Timed Exclusives: Why They Aren’t Killing Games
Welcome back intrepid guest author Andrew for a bit of a rant on internet negativity!
I’m generally a very positive person online, I like to consider myself reasonable and open to different points of view. I tend to tweet, post, and write about things that I like. Even when I am writing a critique of a game/movie/TV show I didn’t enjoy, I try to focus on what was positive about the experience rather than reinforce the negative feelings I had. I am writing about. Mostly I do this because someone made this thing and to just shit on it seems mean spirited. So, writing this article is a little different for me because I am writing angry.
Just before I went to sleep I tweeted this:
TWITTER!!!! My work here is done! Goodnight!! Be AWESOME to each other, but if you can’t do that, at least don’t be a dick!
— Andrew Baker (@ABakerN7) April 14, 2015
A friend was having a bad day and I cheered them up. I felt accomplished, like I had made my little space on the internet a better place. I checked twitter for the first time around lunch I found out that the internet had decided not to listen to my advice. Instead, people were attacking each other, and why? They were in an uproar about Star Wars: Battlefront being playable first on XBox one through EA Access. In addition, the insults were flying about how EA is the worst company in the world, comparing Microsoft to Nazis, and even that dreaded word ‘ethics’ came into play.
So lets try and look at this rationally shall we? First the tweet that started the uproar:
— Aaron Greenberg (@aarongreenberg) April 14, 2015
So it’s a timed exclusive. XBox One owners that want it can play it through EA Access. At this point that is all that is known for certain. Will there only be six hours available like with Dragon Age: Inquisition? Will it only be three days before release like with Dragon Age? No one knows yet. Neither EA or DICE had responded to requests for comments by 5pm EDT.
As a worst case scenario for Playstation and PC owners, let’s say that it is a timed exclusive launch date too. That means they won’t see Star Wars: Battlefront on their systems for a set amount of time agreed upon by EA and Microsoft. Does that make EA the worst company in the world? Not even close. If you’d like to know who some of them are, however, The Business Insider compiled a list of the 15 worst polluters here.
Does releasing a timed exclusive make Microsoft run by actual Nazis? No, and if you need help as to why here is the definition from Oxford’s English Dictionary.
What this does is make EA and Microsoft business partners. Two companies that came to a contractual agreement regarding a product to give them exclusive rights to it for an as yet unknown period of time. This timed exclusivity isn’t unethical or fascist. It is a way for Microsoft to gain an edge on undecided console consumers by having something first. (It’s not even completely exclusive like Titan Fall, Evolve or Halo.)
So for all the people leveling anger at each other in another useless console war debate that will amount to nothing other than block buttons being used– this is just business, and smart business at that. Timed exclusives like this one may sway more moderate or rational thinking consumers to the Microsoft brand. If you want something to be angry about, how about we have a debate about microtransactions in games? They are something that is getting really out of control. I’m looking at you, Warner Bros. Interactive with your “Easy Fatality” packs.
To end my rant, I will say this; timed exclusives aren’t bad for games, they aren’t killing games, and just because you aren’t directly benefitting from them doesn’t make them unethical or bad business. So be excellent to each other, and if you can’t do that, at least don’t be a dick. I may also be saving this as a form rant since The Rise of the Tomb Raider is another XBox One timed exclusive and we’ll likely see this happen all over again.