It was recently announced that Rise of The Tomb Raider will be exclusive to the XBOX One for an entire year. After E3 this year I made the point that console tribalism isn’t good for the industry and that both the XBOX One and PS4 were becoming more distinct platforms with different identities and target audiences. So when a third party title like Tomb Raider continues the timed exclusive nonsense that has made elements of Destiny’s loot infuriating, I’m ready to start calling foul every time this happens. Entrenching loyalty is totally fine if it’s done through perks or free games like Microsoft’s “Games with Gold” program, but keeping a game hostage to your platform for a year? This just isn’t helpful.
No one is impressed
First, the main issue with this is that no large portion of the console community is sitting on their hands waiting for the next Tomb Raider before buying a next-gen console. And even if a small percentage of consumers are doing this, there can’t possibly be enough to make up the money spent on a yearlong timed exclusive for an entire game. The profit margins on console sales is typically pretty thin, so it’s hard to believe this will have any tangible or measurable ROI.
Second, this appeals to the console tribalism I’ve talked about before. It fuels the ego and bragging rights of players who continually hijack Twitch streams, forum posts, and blogs with ravenous “master race” trolling. Do we really need more bickering about which console is best or has the most to offer? E3 was so refreshing because it wasn’t about that, it was about the games and what they offered. Do you want a graphically strong and ground breaking exclusive single player game? PS4 has you covered. Want exclusive multiplayer focused first party titles? XBOX One is the way to go.
This is just an unnecessary tug-of-war that ends up hurting the players. Keep in mind I have an XBOX One and will get this game a year early, and I still think this is bad for gaming and the gaming community at large. Sony is scooping up content timed exclusives for Black Ops 3 and they are doing it again with Destiny. So is this the future of console gaming for XBOX and Playstation owners? A stupid squabble where two big companies throw money at game developers for timed exclusives and fracture games and their content? We can have a comparison of title libraries or graphical abilities and help establish which console is the best for each gamer. But do we really need to chop up games, delay them and some of their content for a year? Aren’t there better ways to foster loyalty? Games with Gold and other perks seem to be far better ways to reward and foster loyalty than frustrating player bases. And nobody can point the finger at one console and say, “Well they started it!” because both companies continue to do it. If you don’t like timed exclusives when you are on the other side of them, you should be against them across the board. Let’s start owning our gaming hobby as a group and unite against practices that only benefit the companies and not the players.
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