In the current gaming landscape there are a few things that tend to get under my skin but there’s one thing that bothers me more than most. More and more often I am starting to see game publishers making content exclusive to certain consoles and those consoles alone. Timed exclusives, which bother me to a degree, are at least something I can understand if only from a business perspective. What I’m more choked up about is developers and publishers making a few missions, custom gear and other perks solely to get gamers to buy a title for a certain console. A current example is Ubisoft’s heavy hitter Watch_Dogs, hitting retail at the end of this month, which will feature an exclusive 60 minutes of content for PS3/PS4 owners.
Watch_Dogs isn’t the only title that Ubisoft has released with this type of DLC treatment either. In fact they seem to be one of the largest perpetrators for this annoying practice. Assassin’s Creed 3 had its Benedict Arnold DLC, Far Cry 3 had additional co-op content and even Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag had exclusive content with a mission for AC: Liberation’s main character Aveline. Not to be outdone Tom Clancy’s The Division will be getting some Xbox One exclusive content as well so it’s clear that this isn’t a publisher favouring one console over the other as there is exclusive content being used to sway gamers in both camps.
Although Ubisoft has set this trend in my eyes we can’t forget that other publishers are doing this as well. Take Activision for instance, announcing that Destiny will have exclusive PS3/PS4 content. In the past something similar was done with the Skylander’s franchise where some of the toys were packaged only with certain consoles. Sure, in the case of Skylander’s this was mostly a cosmetic change, but in early instances Dark Spyro was only available on 3DS (it is possible to find him in single packs in a few countries now but not in mass release) so what if I really wanted Dark Spyro?! Am I going to head out and buy a new 3DS? Not likely, but then of course I’ll be forced to pay a premium auction house price from some jerk-off selling it for $300 on ebay. Hardly fair to the average fan!
This is the type of exclusivity that this gamer personally doesn’t want to see becoming a habit and I hope gamers around the globe will speak out against this. As a gamer I don’t think publishers should be punishing me because I chose one console over the other or just couldn’t afford both. Not everyone can afford over $1000 dollars to pay for two consoles and accessories just to make sure they get everything that is available in a title. Or in some cases (specifically my case) you might be able to afford it but your wife just won’t let you buy another one. She thinks it’s a waste of money, if you have one you certainly don’t need the other. I mean let’s not get into the fact that she is COMPLETELY WRONG as that’s a whole other issue entirely but overall there are plenty of reasons why gamers only buy one console. My question is why are we being punished for it?
On the flip side there’s the dilemma for gamers who love gaming on everything imaginable and are lucky enough to own both consoles. They are forced into making a choice based on all this content being made exclusive. They want content ‘A’ only on Xbox even though all of their friends are getting it for the opposing console so now what do they do? Perhaps they end up buying both so they can enjoy all aspects of that title for the additional content along with the ability to play with their friends. Seems a whole lot of win for the game publishers and a whole lot of extra burden on gamers… right in their wallets. It’s no question that this is a business of making money but it shouldn’t be on the backs of hard working consumers with limited funds to spend.
Sure, there are all kinds of different promotions like this happening at retailers near you, promises of certain skins, weapons, early beta access, etc from pre-ordering from Walmart, EB Games, Best Buy, and so forth. We also have timed exclusive DLC which I mentioned before but in the end that content makes it to the gamer no matter what console they game on… even if it costs them a meager few dollars.
So, I’m putting my gripe out there and hopefully other single console gamers will join me in letting publishers know that we are tired of getting the shaft when our most anticipated game releases content on that “other” console. Make content accessible to everyone rather than giving console fanboys another piece of ammo to fire with. Stop being swayed by what seems like some under the table action going on between you and Sony or Xbox and stand up for the gamers that support your livelihood. Make content accessible to everyone or maybe this gamer and others might not even bother picking up your games at all.