Are Exclusive Games Overtaking Multiplatform Games?


Two years ago, most people were expecting platform exclusive games to fade out due to development costs and limited audience access as most new games shifted towards multi-platform releases. Now, it seems that the exact opposite has happened. Most of today’s big, high quality, games are exclusive to a particular hardware platform.

For example, looking at IGN’s best of E3 picks, they awarded 12 exclusive games and 4 multiplatform games. Gametrailers awarded 8 exclusive games and only 2 multiplatform games. (For this particular comparison, I’m counting PC/360 or PC/PS3 exclusives like like Alan Wake and Free Realms as exclusives).

Additionally, it seems like a lot of the third-party published multiplatforms games are just mediocre. There have been a handful of 2009 titles that I was really excited about, that previewed well, and came from respected studios, yet turned out to be big disappointments.

Personally, I’m a PlayStation fan and most of the games I’m excited for are PS3 exclusives, but even beyond that, it looks like most of the other games that look really good are exclusive to 360/Wii/PC/PSP/DS. There are still some great multiplatform games coming up (Red Dead Redemption is very high on my list), but compared with exclusives, there are just very few of them.

Would anyone disagree or does this seem to be the trend?


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Fleakitten on June 15th, 2009

    Sony’s inhouse studios have the advantage over 3rd party companies.
    Just compare the pics of Uncharted 2 to FFXIII or any other multi game right now. There’s no contest.

  2. #2 by Trieloth on June 15th, 2009

    Multiplatform games are never that great…they might sell better (Cod4) but graphics and production value cant compete. Dividing up the team is never a good thing.
    Right now M$ would love to have everthing multiplat so they can get the DLC and act like its there own game (fallout/GTA4).

  3. #3 by Darrin on June 15th, 2009

    If it was just graphics and technology, then it would be easier to understand.

    But overall game quality, innovation, and polish just seem to be much better on the hardware exclusive titles. Even among games that aren’t graphics/tech centric, the best ones seem to be hardware exclusive.

    Two guesses:

    One is that Sony/Microsoft/Nintendo are better at choosing projects and/or managing internal teams than EA/Activision/Ubisoft/Square/Capcom.

    Secondly, studios where the tech-workers have more influence tend to prefer focusing on a single hardware platform, while studios where the investors exert more control generally want multi-platform releases, and the former tend to make the better games.

  4. #4 by Pungyeon on June 16th, 2009

    Well, let’s be honest here for a bit.

    This is ALL about business. First of all, you will think that these games are good, as your led to believe that their good by the masses of dollars put into marketing.
    Secondly, which titles are likely to become exclusives? The ones that sound like their going to suck and are created by uninspiring game developers, or are the exclusive deals going to be made with talented game developers?

    :)

  5. #5 by Darrin on June 16th, 2009

    It’s not just marketing… Look at the already released titles of 2009. All of my favorites are Sony published exclusives (Killzone, Infamous, Flower, Patapon 2, and Home content) and there are a few PC exclusives that look pretty good as well. This could just be by tastes as I didn’t care for SFIV, RE5, or the UFC game which all got high reviews and very high sales.

    Also, I was expecting a lot from 2009 multiplatform releases like Fuel, Godfather II which disappointed. And I was hoping to be surprised by stuff like Terminator, Eat Lead, Wanted, and a bunch of others which all look like flops.

  6. #6 by ehandlr on June 16th, 2009 [ 44532 Points ]

    I think every generation ends up being about exclusives in the end. I put together my list of games I wanted for 2010…There are like 3 multiplatform games and the rest are exclusives….

    PS3-
    FFXIII Versus
    FFXIV
    Uncharted 2
    Heavy Rain
    Ratchet and Clank A Crack in Time
    The Last Guardian
    MAG
    Agent
    White Knight Chronicles

    Multiplatform-
    FFXIII
    Assassin’s Creed II
    COD Modern Warfare II

    and this is the same for the other systems as well. Just the 360 and Wii have a smaller list then the PS3 for me.


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