Exclusive Games Can be a Necessary Evil

Bloodborne has been unleashed upon the world. As a fanatic of From Software’s previous games, especially Dark Souls, there’s nothing I’d like better than to swan-dive into their latest merciless masterpiece. Unfortunately, it’s one of the precious few recent console exclusives anyone cares about, and since I don’t own a PS4 and can’t justify buying one for basically a single game, that means it’ll probably be years until I ever really get a chance to sink my teeth into it. But as bitter as I am about this situation, I grudgingly admit that exclusive games may not always be the anti-consumer practice I once assumed they were.

In the time since I started leaning more towards PC gaming, I’ve rattled off a diatribe or two about the current state of consoles. One recurring argument I’m guilty of parroting is that recent consoles have little to offer beyond exclusive games, a position I still support, but lately I’ve come to realise the situation isn’t quite as black-and-white as my initial vision of games being held hostage to sell overpriced hardware.

Yes, it’s a shame that some titles can only be played on certain brands of machine. In an ideal world, you wouldn’t need a PS4 to play Bloodborne any more than you’d need a Chilton bookmark to read Dune. On the face of it, then, exclusive games seem like a net loss for the consumer and serve only to add value to consoles with steadily decreasing advantages over even a moderate-tier PC.

What I hadn’t considered was that in some cases, such as Nintendo’s decision to fund Bayonetta 2, a game’s creators might not have been able to get their project off the ground if not for an exclusivity agreement. Sure, Kickstarter has worked wonders in the past, but crowdfunding even a fraction of the average AAA game’s budget is an extreme exception to the rule. And certainly if I was a developer struggling to acquire capital and I saw a letter from Sony or Microsoft land in my porch, I’d be mad not to at least hear them out.

So, while I’d still prefer if Bloodborne had been released on a platform capable of smooth and silky framerates, I’ve learned that some exclusivity deals may still bring more to the gaming landscape than they take away.

Bloodborne is available now exclusively for PS4, Buy it Here. Image rights: Sony Computer Entertainment

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About the author

Jazmin Frost

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Aspiring novelist, veteran nerd. I'm a young gal with a Creative Writing degree and pretensions of making a living from it. Mostly I write science fiction and fantasy and I’ve penned a fair few short stories, but my great hope is to finish my first novel and find a publisher willing to back it. I welcome anybody with questions about my writing. Beyond that, my chief interests are videogames, movies and nerdom as a whole, and I enjoy scribbling reviews and other analytical pieces.