Red Dead Redemption 2 Will Have Some Sort Of Timed PlayStation Exclusivity

One of the video game industry's most grating trends is timed exclusivity, when a console manufacturer such as Sony or Microsoft pays a publisher money in order to deprive content from other platforms for a certain timeframe. It looks as though Red Dead Redemption 2 will be following suit.

Today, developer Rockstar announced a bunch of bundles and pre-order bonuses for the much-anticipated Western game, and buried amongst all the stuff about outfits and GTA Online cash on the PlayStation Store is this line:

PlayStation® Exclusive: Play select content first on PlayStation®4. Details to follow.

We don't know the scale of "select content" - could be hats, could be a full expansion - but if it's anything like Sony's arrangement with Destiny, it will be a pain for Xbox players. The company behind the PlayStation 4 paid Activision to keep guns, maps and even full strikes away from Xbox players for years, then did the same for Destiny 2 and several Call of Duty games.

Microsoft has pulled its own "timed exclusivity" nonsense for Dragon Age: Inquisition as well as other big multi-platform games - also including Call of Duty - over the past decade.

Now, it appears that Red Dead Redemption is following that same trend. Rockstar didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.


    Oh great another reason that almost no one will switch consoles for that to me personally seems like it is just there as a middle finger to users of other platforms than a compelling reason to pick yours

      It's pretty shitty, but If you switched consoles every timed exclusive you wouldn't be playing anything, they all do it.

      It's almost like 2 companies in competition with each other are competing.

        No-one should be rewarded for being an arsehole though. Compete by creating more compelling products. Compete by offering lower cost alternatives. But don't compete by locking stuff away unless you created it or paid for its creation. This kind of exclusivity would be like paying a film distributor not to show a film in any Melbourne cinemas at release, forcing people to travel to another city if they want to see it without waiting several months. It's just a dick move.

          Distributors do have exclusive deals with cinema chains, early release deals or evem the things lile plastic collector cups. Disney is know for it's unfair treatment of certain chains. Your analogy is kind of a bit off why would they not distribute to a city?

          The formula of exclusivity works though, people do by consoles for that reason, why would they stop.

            I don't know if timed exclusivity of DLC really sells any consoles. Exclusive games - as in proper exclusive games that you can't play anywhere else - do. Best case, timed exclusive DLC might push people who own both consoles to buy a multiplatform game on that system. But even then, people are just as likely to be swayed by what their friends have (for multiplayer) or which console it performs better on, etc.

              It might not, but as the publisher is offered cash or other incentive to do it, why not?

              The numbers of players who purchased the PS4 versions of Destiny and Destiny 2 over every other version show that console exclusivity does sell the game. The consoles - it's a gray area. It certainly helps if you have a lean release schedule of your own. Not that I agree with this, but they are paying for it's creation, and players on other platforms will get their version of this content eventually, so everyone will still get the content.

                Where do you find the sales breakdown of Destiny / Destiny 2 on PS4 vs others?

                  The sales figures might not be %100 accurate (well, they're not, a mix of published sales figures, and "reports") - and the forums/community can get a bit toxic sometimes (console wars, console wars never changes) , but vgchartz dot com is probably the best place to easily source that information.

                  @JimmyDanger. Yeah, I looked there. According to that site, Destiny 2 on PS4 outsold the XB1 version approximately 2 to 1. I think that only tracks physical sales not digital, but there's no reason to think the split in digital sales wouldn't be similar. But the same site also shows the PS4 console outselling the XB1 approximately 2 to 1 as well, so the split in sales of Destiny 2 is pretty much in line with what you'd expect given the install bases of the two consoles. Which comes back to my point of these timed exclusive DLC deals not really making much of a difference.

            I don't disagree with exclusivity, but when a product is clearly developed for multiple platforms, arbitrarily withholding content from one platform is entirely disagreeable. Next thing you know Publishers will be auctioning off DLC to the collective install bases of Xbox or Playstation (or PC) by launching a crowdfunding campaign. A stretch goal would be 'raise twice as much as competing platform X - get timed exclusivity for 1 month!' The only difference now is that this kind of deal gets done behind the scenes via Sony or MS.

              Sony or MS care enough to pay for it. I don't know if there are enough end users that care enough to stump up any actual cash of their own.

                You might underestimate the motivation of the console warrior class :-P

                I mean there's got to be some financial benefit to Sony somewhere otherwise why would they pay?

                  Gives them something to talk about at E3, I guess? :P

        Actually timed exclusives are borderline anti-competitive behaviour

          According to what legislation?

            It's the very definition of the term "anti-competitive practice": They engage in a practice that prevents competition by one of their competitors for a given period outside of the legislated methods for doing so (copyrights, patents, etc), effectively bribing the company to withhold the product from their competitors for a given period despite the readiness of the product for those platforms. This makes it borderline under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010, section 45 and 47. The fact that it is not explicitly prohibited by legislation does not imply the morality of the practice, and is more to do with the outdated wording and concepts referred to by the legislation used to cover the matter than any actual commentary on the morality of the practice.

              It doesn't prevent anybody competing. Sony go and do a deal for timed exclusive DLC in RDR2 or Destiny or whatever. Microsoft then compete by doing the same thing with timed exclusivity on DLC for COD or Battlefield or some other game.

            Beat me to the punch, ACCC. See Exclusive Deals - Third Line Forcing. Clearly anti-competitive.


            Sorry for the dupe

              Exclusive dealing will only break the law when the conduct has the effect of substantially lessening the competition in the relevant market.

              These deals don't substantially lessen competition in the video games market, though.

                And Sony isn't the 3rd party.
                The publisher does not sell direct to the public. So the first party seller is Sony.

                  Sony is just the distributor, they don't own the publisher. They a wholely separate companies, so they would be a third party. I disagree, unless you have something to back that up.

                Citation needed... It could be argued xbox sales are in the state they are because of these Sony exclusive deals, at least in part. Prooving it would be very difficult for the ACCC though.

                Still doesn't change the fact it's anti-competitive behaviour.

                  It's really not, it's just annoying behaviour.

                  MS have their own exclusive deals but PS4 sales are just fine, so they can't really blame Sony's deals for Xbox sales dragging.

                  It really is, the only difference is the level at which it breaks the law. The behaviour fits the definition perfectly.

    The worst part about the Destiny timed exclusives was that it most of it sucked.
    Almost everyone hated that strike, the ship was just another reskin and the armor was useless and replaced on the first drop after getting it.
    The only thing anyone wanted was the guns.

    I don't really care about timed exclusivity as long as I can get the stuff at some point.

      Same here, the longer it takes, the more time I have to play through my other games. I still haven't picked up God of War yet, so I have a long time to go before picking up anything else.

        I've still got Persona 5 that I bought last year and still haven't even started. And Yakuza Kiwami that I bought but haven't even downloaded yet. I'm really not in a rush to get anything,let alone a bit of DLC that will probably be rubbish anyway.

    One of the video game industry's most grating trends is timed exclusivity...

    ...Unless you play on Playstation, in which case it's frickin' awesome because the only games worth playing sold their filthy, diseased, greedy souls to Sony! Woo, go team [one of the four brands of consoles I own]!

      I would have thought the trend was welcome rather than grating. Or else we can go back to full console exclusive. No timed just only ever on that one system.

        Yeah but exclusive games are a completely different beast.

        Unless they're owned by the hardware company exclusives are usually only produced because they couldn't secure funding from a multi-plat publisher. Bayonetta 2 comes to mind; Sega didn't think it would sell enough, even across multiple platforms, to justify the investment.

        Exclusives, particularly by first or second party devs, are usually also optimised very well to their respective hardware. Sometimes they produce very novel gameplay flourishes as a result, creating a unique experience.

        Timed exclusives are, on the other hand, complete fucking garbage. It's literally spending money to deny sales, like buying the whole first shipment of a competitor's product. It's a hell of a move.

          The publisher gets financial incentive for a timed exclusive.
          If you were offered say 10% more by sony to put it on their system for 6 months first, why not it's free money.

          Last edited 05/06/18 11:35 am

    Love how people always complain about exclusivity unless its for a game on the system they have.

    This is why I won't buy a Rockstar game. Fancy being placed in a prejudiced position just because of what gaming system you possess. Surely these highly discriminatory practices must cease and leave the industry in the same way loot boxes are finally being shunned.

      Cos they get hats?

        I bought a hat today, got it on special through a closing down sale.

        Free Hat?

          Red Dead Redemption: The Malibu Stacy Edition!

            That I would buy. Only for the Waylon Smither's cowboy outfit. Wouldn't honk the honk if I couldn't tonk the tonk!

      I'm not a fan of timed exclusives on anything, but you are being sarcastic right?
      It's a dick move for gamers, but it's not discriminatory, not unless Rockstar just gave Sony a timed exclusive for nothing.

      So it's discriminatory I can't run iPhone apps on my android phone?

        I mean, clearly it is the developer's choice, but it is allowing one platform holder to pay to *disadvantage* others. If you are talking about a small dev studio where development can only occur on one platform at a time, it's understandable. Here though, it seems to be on the level of someone paying an icecream vendor to delay serving an icecream to a neighbour's child so that child has to sit there watching the other kids eat icecream. Sure, the vendor is making money, but there is something about it that rubs people the wrong way. It's unfair.

          Your analogy is flawed.
          If it came out on PS4 for 6 months and you own an Xbox, you still can purchase a PS4.
          In your example, there is no other choice but to wait, they are paying to deny an individual service, that's quite different.
          Unless Xbox owners are somehow now not allowed to buy a PS4?

          Maybe, 2 ice cream stores that both have memberships and flavour A came out at one store but wouldn't be available at the other for 6 months, so you either had to wait, or get a membership at the other store?

            I was thinking a kid who had lined up with all the other kids suddenly gets told that she has to wait because the dad of one of the other kids paid the ice cream vendor. She could go across town to the other ice cream vendor, sure. But do you really want to spend $50 on a taxi to go and buy a $5 ice cream? Anyway, the father who paid the ice cream vendor is a dick :-)

    When is the last time any of this timed exclusive DLC was (a) exclusive for more than a month and (b) actually any good anyway?

      Destiny1 ps4 timed exclusive stuff came out on xbox around the time that destiny2 launched.
      Cant tell you if it was any good. Never boight Destiny for my ps4.

    This doesn't quell my fears that there might be an increased focus on multiplayer.

    Not going to stop me getting the best experience on the X

      And cheaper once I wait the exclusivity period out.

      Although, who knows, maybe the exclusive content is a PS4 port of RDR, in which case, most X owners/prospective RDR2 buyers probably already have it downloaded on their system of choice.

    I don't approve of this at all but then i remember Lara Croft and don't feel sorry for Microsoft anymore. time locked content i can deal with, not having a game for a year really ticks me off.

      No on should feel pity for either party

      Last Gen ms had the upper had and did this same crap

      Now sony have the upper hand

      Sh1tty practice still

      Slightly different case. The Lara situation was more similar to Bayonetta 2 (mentioned above) - disappointing sales of the first cross platform release vs production/marketing budget (it was pretty widely reported upon TR reboots release) - the publisher not convinced of the viability of a sequel - hence shopping around time exclusivity to fund the sequel.

      Where Rockstar sold a ton of RDR, and I assume, made a tidy profit once Zombie Redemption DLC/GOTY editions for the same platforms are factored in.

      But yeah, I agree - it still sucks.

    YEWWWWWW free hat free hat free hat free hat!!!!1!!!

    Exclusivity sucks. Artificial exclusivity for non-technical reasons, however, is straight up bribery. I won't reward this nonsense.

    Business competitiveness is the bedrock of a capitalist society, it happens in every industry, yet for some reason it's only a problem when Sony and Microsoft do it.

      This isn't competitiveness, it's conduct to the detriment of the consumer. It doesn't happen in every industry, in fact there are generally laws prohibiting businesses from acting in ways that are detrimental to consumers.

      And it's not only a problem when Sony and Microsoft do it, consumers complain about exclusivity most everywhere it appears. You'd have to be living under a rock not to have seen the complaints about how a TV show can't be on Netflix or iTunes because it's exclusively locked to Foxtel. Less known to gamers maybe but it gets complaints in terms of fashion brands a lot as well.

    Eh, it's just going to be an online microtransactionfest with a half-arsed single player mode anyway. I'm sure they'll be making a killing with whatever the equivalent of shark cards are. I'm done with Rockstar.

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