Video Games

What’s Exclusive About Video Game Deals?

EA SportsIn all honesty, what is this big infatuation with video game exclusivity anymore? Can someone explain this to me, like seriously why does it matter if i pre-order a game here i get something different from pre-ordering it somewhere else?

In a day an age where this industry is making money hand over fist much like how Vince McMahon did in the 90’s, this exclusive stuff is just way out of hand. Here’s a god example, the upcoming Wolfenstein, which will be reviewed shortly here at Camel Clutch Blog, has so many different pre-order specials its confusing as to pick which one you should go with.

One site has Free Gold, one has Weapon Upgrades, One has both of those, and then there’s Amazon.com which is not giving away that but instead is giving away a code for both PS3 and Xbox 360 owners to download the classic Wolfenstein game on there respected consoles.

Why even bother buying this game in stores when you get a free game with the new game? To me its a sad sign that all these stores are competing this way with such miniscule attempts to steal one’s sales away. Its disgusting, and it doesn’t stop there since the retailers are not just the only ones who are doing this fraud, the publishers are as well.

The biggest fraud of all, EA, constantly has to mix it up with companies with there Exclusive non-sense. The current fiasco is over the MMA licenses they have gotten from Fedor and now Randy Couture has joined into this game. How about instead of luring fighters away, you attempt to compete directly with the THQ UFC game? Gamers who are not into MMA will not know who these fighters are outside of doing research via Youtube.

In the end, if you compete directly with THQ instead of preventing them from making a better product via hostile business tactics, you may in fact show the world that you can create a better game instead of just buying out the competition or setting it up so only you win with a mediocre product at best. Now i am not shooting down EA’s MMA due to the fact that the game has yet to be shown, but seriously why do such acts. This just shows fear in the company, i guess the stance is if you cant beat them, employ them. Good for Couture and Fedor, this is big for those two since it puts them in the national spotlight with such a license.

They’re not game developers but at the same time, there the ones who will bear the brunt of the abuse from MMA fans who own THQ’s game, your violating them by taking the money and walking away from them. Granted, Fedor ended up signing with Strikeforce, so he can’t do a UFC game. Still, is it necessary for companies to pull off such practices? Competition brings out the best in all of us no matter which form of media it is, by being alone in the warzone…there is no reason to fight.

EA’s most notorious move was the Exclusive NFL License which basically ended 2K’s NFL days. The license, even though both companies had one, gave EA full 100% rights to produce, create, etc., anything and everything NFL related. 2K was up a creek without a paddle on this one. It was a forced move since Madden, while still selling very well, was being exposed for the mediocre football it is by a much better game. 2K was basically strong armed out of the genre by a bigger conglomerate.

Thats in the past though, ESPN followed suit by stabbing 2K in the back and signing up with EA. And a move of such was allowed and everyone is ok with it but when a video game comes along that is violent the media in this country and industry stand up in arms in disgust. Why is fraud normal but violent video games are terrible? To me the word “Exclusive” is used to cover up something dirty.

Why is Modern Warfare 2 being released on Xbox 360 before PS3? Is Infinity Ward trying to alienate Playstation 3 owners? They already gave them a weaker version of the first game on the PS3, so are we to be left out because it will make more money on Xbox 360 with maps that are exclusive to Xbox 360 owners. So add it up, Exclusive Maps, First Console to get it, Xbox 360 version advertised more, shown at E3 running on Xbox 360…get the hint here. Why even bother releasing the game on PS3 after all those factors are in place. People think its a great way for MW2 to be released on Xbox 360 first since it sold more copies then the PS3. But i have to ask those people, Which Console Has Been Sold The Most?

It has nothing to do with “Exclusive”, it has everything to do with making money. Xbox 360 has the lead of PS3, which should now change with the announcement of a massive price drop for the PS3. PS3 is now $299.99, Xbox 360 is $199 and $399. Xbox 360 still has market share over PS3, Wii is the overall leader. Infinity Ward knows this which is why there releasing the New MW2 on Xbox 360 first, then PS3. They know the sales will be massive without the PS3 game. By the time the PS3 game hits, what is the point of buying it? In the end, the PS3 crowd gets hosed missing out on day one with this game.

This to me also shows Microsoft’s fear of the surging PS3, why would they pay so much to score such an exclusive in today’s market when they are ahead of there biggest competitor. What will they do once it hits PS3, will they release the Xbox 360 “Exclusive” maps on PS3 for free or will they charge for them and what will they call it. They can’t call it the “Sorry Were Late” Map Pack or the “Wish You Were On Xbox 360” Map Pack, so how will they handle that I’m not so sure but they definitely just screwed over the PS3 crowd thats for sure. Especially since the PS3 has so much more horse power and is capable of producing 1.21 gigawatts of gaming power.

The answer to that is the SDK, another excuse these companies use to explain why something is exclusive to one but not shown on the other. Yes, the PS3 is not as easy to code for then the Xbox 360, which is also cheaper since the Xbox 360 has no HD Optical Drive. In the end its a sad day on 11.10.09 for PS3 owners since they will have to wait for a game that the creators felt it was necessary to withhold from them. Its the most anticipated game of the year Infinity Ward, no need to hold back it will sell those millions and you can continue to goto exotic island resorts after its release, we wouldn’t want you guys to lose that. No need to worry about being broke, this game is you meal ticket so eat up, you selfish frauds.

At least back in the day when there was a version of a game on SNES or Genesis you knew which one sucked and which one did not. Now a days since these games are being sold to compete against themselves, even if its the same game, no one can really know for sure what there getting. Soul Calibur did this years ago with Soul Calibur 2. The Xbox, Gamecube, and PS2 had the same game but an extra fighter that was exclusive to those consoles. Xbox got Spawn, PS2 got Heihachi from Tekken, and Gamecube got Link.

Let’s see, Tekken was exclusive to Sony at the time so obviously Heihachi could not goto the Xbox just yet, Spawn is a comic book character so if Nintendo or Sony wanted to they could have gotten the ok to put him in there version. But Link is the exception here, he is the ONLY character that said agreements couldn’t bring to Xbox or PS2. Gamecube has the most successful version of the game, Link was the biggest factor into this outcome, but seriously, the Cube version was a perfect translation of the Soul Calibur experience, so there was really no reason for the exclusive stuff here.

But people will always remember that game as the Soul Calibur that had Link in it, they won’t remember that version for how beautiful it was and how bad it mad the two “Superior” consoles looked. Its like this really, if your releasing a game on multiple systems, do not hold back or add special things to each version to entice sales. If people want it, they will get it, there is no need to compete against yourself. Seeing how Infinity Ward, as I mentioned above, is doing this lets look at the outside for a second.

Modern Warfare 2 releases 11.10.09 for the Xbox 360, all of its competition will either be released before or after. And I mean way before or way after. Killzone 2 is out now, MAG is delayed until 2010, Uncharted 2 will be released in October, Halo 3: ODST will be released in September, God Of War 3 delayed until March 2010, SOCOM is out now. See the point here? There is no serious competition from fellow FPS games or from fellow block busters titles. No need to be on defense, you should be on the offense running up the score. So release this game as is to EVERYONE with EVERYTHING in it, not some stupid “get this version for the (insert content here)” reason.

Another example of GTA IV and its exclusive Xbox 360 downloadable episodes. Grand Theft Auto is unanimously recognized as the most open ended experience there is on ANY console to date. Even the Nintendo DS game is so open source its amazing considering the limitations of the Nintendo DS. Microsoft wanted to steal sales away from Sony by scoring exclusive content from Rockstar for there version of GTA IV. Now, look at it this way. There’s already two versions of this game, Standard and Special Edition. Now your throwing in this exclusive episode stuff, what is the point of confusing the gamer even more. There already going to buy the standard version since the Special edition is expensive and only contains minor extras. Now your telling people there’s no reason to own any version of GTA IV on the PS3 since the Xbox will have a longer game…even though its the same game.

This to me is a disaster for PS3 owners since these episodes were surrounded in mystery until they were shown off. Now, granted the games have been enormous success stories on PSone, PS2, and such success should translate on the PS3 right. Well yes it has been a success and the sales numbers are great for the PS3 which at the time had a high price tag. Now with the new price tag, will that entice Rockstar to bring over those episodes to the PS3 and admit they made a mistake with these being exclusive only to the Xbox 360.

In the end, why hold out on the system that had older brothers that sold the most copies of your series. Rockstar doesn’t need any help selling GTA, its a media frenzy that eclipses that of any reality show divorce. Speaking of the media, this brings me to the closing of all this exclusive talk. I don’t really remember when it was the media’s job to decide how much and how consoles should be made. The key example is how the media totally slams the PS3 and there praise of the Wii & Xbox 360. All three consoles are great in there own ways, and there weak in there own ways as well.

But it seems everyone is united against the PS3 for some reason or another. Now with its new price, there is no reason to not own a PS3. Look at it this way the cheapest Sony Blu-Ray player runs $249.99 the new price tag of the PS3 is $299.00, so you have to only pay 50 bucks for a PS3 technically. Your getting a next generation console for 50 bucks more then a high end blu-ray player. But then again, this price drop was not Sony’s idea anyway since the media in all the wisdom decided to force a price drop.

In a sense the PS3 at its price was equal to the price of the Xbox 360 Elite. Only difference is that there is an entry level Xbox 360 that retails for $199.99. The Wii is priced in between its competitors. Now that the PS3 has a new price what will the media attack now about the PS3 and forget to mention about things Nintendo and Microsoft are doing wrong. If the whole Modern Warfare 2 situation was bad on PS3 owners the Wii owners have it worse.

On 11.10.09 they will release Modern Warfare 1 on the Wii. What a joke! What makes it worth buying anyway? Infinity Ward is way late to the motion sensor party but this move publicly admits there doing it for the money. Modern Warfare with added Wii Remote features wow thats an incentive to pay full retail price for a game that has been out for 2 years on other systems. And you know the online portion will either be watered down or will be excluded all together.

Nintendo has no serious intent on going online the right way this being a major issue I have with the Wii and DS. They are making bold moves with there digital distributions with there Wii Shop Channel and there DSi App Store. Both are easy to use and fast and simple to understand. Microsoft is still suffering from major hardware failure. Its been reported that the Xbox 360 has a 54% hardware failure rate. But who cares about the Xbox 360’s shortcomings or how far Nintendo is behind but there ahead in sales, the media would rather pester Sony to get there ways.

So in a sense, the media will do whatever it takes to get that Exclusive story and have all there Exclusive segments to downgrade the price cut and remodel that they themselves demanded. Must be nice to have your cake and eat it too. Wait a second, that figure of speech is stupid. Of course I’m gonna eat the cake, who leaves cake behind? Anyways, in the end when buying a game yes its nice to have extras and yes its nice to have fun and enjoy the experience. Just do not let these animals control what you buy and why you buy it. They make money regardless of your decision. Be exclusive to yourself in making your own decision, if not, your just a regular to this industry and regulars keep coming back for more.

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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