Thursday, February 26, 2015

5 ways in which game exclusivity is still better than multiplatform

Game exclusivity is something that has really faded with time, as companies try to squeeze as much as they can from their franchises. Still, there are a couple reasons why game exclusivity is still more powerful than the all popular multiplatform even in this day and age. I know almost everybody want all the games to come to their favorite platform, but that isn't as helpful as you may believe. Now without further delay let's see the reasons why:

game pad sega
Real Sega fans remained loyal up until the end mostly because of their first party software, so that's exclusivity for you.
1) Fan loyalty and hype remains stronger.

This one has to do with how gamers picture a game in their minds and how that affects the loyalty and hype they feel for it. Let's see it this way, if a game has been on a platform for several years (sometimes even surpassing a decade) it is kind of a bucket of cold water on your head to see it drift to another audience that may or may not appreciate the game as the original fan base does. This is the same as seen your favorite baseball team suddenly change their name, uniform and state they represent. Even if the team is the same, it wont feel like it to people who had been following the team all of their lives. This emotional attachment/dis-attachment will affect how the game is perceived and how much hype it gets. For example, people have been waiting for Kingdom Hearts 3 for a long time, but one topic of discussion in various forums is that ever since they announced it as a multiplatform production it has lost a great deal of that previous hype.

game developer multitasking
Multitasking is hard, but not so difficult when you are focusing on a certain platform instead of  2 or more.
2) Quality has a better chance.

This one is very simple. If the development team is focusing on one specific platform, that means that all the resources, ideas and quality centered focus will be at 100% capacity since they don't have to divide themselves between different development kits, technical issues, etc. We saw how the multiplatform aspect severely affected the quality in games like Watchdogs and Assasins Creed Unity and that game has always been a multiplatform deal. Now imagine what happens when companies start spreading exclusive material over different plaforms and audiences...Something has to give, and that is quality.

Pacman eats dollars
Contrary to popular beliefs, this isn't always the case.
3) Multiplatform doesn't necessarily mean more profit.

This one goes a little far from conventional thinking if you take into account that publishing a game for multiple platforms can become more expensive than having it as an exclusive. This is because even if the game is identical on all the platforms involved, the audiences are not and this means that the company will have to approach each type of audience in a different way or risk the game flopping on one of them because it wasn't properly advertised. This could had pretty much been the main reason why some companies decided not to release their games on platforms like the Wii U and PS VITA. This is a matter of risk and reward and in some cases expanding the audience of a game doesn't mean that it will sell more, it just means that it will have a bit more availability and that not always traduces itself to sales.

Battle Programmer Shirase
More flexibility means better games, unless they want to scam us on purpose.
4) Exclusive game production is more flexible.

This one is a given. When a game is been developed for a specific platform it doesn't carry the same type of pressure as if the game were a multiplatform production. Game delays are easier to have (and sometimes needed), access to funding is more centralized and demands come from only one group instead of 2 or more (imagine each of the big guys from different platforms asking to have their own little advantages). Game exclusivity does have its own kind of pressure as gamers expect a lot more from the final product, but at least developers have the chance to focus and work in a tighter and friendlier environment.

Hardcore Gamer
I mean the real hardcore gamer and not the "apparently" hardcore one.
5) Game exclusivity is still pure and gamer centered.

Purism in gaming means a game that is not contaminated by any marketing or business related material. This includes games having specific "advantages" if you pre-order the game on a certain store, getting game material earlier or later based on what company made the best deals with the game's publisher/developer and last but not least, it saves the game from been divided in too many different "appeal factors" in an attempt to cater to different audiences at the same time. This "pureness" serves in our favor, because the game is custom tailored for us gamers and not as a generic business-based effort.

There you have it folks. 5 reasons why game exclusivity is still powerful and necessary. Of course this doesn't mean that it is perfect, but at least it still carries those characteristics that work for us and not against us.

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