The Exclusivity Wall

Game exclusivity blows. Today’s Tomb Raider news at Xbox’s Gamescom press conference was the straw that broke the camel’s back. How is this fair to the consumer at all? It’s not. Corporate puppet masters are pulling strings to raise profits as they strip a product away from select audiences. They are punishing consumers for not owning their game box.

And yet, I am a hypocrite. I love exclusive titles. The Last Of Us is my favorite game of all time, which is exclusive to PlayStation products. As I think  about it, if Joel and Ellie made the jump to Xbox or PC, I would feel a tad betrayed. Then I realize that thousands more get to experience a game that moved my heart and soul. It is not fair that Xbox gamers can’t play The Last Of Us.

Right now, the Xbox One sales cower in the shadow of PS4 sales. PC gaming is as large as ever. None of this makes sense to me as a smart business move. Square Enix is actively cutting out 2/3 of it’s potential profit. Obviously, Microsoft is writing a huge check to Square, but is that number worth the unavoidable loss in sales. Kotaku has complied responses to this morning’s announcement; It’s no surprise that gamers feel cheated. Top notch artist, @Pandamusk, captures perfectly how the community feels at large right now.

Tomb Raider

There does seem to be some miscommunication about the exclusivity of the title. Official statements say “exclusive on Xbox for Holiday 2015.” Clearly, that leaves some hope for fans and gamers all around. This problem isn’t only about exclusive games. What about exclusive DLC or portions of gameplay? GameStop has even been discovered to try and secure exclusive chunks of final games, not just missions. Exclusive costumes, missions, characters, collectibles, and editions need to stop. Gamers are the most passionate fans I have ever encountered. We are die hards for the games. When companies strip our passions from us, it’s hard not to feel cut out. I’m a gamer too. If you’re reading this, you most likely are too. Exclusive content needs to stop.

The best way to prove this to the corporate puppet masters is to stop pre-ordering for exclusive content. As the consumer, we need to speak with our wallets. Petitions will not stop contract agreements. We hold the power within our hands. If we don’t buy it, companies won’t produce these exclusivity barriers. We can do it. Break down the walls of exclusivity and let’s help bring games to gamers.

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