The issue of Rise of the Tomb Raider being exclusive on the Xbox One seems to have raised the ire of many gamers and, I think, rightly so. Today I want to ask you what you think about 'exclusive' video games in general. Do you like them? Are they problematic? Let us know your thoughts.
I have mixed feelings. I think what happened with Rise of the Tomb Raider is an anti-consumer move. We're talking about a game that most likely started life as a multi-platform release. Most likely there was money placed on the table to make the game exclusive to the Xbox One (either for the lifespan of the game or for a specific period of time). I think that's... not ideal if you're a consumer. Microsoft has essentially spent money to withhold the game from people who only own PlayStation 4 consoles. If it was intended to be an Xbox One exclusive from the start, Microsoft would most likely have announced that at E3 when the game was revealed.
But the issue is complicated.
I'm far less inclined to be irritated when the game has been funded and supported by either Microsoft, Sony or Nintendo from the start of development. For some reason that feels different. I'm talking about Microsoft's support for Titanfall, or Sony's support for Bloodborne. That feels different. The narrative shifts in that case. The exclusive becomes a game built from the ground up for a specific piece of hardware. We feel as if there is value in that. A game starts to assume a certain identity as a 'PlayStation' or an 'Xbox' game. With Tomb Raider it's all too easy to feel cynical. It feels different.
Finally, my main issue is the way in which both Sony and Microsoft use the word 'exclusive' to mislead consumers. Information is being deliberately obscured here. When does the exclusivity deal end? Does it end? Consumers are being misled. When these exclusivity deals pop up I think it's patently unfair to not give consumers the full story. To wait or not to wait? We should be provided with an amount of information that allows us to make an informed choice.
That's my quick thoughts on the matter — what say you?