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Why Consoles Exclusives are Necessary


Video games have two main jobs. To make money, and please their fan base. Game developers create indulging stories and a fun experience to please the customer and satisfy them with an experience that they hopefully never forget. If they please their fan base, it will grow as more people try it, and thus profits will generate for the company. This growing fan base and gaining profits also helps promote the console that it is being played on. Many ways that developers cut costs and get valuable partners is through console exclusives. In most cases exclusives are seen as a good thing for the developers, from the perspective of the consumer they are just as ludicrous and evil as paid downloadable content (DLC). Although, many fans don’t realize how key these exclusives are and how they are evolving into something that consumers will likely accept.

PlayStation 4, without a doubt, has many more console exclusives than Xbox One and other consoles, but the majority of them haven't gained much attention. Many would say that developers limit their audience by focusing on one console and possibly limit their profits. This is not necessarily true, but still happens for many games and like I said limits their attention time because they only deployed on one platform. One thing that many people do not understand is that this is how many consoles are sold, through exclusives. In many cases, console giants bundle console exclusive games with their hardware so consumers not only buy a game they want, but also buy a console that only runs that specific game. This may be clever marketing, but there is no denying that it works. Limiting your game to one platform can also help you get publishers that can help spread your game to the masses. This can significantly get smaller developers noticed, like when Electronic Arts partnered with Respawn Entertainment to help publish Titanfall, which was an exclusive for the Xbox family at the time. This attempt worked very well in that it sold over 10 million copies of the game. In the long-run, the game may have not been as anticipated, but the developers and publishers made a bang for their buck and helped sell millions of Xbox consoles.

When Halo 5 was announced for Xbox One without a Xbox 360 counterpart, many fans were forced to upgrade to the new console so they could continue their great journey. Halo 5 was a system seller when the Xbox One was released and still receive free updates and a loyal fan base with one of the best multiplayers of the series. Being on one platform creates a sense of unity between the players and developers so one side is not favored over the other and allows for more dedicated game developers. On the contrary, other game developers would like the see equal distribution of the game, but fail to please everyone. Bungie’s Destiny is created for both the Xbox and Playstation that favors the Playstation consumers. Ever since Destiny was released, Bungie has given Playstation owners digital exclusives. Only a couple months later where they may or may not be released on Xbox. Although this seems noble by releasing on both platforms, Xbox owners feel like they have been kicked to the curb and neglected as Playstation get little exclusives for every DLC. Xbox players feel as if they essentially pay for less, while Playstation owners pay the same but receive more. Nonetheless, the marketing stunt succeeded and Playstation sales skyrocketed, and forced Microsoft to lower the price on their console.

These reasons may seem very negative, but they still boost sales of consoles and eventually create a war between the giants of competing by price until another exclusive is released and the cycle goes around again; sales increase, competitor lowers price, competitor gains market share and eventually the ball is in the other court, ready to serve. This helps the customer by getting a lower price for a console. But timed exclusives may heal this heated debate where one console is favored for a temporary time and then released on the other console a few months later. While things will still be dicey it will hopefully heal the wounds that many giants have suffered from loss of fan base and sales of potential games.
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