Increasing the number of exclusive games on consoles towards multi-platform, maybe in a few years we will no longer have the concept of “100% exclusive game”.
The thing that attracts people to spend money to buy new consoles is the exclusive game for that system, a constant proposition for more than two decades and is accepted by almost everyone who agrees. But over time, as technology evolved and the level of competition became greater, publishers also had to consider many other issues, leading to the fact that multiple platforms are now the number one choice, to the extent possible. Some will no longer have the concept of an “exclusive game” anymore.
In 2018 and especially 2019, many exclusive games were released on PC, things that people never thought of before, the most prominent name was Red Dead Redemption 2. Something that PC gamers themselves must be surprised when everyone thought that this game would be permanently exclusive as part one. We can see a drastic change in the gaming industry today, changing from permanent exclusive games to multi-platform releases but with a time difference.
Currently, console games that use this formula are top-rated. There are two common ways to initially leave the game proprietary and then about half a year to a year. The publisher will announce their product would be on PC (Red Dead Redemption 2, Detroit: Become Human). The second way is to promote a multi-platform launch from the beginning, but of course, console gamers will still be the first to play, then a few months later to PC gamers (Death Stranding, Monster Hunter: World).
It should be said that blockbusters will always prioritize consoles first because, at present, the profits from consoles are still much more significant than other PCs. But over time, publishers have also noticed many problems, so the cross-platform release is now almost mandatory if they want to keep their products to the maximum effect.
The first is about the hardware. If a few years ago, when the console was praised for having a lot of configuration ahead of its time, leading to the exclusive game on the console has superior image quality, to the point that most Ordinary PCs cannot run it. But times have changed, and today’s PCs can be said to be on par or outperform consoles, proprietary games transferred to PCs are sometimes nicer than consoles and make it easier for developers to handle them more reasonable.
Equally important is multiplayer, which can be seen because cross-play is now more and more popular, allowing gamers on multiple platforms to connect easily. In the past, consoles were often referred to as “offline games”, but now no one can be autistic on their own and play with friends regardless of how good the system is.
And finally, the economic pressure, with the emergence of a series of indie game studios, now gamers have more choices, and of course, the price is also more reasonable. Spending millions of dollars developing AAA blockbusters, especially the proprietary games that require a lot of effort, we have seen how Konami “kicks” Kojima because the philosophy of making the game is too time-consuming and money-consuming. So it is easy to understand why multi-platform is the best current trend, to have money to have a game.
Of course, proprietary games will still be an essential guarantee balance that won’t change for consoles, but we can also see their numbers have steadily decreased over time. Publishers choose to launch multi-platform but exclusive games for the first time on consoles to ensure optimal profits. Except for games that are very special in a system mark style, just focusing on the console is not the right method.
Moreover, an exclusive game’s lifespan is usually not long without regular updates, even if it is a blockbuster. It will be easily surpassed in a few months by other more attractive products. The release of the difference will help. The community is continuously heated and creates more issues of discussion. You can see that even though it has been out for over a year when it landed on PC, Red Dead Redemption 2 was even more noticeable than everything, which helped it cover again in a large area, driving sales higher.
And the mod eventually plays a big role in bringing multi-platform games. Unlike the last updates that will have to end, the mod will, in a sense, forever exist for as long as the game’s community—still interested. GTA, Skyrim, and many other names are the most apparent evidence. Any publisher wants their game to be famous, which is impossible if you only keep the exclusive game.
Exclusive games will always be the most crucial weapon of consoles, but now they are no longer lifelong but have changed. Maybe in a few years, the concept of “proprietary games” will gradually disappear and stop at the first few months only. In any case, this is good news for PC gamers because they will not have to wait for excellent products like before, and the significantly improved quality worth the money.