Why Exclusivity Is Ruining the Future of Gaming

Exclusivity is becoming worse for the future of gaming. Platform exclusive content and modes are trending recently. Studios are alienating other platforms in favor of one platform only. These practices need to end to ensure all content available for all gamers without restrictions based on preference.

Why Exclusivity Is Ruining the Future of Gaming Cover

I have to say this. Exclusivity is terrible for gaming. Now hear me out, before the banters of console wars and arguments for each side of the gaming spectrum. I am a massive fan of all things gaming. I love going on dangerous trivial escapades with Nathan Drake on the PS4. A pleasant drive racing through the scenic courses in Forza Horizon on my Xbox One. Including smashing up the competition in Super Smash Bros. Ultimate on my Switch. Also, I love the frantic joys of playing CS:GO on my PC. I even enjoy a good mobile game or two. So yes, I enjoy the many avenues gaming has to offer. So why is exclusivity ruining the future of gaming?

I am not saying all exclusivity is terrible for gaming. As much as we could dream, Mario will never be featured on an Xbox game. Also, God of War will never appear on a Nintendo system. However, there is an upside to exclusivity because it does encourage a spirit of competition amongst competitors, which is great for us gamers to bring quality titles to our homes. However, there have been some very shady practices that go beyond conventional exclusivity. I am talking about missing content, locked modes, and much more. These practices play into more corporate favors and contracts than gamers. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Content Blocked By Exclusivity

Spidey is swinging to Marvel's Avengers in 2021 for PlayStation owners only.

Spidey is swinging to Marvel’s Avengers in 2021 for PlayStation owners only.

The subject of content being blocked or withheld due to exclusivity is more apparent these days. This practice’s latest observation is of Call of Duty Black Ops: Cold War Zombies Onslaught mode that will be exclusive to the PS4 and PS5. Now that is good for PlayStation owners, but for everyone else – a big old frowny face. On top of that, this mode will not be available on the rest of the consoles for a whole year. This isn’t the first time Activision has done this. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare’s Special Ops Survival Mode was also exclusive to the PS4 when the game was released, and was available a year later.

How is that fair to everyone else who has to pay the same price tag for the same game? It’s not fair. It’s favoritism due to contractual agreements that cater to a select crowd and not the whole. Another example of this is the controversial decision from Crystal Dynamics to make Spider-Man an exclusive character in Marvel’s Avengers for PS4 and PS5. Meaning you won’t see the web-slinger in the Xbox or PC version. It would be more convenient for Crystal Dynamics to give Xbox and PC players their own exclusive character like Black Panther, Guardians of the Galaxy, etc. Examples like Soulcalibur 2 that offered Link for GameCube, Heihachi Mishima for PS2, and Spawn for Xbox, make for an excellent way to satisfy everyone.

This would ensure no player feels left out. Spider-Man could have been included since Marvel’s Avengers has no correlation to Insomniac’s Spider-Man Universe. Also, Spidey has appeared in non-Sony exclusive titles such as Marvel’s Ultimate Alliance 3: The Black Order for the Nintendo Switch. 

Microsoft’s Purchase Of Bethesda And What It Could Mean For Gaming

Bethesda is coming to other platforms, but how different will it be from the Xbox versions?

Bethesda is coming to other platforms, but how different will it be from the Xbox versions?

Microsoft shocked the gaming world recently with its acquisition of Zenimax Media, the parent company of Bethesda. You know, the team that brings you beautiful titles of pure mayhem in Doom and wanderlust of exploration within The Elder Scrolls and Fallout series. Why is this purchase so important? Well, it marks a huge step in what could be a disastrous new trend in gaming. I am not saying Microsoft is entirely wrong for purchasing the studios, but it ultimately depends on what they do moving forward. Even I made a suggestive article on the companies they could acquire next.

However, Microsoft could have Bethesda titles only on Xbox consoles and Windows PCs. Think about the movie industry and how Disney buys many intellectual properties. Microsoft could follow suit within the gaming world. I doubt it, but the possibility is still there. You could argue and say that “Sony does this all the time.” However, I would say most of Sony’s studios have been a part of the company for a long time. They are natural to the PlayStation family, same as Halo is a part of Microsoft’s family. Bethesda is different because their games span across multi-platforms, not just one.

Luckily for PlayStation owners including myself, Microsoft likes to play fair. Microsoft execs even suggests having Bethesda games to be “first or best” on their consoles while not pulling away from other platforms. So not all is lost. PS5 players will likely quest in The Elder Scrolls VI, just not as good or sooner on an Xbox Series X. I would suggest Bethesda leave out the game-breaking bugs and glitches and keep the one that gives us infinite loot. However, Microsoft could restrict content or modes to comfort more of their player base than other platforms. Which is very wrong if Microsoft decides to go this direction.

So Will Exclusivity Ruin The Future Of Gaming?

The future is bright for both gaming giants.

The future is bright for both gaming giants.

Well, yes and no. Exclusivity has been good for gaming in the way of creating a spirit of competition. Think about the console wars in the late ’80s and early ’90s with Nintendo and Sega. Both companies were pushing to deliver great content to their fanbase. The only difference was one company has an Italian plumber and the other a furry blue hedgehog. Exclusives will always be around, and nothing is changing that. Yes, it would have been keen to see Spider-Man swing his way on an Xbox console or Master Chief making a cameo on a PlayStation title, but it will never happen. And if it does happen, that is called copyright infringement, and there is no amount of mods worth serving jail time for.

However, all jokes aside, exclusivity is shifting in a dismal direction if studios decide to give more content to one platform and not the other. It’s called fairness, and I feel these practices do not encourage gaming as a whole. Why is there a penalty for a preference? Paywalls like restricted DLC and microtransactions are already downgrading games. Now gamers have to worry about what console they play on to gain additional content that should already be available on all platforms.

Not everyone has access to all platforms, especially with a global pandemic and scalpers running around. If studios want full support from their fanbase, they should stop such petty practices to encourage more support for everyone regardless of their platform of choice. Just look at Marvel’s Avengers dwindling player base. I wouldn’t say karma, but I bet they wish Spider-Man can be on Xbox now, right? Console restricted content needs to end. Remember, no matter what platform we play on, we are all gamers here.

Marvel's Avengers | Kate Bishop - Taking AIM Trailer

What do you think about the future of exclusivity in gaming? Leave your comments below.

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Jo

Without exclusives, there’s no point of buying consoles. Why do you think Playstation has been winning since last gen. Cut it out.

doookaanahs

Pointing figures mainly at Microsoft, while we sit here still unable to play Demons Souls like 20 years in because we don’t own a PlayStation.

The worst examples of exclusivity lockouts are when entire Titles, especially masterpiece level titles, are unavailable to anyone without a specific console. Sony is the worst offender there, by far.

Nobody should give a major hoot if one feature or one skin in a game is not available to them, while hardly caring that there are entire series they will never get to play.

Joey Hancock

Interesting points you make Jovan! I disagree to a point and I was inspired to write an article of my own explaining why – http://www.readyplayergone.com/editorials-opinions/a-response-to-keengamers-why-exclusivity-is-ruining-the-future-of-gaming/

I would love to hear your thoughts on my response!

Dial-1-800-Maury

This article reads like an Xbox Series X eulogy. It doesnt matter what console has what exclusive when they all make the Xbox Series X either crash or reboot. Xbox design, engineering, and build quality is trash. Xbox keeps releasing the same console with minimal improvements. You should worry about that first. A faster SSD doesn’t magically make an Xbox One into a PS5 competitor. And the new Xbox controller is a JOKE. Refurbs are already shipping out. Xbox is embarrassing.

Last edited 5 months ago by Dial-1-800-Maury
ProtonRob

Wow, does mommy make you cry in front of your friends? Talk about a bitter fanboy! LOL! Anyway child, the Series X consoles are more powerful than the PS5 so not sure what is more embarrassing your kiddie rant or your lack of knowledge on what you are desperately trying to talk about. Oh well, thank goodness real gamers on any system of choice are nothing like you. They are intelligent. You are granted permission to go back your pretend life now, sweetie.

Ken Cendron

i read this article with attention and came to the conclusion i wasted my time.

clanpsi

Butthurt Xbot crying about his platform of choice being sh!t. How cute.

disqus_GTFUQxdOdE

Said the pathetic retard that can barely go a day without his echo chamber at N4G.

clanpsi

I found another one!

ProtonRob

LOL, I know…N4G home of the crybaby Sony fangirls.

Steve Jackson

no its not. because if xbox was leading in hardware sales or had games, you wouldn’t see these articles. pretty lefty.

disqus_GTFUQxdOdE

Wrong. They’re still largely pointless and do not create the thing moron gamers think they do. There’s a reason Sony bleeds money, don’t pretend their exclusives fix it. They often make it worse. The ability to sell software on one less platform in a SOFTWARE business can and will be damning in an industry with skyrocketing development costs.

clanpsi

Yeah, there is a reason. It’s because they won’t shut down their smartphone division. It has nothing to do with Playstation.

ProtonRob

A loss is a loss child. It has everything to do with PS when it eventually affects the bottom line. You just aren’t a very bright bulb. A very good pawn but a very dull bulb.

ninja troudbal

nothing good here. you’re bagging up exclusive games and exclusive contents altogether.
that’s clearly not understanding how the gaming or entertainment industry works.

disqus_GTFUQxdOdE

It literally isn’t. Exclusive games works for one company. Nintendo. Really doesn’t work well for Microsoft or Sony in the long run.

StopTheSteal

Take your Gaming version of Socialism and just leave the hobby. Exclusives are necessary for companies to get players to favor their platform. You sound like AOC whining about poor people not having access to all their favorite games on one platform.

disqus_GTFUQxdOdE

You say that but it has no factual background. You merely think it does. Peddling socialism as an argument is pretty weak. If it was actually socialist the industry wouldn’t exist. Because it would have tanked decades ago.

Matthias Lachmund

Fucking ridiculous article seemingly from opposite world.

Jordi Geerts

Also I will just admit, I am using an adblocker. It is blocking well over 700 ads on your site. It makes your site embarrassingly slow.
“But we have to use ads cause of people like you”
If your site wasn’t DROWING in ads, I wouldn’t need an adblocker.

Karel Vik

Hello, well, that is not true. Your 700 ad requests come from videos which simply send requests all the time. And the site is well cached all over the world so it should not be slow if you are not on a page which was not visited for some time from your region. Then it can take several seconds to load…

Jordi Geerts

Thing is exclusives is all consoles have.
They do not have better graphics, performance, controls, no mods, custom games, fan games, barely any VR games, RTS games, cost more in the end, no free online, no cloud saves for every game, no BC and when they do it sucks, couch co op is a thing of the past, sales are pathetic, they are slow, they are not efficient at multitasking in the slightest, …

If people prefer them, it is fine but can someone actually say what consoles have besides exclusives?

Last edited 5 months ago by Jordi Geerts
Matthias Lachmund

Except even most PS4 exclusives look better than anything on PC. And each and ever PS5 exclusive so far does anyway.

disqus_GTFUQxdOdE

Sure explains why they sell like crap and Sony needs to wait a year to divulge sales, including holiday seasons featuring the game half off or more. Multiple times. Exclusives work for Nintendo because they understand their audience. Playstation and Microsoft as brands have no recognizably unique products. They have recognizable polish and structure. Without them? Generic AAA. Nintendo games are visibly Nintendo games. Exclusives stopped mattering last generation. Xbox barely had any and Sony couldn’t flip a profit on them. Time to move on to a better structure where they both make the games and fill out their platform… Read more »

disqus_GTFUQxdOdE

False. Consoles exist because the PC market is harder to get into. If I want to play a game on switch or Playstation or Xbox, I buy the box, I buy the game, I play. On PC there’s a dozen steps you may or may not take on the way to play the game, then the game itself my have all sorts of issues. And I’m a primarily PC gamer. The average Joe doesn’t like that crap. They just want a box that plays games and that’s fine. There’s a market for that. Exclusives by themselves this generation did almost… Read more »

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