 will be delivered upon us when we as humans deserve such divinity and have suffered enough to earn the greatness that it brings, for now we have to live our lives and spend our worldly money on steam sales as a sacrifice to the steam lord in hopes that our offering will one day be enough. . Lord GabeN is always wise in his ways and is the only saviour of our world. Praise thee LorD GaBeN, initiator of steam sales, lord ofthe PC master race.

  • Charl van der Merwe

    Steam iOS in your living room streaming from your gaming pc!
    Need consoles for what!
    *does master race dance*

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