Exclusives are not bad

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I noticed that a lot of people seem to despise exclusive titles.

"Why does Journey have to be only for the PS3!"
"Why is the special edition of Dues Ex going to be a WiiU exclusive?"

Or, to put it more bluntly:
"HOW DARE THEY GIVE ME A REASON TO BUY THAT CONSOLE!"

That, I assume, is the problem. People don't want to invest in a console because they hate Nintendo or Sony, thus are annoyed by exclusives. This I find rather vexing. The reason I didn't buy the PS3 was because of no outstanding exclusives*, not because of seeded hatred for Sony. I kept asking what the point was in the PS3 existing, if it was just the Xbox 360 with slightly more power. Answer: there was none. It was supposed to be a game console, so exclusive games are the most important incentive to buy it.

Same thing with the WiiU. I haven't bought it yet because not enough games I'm interested in are out for it. Don't be vexed because Nintendo managed to score some actual good games. Why should that bother you?

I also noticed that Nintendo and Sony are the only targets I've seen of this. Why not Microsoft? They suck! Definitely the worst console provider out of the three. I felt bad when Sony lost exclusives, not so much when it happened to Microsoft.

*When the PS3 got good exclusives, I had financial problems that delayed my purchase.

Forlong:
The reason I didn't buy the PS3 was because of no outstanding exclusives*, not because of seeded hatred for Sony. I kept asking what the point was in the PS3 existing, if it was just the Xbox 360 with slightly more power. Answer: there was none. It was supposed to be a game console, so exclusive games are the most important incentive to buy it.

So why do you, as a consumer, want more exclusive games? Isn't it a good thing that you can play most releases without having to buy multiple consoles?

I just don't want to spend more money. Having one universal platform would be super handy, but there's plenty of reasons why that will probably never happen and a few why it shouldn't.

A universal console would be bad, in all shapes and forms. Simply put, whoever the hell is producing it will be able to put out a bad/less than outstanding product and we can't say a thing, because it's the only option available.

What about the exclusives that don't make any sense though? Like Bayonetta 2 being exclusive to Wii U?

Forlong:
That, I assume, is the problem. People don't want to invest in a console because they hate Nintendo or Sony, thus are annoyed by exclusives.

A-a-a-and you assume wrong. I think we can agree that while SOME people may dislike a particular company, it'd be pretty hard to stop giving them money, provided the company still produces what they want. Insert obligatory MW boycott pic. What people don't like is spending more money. I don't have a console, and I don't want to have to buy one in order to play something specific. Other people may have, say, an Xbox and still not want to dish out more money on something different.

I don't so much mind exclusive games as I do games exclusive to one console cycle. The fact that games can disappear together with a console that's no longer being manufactured is fucking insane. Imagine if that shit happened with movies.

If we're gon' have different consoles, tailoring a game to take specific advantage of that console's hardware/software seems like a logical step. Of course consoles are essentially competing with each other using largely similar hardware and software, so it's fallen at the first hurdle; of course Nintendo seem to be the exception with the Wii and WiiU, but unfortunately for most of us that seems to largely cater to a more casual (and thus, less involved) audience, thus further not taking total advantage of the system's capabilities. Not saying that it doesn't do the job well for people who are that way inclined, but some variety would be nice.

Harman:
What about the exclusives that don't make any sense though? Like Bayonetta 2 being exclusive to Wii U?

Wasn't that due to it being picked up by Nintendo when no-one else would?

I've seen you talk about this before, and your position leaves me completely fucking baffled. It's like you're operating on a different plane of reality.

Why would you want to have to buy multiple consoles to play the games you want, when one console would be perfectly sufficient if they'd just stop this exclusivity bullshit?

How does that benefit you? How does it benefit anyone other than the console manufacturers?

...

Okay, let me put this another way.

Forlong:
I kept asking what the point was in the PS3 existing, if it was just the Xbox 360 with slightly more power. Answer: there was none. It was supposed to be a game console, so exclusive games are the most important incentive to buy it.

If something has no reason to exist, why should a reason be created?

Also, couldn't a console possess value based on its own features? Y'know, rather than on the number of developers the manufacturer manages to bribe into making their games exclusives?

I understand why they do it. It's good business, or at least they think it is. I accept that, but I don't have to like it.

Personally, I own a PS3. The only game that has really justified that purchase for me has been Journey. However, I'd prefer that Journey be made available on 360 and PC so other people could enjoy it as well.

Well for people who buy everything 3 times over I guess exclusives are the best thing possible, for anyone half sensible however it just makes a product unusable... and a dev making things unusable for their consumers is just really fucking dumb.

50 games I want to play won't get me to buy a console. Why? The reason is quite simple: I don't really like being forced to use one control peripheral... Ah, and I don't own a screen where I could play it on. And before I dump 400+€ for a TV and 200€-400€ for a console I'd rather pass on all those 'exclusives'. Not my money to lose.

Forlong:
That, I assume, is the problem. People don't want to invest in a console because they hate Nintendo or Sony

Most people are just not going to buy an entire platform for one or two games. I have remained a PC gamer since the PS2 and will not buy an Xbox for Gears of War 2 and 3 or a Playstation for Square's latest excuse for a Final Fantasy. If it's not on the computer I will not play it, barring the rare fighting game on my brother's xbox from time to time. So they're losing customers(there are others like me with varying platforms, believe me.) and we're losing games, that's the general idea.

Forlong:
People don't want to invest in a console because they hate Nintendo or Sony, thus are annoyed by exclusives.

Actually, it has more to do with the fact that I don't want to buy a console for one or two games. And, in my case, a TV to play that console on. The PS3 has exactly two games I'd want to play that I can't get on my PC: The HD remake of Final Fantasy X and Tokyo Jungle. I'm not buying a console for two games. And we're so late in the console's cycle that they're very unlikely to get anything else I can't play easier and cheaper on my PC. So we have two games, one of which is just a remake of a game from ten years ago. It just isn't a sound investment. And while dropkicking velociraptors with a deer sounds amazing, it isn't amazing enough to justify the console, television, and game. So yeah, a bit annoyed that it didn't get a PC release. I'd happily give them the money for what looks like a great game, but being an exclusive makes the cost way too high.

Well thats interesting. I've been saying for a while that with the rise of multiplatform gaming and the way the 360/PS3 stuck close together, then there's almost no particularly reason to choose one console over the other (except for if you would prefer to pay for Live and have cross party chat or not have cross party chat and not pay extra to use the online portion of a game) and it looks like that logic has been taken to the step where someone is actually arguing that less games should be available for any one platform so that they have something to choose between =D

Exclusives make a lot of sense for the companies having them. And they possibly have a small benefit for the games from increased specialisation and the publishers urge to turn it into something brand worthy, but thats balanced against losing 50% of your sales and so theoretically having 50% less budget (you probably save on advertising though). But generally people have more games available to them is always going to be a better situation.

And there are degrees of obnoxiousness to it. Big established single platform brands developed in-house are fairly understandable. Companies buying up the rights to sell third-party games (bayonetta etc) are a lot more annoying

I don't know about your financial situation, but most gamers can afford one or two platforms - it has nothing to do with hate. I don't expect every game to be on every platform (although this would be an ideal case for us, the consumers), but I do expect consistency: A sequel or a super enhanced much better edition (Can you tell I'm a Deus Ex fan yet?) to be on the same platform OR the successor to that platform.

As for the idea of exclusives as a whole: It's bad for consumers, as it would be ideal for us to be able to choose a platform on its own merits, and play all the games that we want on that platform.

Being a PC gamer, the only "exclusives" I worry about are the stupid content deals that are becoming more common with digital distributors -- a bad habit publishers seem to have brought over from their experiences in the console industry. Stuff like character outfits, unique weapons, pre-order bonuses, etc. The issue of console exclusives only affects me personally when it comes to us PC gamers missing out on the rare "must have" console-only title. No offense meant to anyone here, but the majority of titles that are ported over to the PC from Console Land are pure trash, and as far as I'm concerned the console industry is welcome to keep them.

One could argue that making PC games exclusive to certain clients like Origin or Steam is very similar to what the OP is writing about, and I honestly can't disagree with that outlook. Overall though, the issues of exclusivity in PC games isn't nearly the problem it seems to be with console games, and it's one of many reasons I haven't bothered with consoles in almost a decade.

I can't really feel sorry for dedicated console gamers -- you have to put up with the most inane anti-consumer business practices, yet you keep giving your money to the companies that make these decisions. Stop throwing money at them, and they'll eventually stop doing it.

As a consumer, it'd be in your and every other consumer's best interests if exclusives did not exist.

Not only would there be more options, you wouldn't have to buy a console or use a download service you don't want to play a game you do, and the game would actually get more sales if it was not exclusive.

So yes they're bad, for us, not for console companies.

Harman:
What about the exclusives that don't make any sense though? Like Bayonetta 2 being exclusive to Wii U?

It's not a case of Nintendo outbidding Sony or Microsoft to keep Bayonetta all to itself, it's that no one wanted to publish Bayonetta 2 at all, not Sega, not Sony, not Microsoft, no one but Nintendo would give Platinum a shot.

I have no problem with platform exclusivity for games. They're usually 1st party exclusives funded almost entirely by their parent platform, and most of the time this is incredibly beneficial to the end-product. Most of the PS3 exclusives e.g. kick some serious ass. Uncharted, Little Big Planet, Heavy Rain, etc.

However, I do have a serious problem with DLC or "Update" exclusivity to certain platforms, be it for a set time or forever. It's really stupid, I don't care one iota about contracts. (Here's looking at you Xbox)

Auron:

Forlong:
That, I assume, is the problem. People don't want to invest in a console because they hate Nintendo or Sony

Most people are just not going to buy an entire platform for one or two games. I have remained a PC gamer since the PS2 and will not buy an Xbox for Gears of War 2 and 3 or a Playstation for Square's latest excuse for a Final Fantasy. If it's not on the computer I will not play it, barring the rare fighting game on my brother's xbox from time to time. So they're losing customers(there are others like me with varying platforms, believe me.) and we're losing games, that's the general idea.

This is why I haven't bought a game or a movie in a long time. These days, I use a console (PS3) not just for playing games but for watching movies and streaming media. I'll buy the platform to play them but not the media itself. I simply rent out. It's more cost efficient.

Exclusives are an issue, but they are also one of the only incentives to buy one platform over another. I own a PC and an Xbox 360 but my preferred platform is the PC, as such I play the vast majority of my games on the PC, but some games like Gears of War, Halo and Red Dead Redemption are not available on the PC, therefore I am forced to play on a platform that I am not that comfortable with, to play games that I enjoy.

Locking off content to one platform has always been bad for the customer, as not everyone can afford to own every platform, and it limits what people can and cannot play.

Forlong:
I felt bad when Sony lost exclusives, not so much when it happened to Microsoft.

So you're okay with your own slanted approach, just not that of others.

King Aragorn:
A universal console would be bad, in all shapes and forms. Simply put, whoever the hell is producing it will be able to put out a bad/less than outstanding product and we can't say a thing, because it's the only option available.

Of course, with overall lackluster consoles for the "next gen" that sounds to me like a lateral move.

I don't understand the OP. At all. Sure exclusive titles can be sweet for Sony & Co., but I, too, completely fail to see how exclusives are supposed to be "not bad" for me as a consumer, in any shape or form.

For instance, I would love to play Journey, but I would I buy a PS3 just for one very very short game? Hell no... but apparently that's a good thing for me...?

WoW Killer:

Forlong:
The reason I didn't buy the PS3 was because of no outstanding exclusives*, not because of seeded hatred for Sony. I kept asking what the point was in the PS3 existing, if it was just the Xbox 360 with slightly more power. Answer: there was none. It was supposed to be a game console, so exclusive games are the most important incentive to buy it.

So why do you, as a consumer, want more exclusive games? Isn't it a good thing that you can play most releases without having to buy multiple consoles?

I don't mind games being exclusive so long as there's a legitimate reason for them being exclusive. For instance, RTS games are almost always exclusive to the PC because those type of games just don't work well with controllers. Many indie games are essentially forced to be exclusive to the PC or mobile sector due to the costs associated with porting/updating the game on consoles. Nintendo games being only on Nintendo systems makes sense.

What I have a problem with are franchises like Metal Gear Solid that needlessly restrict themselves to one platform when they could release their games on all platforms no problem (keep in mind that I don't really care that MGS4 was exclusive as I don't want to sit through hours upon hours of shitty anime-quality cutscenes). It's not only anti-consumer, but it shows how clueless the people in charge are. Do they not realize they could make way more money by releasing on all platforms!?

Exclusivity is rarely ever justified.

I would be inclined to agree with you, OP, but that's only one aspect of the topic. Yes, it's silly to demand that a game should come to your machine of choice simply because it is your machine of choice, but there's more to it than that.

For one thing, there's the simple argument that exclusives are bad simply because they're exclusives. It would be better if every game came out on everything, so everyone could share the love, and console of choice wouldn't even matter. Obviously there are problems with this in reality since not all machines have the same processing power, but it leads me on to another point.

I'm not so sure that it's a good thing that exclusives are important to what consoles we choose. It's an artificial and anti-consumer tactic employed by companies to differentiate themselves from companies with a similar machine, at the detriment to us consumers. We tend to look at things like Zelda or Halo as being special, at least partly because they're exclusives. As if they make the machine that they're exclusives to somehow better. But they don't really. The console is just a machine. If MS would allow it, Halo could run on the PS3, PC, or Wii U. Zelda could run on anything. But instead, these companies hoard the IP to themselves to create incentive for people to buy their console. They're limiting your options on purpose. This kind of practice has come under fire a lot in this industry lately, yet I've never seen anyone point out this instance of it, even though it's been going since the dawn of gaming. But instead we hold these games up as being exceptional for being exclusives, and we act as if they are granted to us as a gift.

It just adds to the fanboy mentality that these companies stir up to increase the zealousness of their fanbases, so they can get away with abusing and exploiting them more and more. They frame it as being as if owning a certain console is like being part of a special club that makes you better than everyone else, and your reward is that you get these special exclusive games. But in fact what's really going on is that they're keeping certain properties to themselves so you're forced to give them money if you want to join their special club that they're trying to make you believe exists. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem to fall for it.

Pink Gregory:

Harman:
What about the exclusives that don't make any sense though? Like Bayonetta 2 being exclusive to Wii U?

Wasn't that due to it being picked up by Nintendo when no-one else would?

Correct, Nintendo is paying for the game. If Nintendo had not done so, the game wouldn't exist.
Still find the "Well Nintendo should bring it to other consoles because it started there" comments funny.
The other console companies didn't want to make it so its not available for their consoles, plain and simple.

I wouldn't really compare Zelda to Halo. Halo was made by an outside company while Zelda is 100% owned by Nintendo.

King Aragorn:
A universal console would be bad, in all shapes and forms. Simply put, whoever the hell is producing it will be able to put out a bad/less than outstanding product and we can't say a thing, because it's the only option available.

What if it used an open specification, so that anyone could manufacture them, a bit like the PC but with a fixed, easy to use, sofa friendly platform?

You could possibly even write the spec to support future technology advances eg have one based around voxels, which don't provide unlimited detail but do allow a super-detailed environment to be automatically scaled down for an older machine trying to run it.

Bad Jim:

King Aragorn:
A universal console would be bad, in all shapes and forms. Simply put, whoever the hell is producing it will be able to put out a bad/less than outstanding product and we can't say a thing, because it's the only option available.

What if it used an open specification, so that anyone could manufacture them, a bit like the PC but with a fixed, easy to use, sofa friendly platform?

You could possibly even write the spec to support future technology advances eg have one based around voxels, which don't provide unlimited detail but do allow a super-detailed environment to be automatically scaled down for an older machine trying to run it.

At that point, you may as well hook your computer up to your TV. Controllers interface with PCs just fine, and if companies like Nintendo go "game only" then I would hope they go to computers instead of X-Box or, God forbid, Playstation. Consolidation is fine so long as there is still competition and there is plenty of competition in the PC market.

Harman:
What about the exclusives that don't make any sense though? Like Bayonetta 2 being exclusive to Wii U?

You picked the worst possible example there, it makes perfect sense for Bayonetta 2 to be exclusive. Things tend to get exclusivity when no-one else wanted them in the first place.

Sean951:

Bad Jim:

King Aragorn:
A universal console would be bad, in all shapes and forms. Simply put, whoever the hell is producing it will be able to put out a bad/less than outstanding product and we can't say a thing, because it's the only option available.

What if it used an open specification, so that anyone could manufacture them, a bit like the PC but with a fixed, easy to use, sofa friendly platform?

You could possibly even write the spec to support future technology advances eg have one based around voxels, which don't provide unlimited detail but do allow a super-detailed environment to be automatically scaled down for an older machine trying to run it.

At that point, you may as well hook your computer up to your TV.

I have, but there's still a lot of console fans who don't like PCs for some reason. How would the console I describe be worse than the consoles we have today?

So basically, exclusives are good because they are a marketing tool. You're happy to not be able to play all the games you want so that the companies who make the consoles that play the games you can't play give you a reason to buy their console when you already have a platform that would be capable of playing the game were it able to be played.

I don't like exclusives at all. With the exclusion of games that are fundamentally based around deviant control schemes or features that not all platforms have (read as: Nintendo platforms and maybe RTSs for PC), I don't think any game SHOULD be platform-exclusive. In real life, some games have to be exclusive for monetary reasons (indie games on PC and iOS, Bayonetta 2 (seethes) on Wii U), which is forgivable in smaller games that wouldn't be worth upscaling, but which still annoys me in large games. But in my opinion the worst kind of exclusive is sequels to previous games that were enjoyed on other platforms, by which I mean Monster Hunter on Nintendo platforms (despite Tri originally being cross-platform and not incorporating Wii controls in to any decent extent), the DE:HR Wii U exclusive that apparently allows different approaches to boss battles, a prevalent criticism of the game, and Bayonetta 2 on the Wii U, which have in each case caused me to lose a bit of my soul. I have enjoyed the Resistance series on PS3, along with many other Insomniac games, but I would not begrudge other platforms from having it if that was an option.

If you want to portray me as a biased f***, you might say I'm butthurt because two of my favourite series went to Nintendo and I'm too poor to buy a Wii U just for those. But I suppose that's basically the fact of the matter.

EDIT: To clarify, if a game is platform-exclusive for monetary reasons (like Bayonetta 2), it's not the developer's fault, and the publisher shouldn't be discouraged from funding it either, it's just nebulously unfair. If blame had to be attributed it would be Sega's fault for not funding it multi-platform and instead making to open to Nintendo to fund it just for their console.

Also, a problem I have specifically with Wii U exclusives is that at the moment they're basically bait-and-switches. Apart from the few exclusives they've gotten from other platforms, they seem to have no intention of making a catalogue of decent games so that people will be able to buy the Wii U for serious games and be satisfied with it alone. So it's annoying that they're trying to steal themselves a few sales from an audience that they don't have any intention to support the rest of the time.

Of coarse they are not bad! [1]

[1] when they are for the PC. PC gaming master race.

I tend to be against exclusivity, except for things that rather NEED a piece of hardware to work, like RTS games on the PC, or Eye of Judgment for the PS3.

For example, there is no god damn reason why those retards at rockstar should have made Red Dead Redemption for consoles and not the PC.

I think all games should work on all systems, like DvDs and Blurays. Hell, would you sit and twiddle your thumbs if DvD X only worked in a Sony machine and not a Panasonic machine? I dont think so. Let each individual console stand on its own merit, not the merit of the games it can artificially lock into its hardware.

Forlong:
I noticed that a lot of people seem to despise exclusive titles.

"Why does Journey have to be only for the PS3!"
"Why is the special edition of Dues Ex going to be a WiiU exclusive?"

Or, to put it more bluntly:
"HOW DARE THEY GIVE ME A REASON TO BUY THAT CONSOLE!"

That, I assume, is the problem. People don't want to invest in a console because they hate Nintendo or Sony, thus are annoyed by exclusives. This I find rather vexing. The reason I didn't buy the PS3 was because of no outstanding exclusives*, not because of seeded hatred for Sony. I kept asking what the point was in the PS3 existing, if it was just the Xbox 360 with slightly more power. Answer: there was none. It was supposed to be a game console, so exclusive games are the most important incentive to buy it.

Same thing with the WiiU. I haven't bought it yet because not enough games I'm interested in are out for it. Don't be vexed because Nintendo managed to score some actual good games. Why should that bother you?

I also noticed that Nintendo and Sony are the only targets I've seen of this. Why not Microsoft? They suck! Definitely the worst console provider out of the three. I felt bad when Sony lost exclusives, not so much when it happened to Microsoft.

*When the PS3 got good exclusives, I had financial problems that delayed my purchase.

Well people are annoyed about exclusives because it would be far simpler for us consumers if there was just one platform you could play everything on. Obviously this system works out well for the people who make the consoles, but it's obviously going to piss off people who would just rather play all the games they want to without having to buy a load of different machines, all of which do exactly the same thing, just because some marketing dick decided to make this game or that DLC exclusive to one platform.

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