Rise of The Console Exclusives and The Anger of The Gaming Community

Console exclusives. Anyone who played video games during the heydey of the console wars had to live with seeing their favorite games noted to be an exclusive for another system. Nintendo had Mario and Final Fantasy. Sega had Sonic and Phantasy Star. Then, when Sony entered the picture, they scored a major coup by making Final Fantasy VII, the flagship JRPG of the time, a console exclusive for their PlayStation.

But something odd happened after that. During the sixth/seventh console generation, things changed. The number of console exclusive titles seems to have died down. We saw some shocking changes, like Grand Theft Auto IV released on the Xbox 360. Games like No More Heroes made its way to the PlayStation 3. Even the later Final Fantasy games found a home on both Sony and Microsoft’s consoles.

There were still some console exclusive titles during this time. Games like Uncharted and Gears of War were only available for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, respectively. But these were games that were developed either by first or second party companies.

If this were a real fight, I'm betting on the beefy guy with the heavy body armor!

If this were a real fight, I’m betting on the beefy guy with the heavy body armor!

But lately, the console wars have taken a turn for the worse when it comes to console exclusivity.

Several weeks ago, it was revealed Rise of the Tomb Raider, the upcoming sequel to the Tomb Raider reboot, will have a limited exclusivity deal with Microsoft for both the Xbox One and Xbox 360. But, for me, the biggest game to be scooped up as a console exclusive would have to be Street Fighter V. The Street Fighter series has always been a multiplatform game; it has been since the 16-bit era. So, seeing it become an “only on PlayStation 4” is a big coup for Sony.

Now, I understand the business strategy behind making a game console exclusive. For the manufacturers of the consoles, it’s an opportunity to attract gamers who are on the fence regarding what console to get. If they want to get a specific game that just so happens to only be available on your system, then you have a potential customer.

For the developer and publisher of the game, it helps them focus on only one system, leading to probably lowering the budget for the actual development of that console exclusive game. Also, they will also get some financial help from the manufacturer of the console as well, leading to more money to help them make the best possible game. Sales targets are also going easier to meet because of the limited market.

Win-win, right? Well…

What they don’t know is how they are tearing down the goodwill they’ve possibly built up throughout the years of giving us multiplatform games.

As much as I love the Street Fighter series and I am going to get a PlayStation 4 soon because of console exclusives like The Last of Us, Uncharted, Until Dawn and No Man’s Sky, I don’t like the idea of Capcom pulling the console exclusive stunt on one of their bigger franchises like Street Fighter. If it were a timed exclusive like Tomb Raider, maybe I would understand. But making it only available on a Sony platform forever? Nope.

...And PC. I keep forgetting about PC.

…And PC. I keep forgetting about PC.

Even if I do understand the idea behind why they’re doing it, I still cannot accept the deal that was made. It just leaves a really terrible taste in my mouth. It feels like the cheap way out, especially when you consider that all previous Street Fighter games were available on different platforms, even during the 16-bit era! Many people feel the same way. Even on the Official PlayStation Blog announcing the exclusivity deal, many gamers have expressed their anger towards the deal.

I do hope Sony, Microsoft and Nintendo (yes, I’m looking at you, Bayonetta) take these comments to heart. If they want console exclusives, they should throw their large stacks of money at creating really great first party games, not signing up console exclusive deals that deprive the majority of the gaming world a game that deserves to be on different consoles.

Yes, business is business. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.

What’s your thoughts on the current state of console exclusives? Let me know in the comments section below.

13 thoughts on “Rise of The Console Exclusives and The Anger of The Gaming Community

  1. I kind of feel like the whole industry is trying to cope with changing generations. We now have avoid gamers who are in their 20s and 30s. They still love their games and have money to spend on them, but not always the time to play them. Then there’s the new generation, with little money but plenty of time. I feel like the industry is trying to appease the whole group.

    I’m not sure what exactly that has to do with game exclusivity, except that maybe it’s a system of an industry trying to find new ways to attack new gamers without losing old ones. There seems to be a bit f fumbling in the industry as a whole.

    Have you heard the rumor that the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One might be the last game consoles for Sony and Microsoft?

      • The article I read said it wasn’t the end of gaming though. I guess Sony is toying with streaming games directly to TVs, so if you have a Sony TV you essentially have the Playstation. Microsoft is allegedly looking at running games on windows.

    • It’s definitely the last one for Sony. They’re a dying company too poor to continue and are moving to the laggy and overpriced PS Now side of things for PlayStation. Handheld is already dead for them, it’s only a small matter of time before the same applies to their consoles.

      • I really want to deny that because I love the Playstation, but… well Sony hasn’t had a good time of it lately. And I know a lot of people who stream computer games to their TV. A lot of the big, multi platform titles are also on the PC and that’s cheaper than buying a new system.

  2. “deprive the majority of the gaming world”

    It’s on PS4 and PC. PS4 is the highest selling console, and everyone has a computer. The only ones who suffer are Xbone owners.

    • I think the majority of the professional Street Fighter IV players in the US are Xbox 360 owners. Most tournaments were actually on Xbox 360s for a time as well.

      As much as I dislike Microsoft for trying to pull those silly stunts (always online crap and the mandatory Kinect thing), I still think Xbox One owners should still have the game.

      • They will, just not the basic SF5. You can bet good fortune on the fact that a version of this will come to Xbox down the line, either a Super Turbo, or simply renamed to SF6. SF is the most milked gaming franchise on the planet. SF4 had a new version every year and this will be no different.

  3. In regards to your Bayonetta comment, none of the other publishers wanted it. The game is a sequel to one that was already published on playstation and Xbox. Do you honestly think that the developers wanted to make a WiiU exclusive so much that they gave up any chance of getting it published on the Xbox or the playstation? Nintendo was the only one willing to help fund it’s development. Of course it’s going to be exclusive to their system.

    • Sega really dropped the ball on this. They already had the rights to it and yet they didn’t want to publish the sequel.

      While Nintendo saved the game, wouldn’t it have been great if a quality game like Bayonetta 2 was available on all systems?

      • You say that, but the original game was excluded from Nintendo platforms and no one really complained about that until the sequel was released and even then, it was only nintendo owners who had never had the opportunity to play the first game before the second one. It would be great for gamers to have it on all systems, but for Nintendo, it would be a disaster. Hardly anyone would buy it for their system as most people would choose to buy it for the playstation or Xbox even if the did own a WiiU as well. It’s the same reason why ubisoft is not making anymore assassins creed games for the WiiU.

      • I kind of understood why the original Bayonetta only arrived a Nintendo system recently. When it was released in 2009/2010, Nintendo only had the Wii. I don’t think the original Wii could’ve handled Bayonetta. That’s why I didn’t have a problem with it being on Nintendo before.

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