Is game exclusivity a good thing?

So, let us have the debate.

There are two trains of thoughts I’m seeing on the internet:

  1. Exclusives are bad for gaming and segregate the player base
  2. Exclusives are the reason certain platforms perform better than others

Usually, these thoughts come from the same people. I find this a bit an interesting debate.

It is no secret that Xbox is struggling with exclusive titles on their platform, and Sony and even Nintendo has some heavy hitting exclusive titles. Yet the notion of exclusivity of games may be the issue itself. If that’s the case, why are people looking for exclusive titles on Xbox? And why are people so perplexed by their Play Anywhere scheme. Surely it’s good seeing as more gamers get to play these games.

I’d love to know what you feel about this issue.


Are we including the PC in this discussion, or do only console people get to play? :smiley:

No absolutely anyone can, and should comment. It is precisely PC exclusive players I see tend to have the opinion that exclusivity is bag, because most of the times when there is exclusivity in games they don’t come to the PC.

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For me, its not a big issue, there has only been a handful of games that I regret didnt get a pc release. Otherwise it really doesnt get me all in a tizzy.

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I’ve been a PC gamer all my life; the last “console” I owned was the old Nintendo TV game setup. My preference for the PC has always been due to its flexibility; I love that I can play pretty much anything I want, and customize settings, controls etc to suit me.

I’m with @Wyvern in the sense that I have’t really felt that I’ve missed out on too many games that have been console exclusive. I tend to play some niche stuff such as RTS that would never be a console exclusive anyway. My problem is not so much console exclusivity as it is console-focus. I’m very much against the quality of games (be it visual or whatever) being reduced to fit the lowest common denominator. There have been enough rants about poor quality ports from console to PC that are buggy, run like crap, and have severe limitations in framerate and visual fidelity. No need to rehash all that.

So what i would like to see is that the game should fit the platform. If something makes most sense on the console and wouldn’t necessarily appeal to the PC market, by all means, keep it as a console exclusive. If however you do bring it to the PC, at least take advantage of the capability the PC as a platform has to offer. Don’t limit the vision or creativity of the developers because they have to make stuff run on sub-standard hardware.

One point maybe worth making is that from a hardware perspective, the situation is getting better. Consoles on the inside, for all purposes, are PC’s now. I think this will be beneficial for the industry in the long term, in that there should be greater parity wrt games you can run cross-platform without making too many compromises.

So what was my vote again? Oh yes. I’m against exclusivity that limits choice for the gamer or affects the end quality of the product. That’s about it. If you made it this far, thank you for reading this wall of text


Thanks for saying what I wanted to say so much better!

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My mind to your mind. Your thoughts to my thoughts.


Great comments, and I totally see your point. As a PC only player, I can understand that the need for good ports are the biggest concern. PC is not my main platform, so that factor has never been a big problem for me.

The issue with PC gaming is the sheer size and complexity of the platform. Let’s not kid ourselves, the majority of PC gamers do not have 1080TI monster rigs that can run games at 60 FPS at highest possible settings. Well not the latest games in any case. The fact is that games needs to be optimized to run off of the most possible permutations of PC hardware possible. This is no small feat, and developers have gotten much better at it.

The Xbox One X and PS4 Pro, while not being close in term of performance of what PC can be, are pushing developers to make games look and run much better. The more of these consoles gets into the market, the better quality of optimization I would expect to see for PC ports as well.

The other problem is Steam. Steam is a bloated cesspool of mediocracy and and garbage. It is much more difficult for any developer to turn a profit on Steam unless they are developing with an insane marketing budget. On consoles it is much easier to get noticed and sale may be better for the average game on consoles. Multiple indie devs have said they sell many times more games on Xbox or PS or even the Switch than on Steam.

With all these complexities, it’s understandable why developers would rather focus development of games for a single platform. Economies of scale and all that.

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There is only one game that would sway me and thats F1.
I bought an Xbone purely due to the fact f1 2017 was not coming out for 360.

I was a PS fan, owning the 1 and 2 and wanted the 3, but my mother n law got it mixed up and bought me a 360 as I did some work for her. Since then I’m happy on the xbox consoles as all my DLC is on xbox live.

If I miss a couple exclusives, I’m not too stressed. I will consider a change if f1 moves over to PS exclusively.

This is true. Optimization and compatibility are infinitely easier on the console; you only have one set of hardware and one OS to develop for. The fact that PC games work at all is a minor miracle in of itself. Cost is also a valid concern, but then again, I can play every game I’ve ever owned on my most modern PC, and can get older stuff for very cheap or sometimes completely free. New games are of course obscenely priced on both platforms.
Oh, and truly monster rigs don’t waste their time with anything so mediocre as a mere 60fps…:smiley:

Many folks love to hate on Steam. I’m not really one of them. I can remember a world before Steam, and while it has maybe grown a bit out of control in some respects, I don’t think this is Valve’s fault. I think the main problem is that publishers are greedy and selfish enough to not consider the overall health of the market, and so no-one has come up with a viable alternative to Steam.

EA, UBISoft, Blizzard etc are big enough to offer their own games on their own store front, but if you’re a small developer without that kind of clout, you need someone to sell you game for you. In that respect, I think Steam has done a lot of good for the industry. Let’s face it, people don’t go to stores to but games anymore. Making physical copies is a waste of money. How do I get my product to my customer? What alternative means is there other than spending more of my very limited budget on sales and marketing rather than actually making the game?

The above is also why i think crowdfunding has become so popular. It gives an indie developer the rare opportunity to connect directly with his end customer, as opposed to talking to the corporate middlemen in suits, who do nothing except impose deadlines and eat your profits.


No! It’s bad!

It has resulted in me buying an Xbox and more recently a PS4 Pro. The Xbox I got because I wanted to play Forza for the most part, since then though it has been used mostly as a media center.
The PS4 I got because of all the exclusives on the console which I really wanted to play. Bloodborne, The Last of Us, Horizon Zero Dawn, etc.

I would also love to be able to play Zelda: BotW, but so far I just couldn’t justify buying a Switch.

I think it’s a terrible thing, but I don’t really care.
I game on PC and that’s it. I will never buy a console just to play a game exclusive to it.
If I can’t get it on my PC, I’m not getting it.


Its a terrible thing. Even timed exclusives are horrible…

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If they don’t like selling on steam there are multiple other platforms available on pc. The beauty of the open platform is you aren’t restricted. If they feel they would sell better on gog,origin,gamersgate,ect compared to steam nothing stops them from opting for them instead.

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