Thursday, August 14, 2014

Why 'exclusive' is now meaningless in gaming. Timed-exclusive in gaming is like saying your life has timed-immortality.

You see that word above?  Does that make you cringe as much as it makes me?  Because when I see it now, I sort of want to scream.  In part because it is a blatantly overused buzzword, but mostly because it is a deceptively used buzzword.  Each time Phil Spencer or Andrew House or any one of those executive types stand on stage and drop the word exclusive we now have to turn into Sherlock goddamn' Holmes in order to figure out in what way, shape or form it is exclusive.  Seriously.  What the hell?  I will even go on record saying that Microsoft you are far and away worse with it than Sony.

Yes, this article is sparked as a direct result of the whole Tomb Raider exclusivity fiasco that took place, but it is also something that I have been saying for months now.  In fact I was actively expressing my irritation with it going back before the Xbox One and Playstation 4 ever launched to the public.  The most annoying part of it all--it is getting worse.

Exclusive to Xbox One doesn't mean only on Xbox One anymore.  Coming exclusively on Playstation may be referring to the exclusive content.  We never know anymore.  What the hell does exclusive mean anymore and why the hell do we have to do the detective work to find out?  Honestly.  I am not going to call it false advertising and suggest lawsuits because I am not a foolish idiot, but what these companies are doing is deliberately misleading.  Tomb Raider was just another muddy clear example of what a company like Microsoft [or Sony] are up to when they announce something as exclusive.   People can defend their silly allegiance to their console all they want to fool themselves but it doesn't matter if you love blue or green; the company you enjoy is guilty of it.

As an Xbox One fan and owner this all confuses me.  As a future Playstation 4 owner this saddens me, but most of all--as a gamer, this just flat out irritates the hell out of me.  Guys like Phil Spencer are going on stage and telling you what your mother would have referred to as a white-lie in order to sell you their console.  I would be a small sum of money that there was a corporate meeting in Redmond at some point in the last 2 months since E3 where good-guy Phil Spencer sat right alongside some public relations personnel and lawyers in which they chose their exclusivity words very carefully.  I am willing to bet that small sum of money because you do not even have to be an employee of Microsoft to see how much of a corporate monstrosity of a company it is and that is exactly what corporate monstrosities do.

Microsoft may be many times larger than Sony as a company, but lets not pretend for even a second that Sony do this sort of crap any less often though.  Destiny alone has brought some pretty egregious uses of the word exclusivity.  Really.  Go back and watch Sony's E3 2014 press event.  If you were not closely paying attention you would have walked away from watching that thinking the Destiny was a PS4 exclusive title.

Here is a great example on Sony's side of the argument.  Look at all that amazing stuff you can get:


 If someone wants to try and pretend that Sony are note being deliberately deceptive with the word exclusive here I will happily laugh in your face because this, while being a picture instead of a conference, is in the same realm of what Microsoft pulled at Gamescom 2014.  Identical same thing?  No, but certainly in the same realm.  Hell, Microsoft has even done this same thing only with Call of Duty for the last--forever.

I could go on and on about how both companies pull this crap.  I could give about 50 examples on behalf of each company from just the last year.  Between ID@Xbox games and Sony's love for independent titles the list is never ending.  The fact is that it wouldn't change anything.  Microsoft will still try to convince you to buy their system by white-lieing to you and saying a game is only available on Xbox One.  Dead Rising 3, Ryse and Tomb Raider are examples.  All of which will be on PC at some point.   Sony is going to try to convince you that you're getting a lesser game if you guy it on anything except the Playstation.  Destiny is the example of that.

Exclusivity, as I stated in the beginning of this, is just another questionable buzz-word.  A word that is supposed to get your attention.  It is not any different than if Sony stood on stage and said that the Sky is blue-er with Playstation and Microsoft said the grass is Green-er with Xbox.  It is all such a load of PR/marketing bullshit at this point.  Exclusivity is meaningless if it isn't exclusive.  It is like saying you have timed-immortality as a human being. It's just.....PR BULLSHIT.


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