Microsoft Again Stretches Definition Of ‘Exclusive’

Microsoft Again Stretches Definition Of ‘Exclusive’

One of the most annoying trends in video games is the word “exclusive”, which perhaps once meant “limited” or “restricted” but now, thanks to Microsoft and Sony, means absolutely nothing. Today’s big exclusive is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Which probably isn’t an exclusive.

At the Xbox showcase during E3 in June, Microsoft announced that the popular battle royale shooter would “exclusively” come to Xbox One this year. Then, yesterday during a Gamescom livestream, Microsoft added that it would be publishing the game on Xbox One. Wrote executive producer CH Kim on the Xbox blog: “We will be launching exclusively on Xbox One in the Xbox Game Preview program later this year and we can’t wait to see all the Xbox fans on the battlefield.”

This of course raises the question: Will Battlegrounds also come to other consoles — namely, PlayStation 4? Is it one of Microsoft’s infamous timed exclusives, like Rise of the Tomb Raider, which the company paid to keep solely on Xbox for a few months?

Let’s try to parse CH Kim’s language. “We will be launching exclusively on Xbox One in the Xbox Game Preview program later this year.” This could mean several things. It could mean that Battlegrounds is an exclusive to Xbox One, as it’s meant to imply. Or the “exclusively” could be tied to “later this year”, meaning that Battlegrounds is not actually an exclusive and will in fact launch on PS4 after some time.

Given Kim’s previous comments about Battlegrounds coming to PlayStation, and community manager Sammie Kang calling it a “launch exclusive“, it’s likely that we’ll see the game on PS4 after a few months. We reached out to the devs for clarity, and here’s their helpful statement: “The game will launch exclusively on consoles for Xbox One and we’re not discussing any plans beyond that.”

When Microsoft and Sony pay for these exclusive deals, they usually put language in their contracts that prevents the developers from making announcements on other platforms for a while. It is all nonsense and these companies should all be ashamed of themselves.


    • When companies say ‘exclusive’ they usually mean within their market. A Foxtel exclusive isn’t exclusive to Foxtel universally, just in the Australian market. When console makers say ‘exclusive’ they mean within the console market, PC doesn’t factor.

      • It still promises to make things difficult for them, dragging players away from a large, well established community playing on PC to the shittier experience playing it on the XBone.

        • Well, the PC version isn’t going anywhere at least, so that’s always an option. I don’t have either console this generation so PC is where I spend my time.

  • It seems kind of pointless when the verbal gymnastics they’re all forced to do makes it pretty obvious what’s going on. If it was actually exclusive (or console exclusive, in this case) then they’d just say so.

    • Some of it is for reporting purposes to management and investors, most of whom really just glance over these dot points and go “sounds good…”

      It makes a nice dot point in an end of year report when your console marketing division secured 25 exclusives* for the calendar year with the caveat:

      * exclusives may include preview, timed, or limited content exclusivity…

  • Im happy is coming to xbone but I don’t really care about exclusivity I’d just like a release date!

  • I don’t know why Sony is being put in the same boat, they only pay for timed exclusive DLC and they’re pretty upfront about it. It was obvious with RotTR and it’s obvious here. Speaks volumes about Microsofts absolutely terrible first party offerings this generation, from closing underperforming developers and losing quality ones like Remedy, it’s a shambles.

    • Well said. Sony are guilty of other marketing shenanigans (*cough* No Man’s Sky) but they’ve never warped the word ‘Exclusive’ like MS have.

      • I could be wrong but I think Sony made a smart choice to stitch up NMS for themselves but every subsequent NMS decision was a poor one.

    • What about Street Fighter 5? That never came to Xbox, did it? Or was there some reason for that other than an exclusivity deal?

      • Could be wrong but from memory Sony helped fund production of SF5 or something along those lines so there was probably some form of agreement to make it PS4 only

          • Oh don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that what Sony did is any better. Sony payed for the console exclusivity they just did it without outright saying it. I was simply answering the question.

    • It’s a nice fiction that Sony doesn’t do it, but it’s still fiction. Nier Automata comes immediately to mind, billed as a PS4 exclusive despite also releasing on PC. Same story for Dragon Quest Heroes 2, which not only hit PC but the Switch as well. I can probably dig up a bunch of others, it’s not exactly rare.

      • Nier Automata won’t launch on Xbox though, that’s what he’s getting at. PUBG will probably come to PS4 in a later date just like Tomb Raider did. PC and Consoles are 2 vastly different platforms. Dragon Quest I think I’ve never seen them advertise as console exclusive. The scarcity of Xbox exclusives is what makes it worse.

        • I read that as the opposite of what he was getting at. He was saying Sony shouldn’t be put ‘in the same boat’ as Microsoft here, where they play loose with the word ‘exclusive’ by using it to mean ‘console exclusive’ or ‘timed exclusive’. Nier Automata is an example of them doing exactly that.

          We don’t know what will happen with PUBG in the future, right now it’s console exclusive to XB1. Both Microsoft and Bluehole are using the term ‘exclusive’ (as in console exclusive) because as far as everyone involved is concerned that’s what it is.

  • “We will be launching exclusively on Xbox One in the Xbox Game Preview program later this year.”
    Could also be read as launching in early access for Xbox only, with a PS4 version potentially coming at/after it leaves early access. Does PS4 even have its own version of early access?

    • Games get released, Games get patched, I don’t actually know but i have a bunch of Ubisoft & Bethesda games on my ps4 that needed more work,

    • ARK came out about a year after the xbox preview version, its still ‘early access’ I think the PS4 version is actually ahead of the xbox version now.

  • I thought the idea of exclusivity was around making a game a console seller. I don’t see anyone buying the console for PUBG. Dont get me wrong i wanna play on console but not bad enough to buy another xbone after i sold my paper weight earlier this year!!!

    If there is no real allure to make it a console seller then Microsoft are just being jackasses to the overall gaming community. This bulsshit and the rhetoric about cross play etc is doing my head in!!! We will play on the console that we feel comfortable but let us play everything it can handle against anyone who is playing it!

  • Getting tired of Xbox “Exclusives” that prevent me from playing games I really want to play. I’m ready to throw money at the devs for this game and a few others, but I’m not up for buying an X-Box just to do so.

    • It sounds like your problem isn’t with “Xbox exclusives”, but with exclusives in general. The reason you notice the Xbox ones more is because you already have a PS4.

  • Having played over 300 hours now, I really don’t see how this will port over to the current gen console/s – I think it’s going to be a bit of a mess, the graphics will have to be well below the low settings and that will look terrible and prob still stutter and have texture pop in/artifacting, the looting and inventory management being done with a controller will be incredibly tedious and ruin the pace of the game. I have even setup my Xbox pad on the PC to try it out with a few steam controller profiles and it is horrible – at a minimum its 2-3 times longer to loot a few simple items.

    I’m assuming they will also add in some fairly weighty aim assist to a game where you need constant 360 degree awareness for all the randomness, plus the control mapping for things like free-look, the 2 types of aiming (zoom and ADS) and quickly accessing and zooming in and out on the map… I just don’t think it will be a good experience.

    I would be happy to be proven wrong as I have both platforms and most of my friends are on Xbox but i just don’t see this game working in a way that will make it a fun experience on console.

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