Would Timed Exclusivity Deals for Big Multiplatform Games Be A Good Idea For Microsoft and Sony?

We’ve all seen it, “exclusive content coming first to X console”. We see it now with Call of Duty exclusivity being bought by Playstation, giving all PS4 owners all DLC a month before Xbox players get access to it. It’s debatable whether or not this is a good idea for gaming, as it can leave some customers feeling left behind when no one cares about the new content as it’s been out for a month, but it can give the other console a leg up in terms of sales if they decide to push the right game. So the real question is… What if the next Call of Duty came out exclusively on Playstation for a month before Xbox players even got access to it?

Well the real answer is quite simple. There would probably be an increase in sales of that platform due to people who are hardcore fans of the series wanting access to the game as soon as possible. I know for sure that we would see all of the fans of Call of Duty as an eSport switch instantly to the console with the exclusivity deal to gain as much of an advantage as possible. Having said that, we’d also see a huge amount of outrage in the community, more so than we have seen recently with the announcement that Rise of the Tomb Raider will be an exclusive for Xbox One owners for a year, because it is such a huge game that generates a lot of interest and not having access to it leaves you at a clear disadvantage.

I’m sure both Microsoft and Sony would love to grab a game like GTA 6 and say “exclusively on our system for a month”, but the real issue would be just how much budget would each company be willing to commit to that endeavour? The thing about big game launches like Call of Duty, Destiny and Grand Theft Auto is that a lot of their sales are made on a spur of the moment decision of “I want this game”. There may well be a portion of gamers who have to wait, who will treat the game like an exclusive to the other platform and just spend their money on something they can enjoy right away. This leads to a possible decrease in overall sales for the game, which Microsoft or Sony would have to account for. Thing is, we’ve just seen Microsoft spend (at least) 10 million dollars on a years exclusivity of Tomb Raider, a game which isn’t going to be huge in the grand scheme of things, and no doubt even though a Call of Duty or Grand Theft Auto is a bigger game, 1 month of exclusivity would cost a lot less.

I think what it really comes down to is the risk vs reward for these companies. Yes, they can make their console the place to play one of these big games, but are they really willing to throw consumers money at these endeavours rather than bettering their systems overall and making it the best place to play multiplatform games regardless? In my personal opinion, it would be a mistake for Microsoft or Sony to do this as it isn’t a direct benefit to their customers paying for Xbox Live Gold and Playstation Plus, and all it does, much like the Tomb Raider exclusivity, is bar off gamers on other platforms who would love to experience these games when they’re at their hottest.

Do you think it would be a good idea for these companies? Would a month or two of exclusivity make one console a more attractive place to play for you? Leave us your comments and thoughts down below!

Have your say!

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  1. not at all. I hated it when I played on 360 and I hate it now when I play on PS4. those huge publishers don’t need help with marketing games. I would rather the first parties put that money towards new IP’s in Microsoft’s case and improved network infrastructure in Sony’s case.

    • Agreed. 100% sound logic. Also.. this article acts like Microsoft hasn’t been doing this exact deal with COD for the Whole last generation..

  2. I agree with your assessment completely, but where did this 10 million dollar figure come from regarding the RotTR timed exclusivity? I’d seen 20 bounced around but I’d never seen that 10. That seems awfully low, that would mean that CD would assume that the game would sell roughly less than 200,000 copies on the PS4 & PS3 within a full calendar year. I honestly think this deal couldn’t have been much less than 60 million to make any kind of financial sense for Square & CD regarding money lost on all of those PS4 gamers that won’t even be bothered to pick it up by the time it hits their platform a year late to the party, not to mention the legit sounding rumor that Square will be making up for the move w/ a discounted $40 dollar launch for Rise on the PS4. I know I’ll only be holding off for a used copy. I’d love to play the game & I would’ve supported CD w/ a day one full price retail purchase but I don’t want to affirm their potential for pulling another one of these deals out for the next installment, regardless of whether it would be for a Sony platform of an MS platform. The only way these deals stop is if they stop being profitable for all parties, and the only way for that to happen is for gamers to practice a little self control when these games are dropped and spend their money towards trying a new title or genre they otherwise might not have instead of supporting these detrimental practices.

    • You aren’t taking into consideration the amount of money it takes to make one of these games.. I am willing to bet, RoTR only costs them around 30-40 million to make.. and I am sure they would take recouping 1/3 of their cost for exclusivity for a year..

      • I’m sure they no doubt would, but they are in the business to make a profit, not to recoup 1/3 of their budget. Not saying 10 mil is some insignificant figure but I still haven’t seen any reported figure like that, just wondering where it may have come from. Beyond that, I’d assume that they’d have known that the move would bring them a lot of negativity & frustration from fans, so for them to sell out completely and disregard the majority of their fanbase & sales numbers for a third of their game’s budget would be monumentally risky & I wouldn’t think that it would be worth the gamble for such a small sum. Maybe it was 10 million plus full marketing costs that would equate to around 20 million otherwise or some deal to that effect, but a straight 10 million buyout would still seem just too low for a game of Tomb Raider’s caliber, even for a single year.

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