Exclusives in the video game industry are a necessary evil. The big companies need them to drive sales of their consoles that in turn pay the salaries of those making the games. Series such as Gears of War, Halo, Uncharted or God of War will never appear on rival platforms, simply because the studios that make the games are owned by Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo.
There are also exclusives made by third-party developers. This is not a problem, provided it’s a new IP, such as Bloodborne, which was made by the same studio that brought us the Dark Souls series. It can get a bit complicated, but even the very first ‘Souls’ game remains PlayStation exclusive, which is fine as it was a new IP back then, so no harm done.
The issue I have is when established franchises go the exclusive route, ruining it for the fan base that played it on a format it was once available on. While I understand that it’s business, and that companies like Sony and Microsoft want to bank on the popularity of a series in order to sell their hardware, I don’t understand how big companies such as Square Enix, Capcom and Ubisoft can forget about the loyal fans that helped make the series popular in the first place.
Yes, I am talking about Rise of the Tomb Raider. Yes, I am talking about Splinter Cell: Conviction. Yes, I am talking about Resident Evil 4. I can go on listing different games that went the exclusive route, but that will take a while. These are just some of the big names that went the exclusive route and pissed off a lot of fans.
But why? Why do publishers keep getting into bed with Microsoft or Sony? Well, they’ve been seeing some results… although the results are arguably mixed. They know we, the gaming community, suffer from FOMO in a big way, so they keep exploiting that. So who is to blame then? Yes, it is us, the ones who buy the games. If we stop giving in to the temptation to buy the games (because we love the series, right?) then maybe they will think twice before making such deals. Maybe I’m just being dramatic, and there’s really nothing we can do about such nefarious deals.