This is a response to a number of comments I saw on a recent N4G article. This is not meant to attack anyone specifically or their views, but to bring to light what I see as a gross lack of understanding towards a certain aspect of gaming culture and gamers on a whole. In doing so I will be referencing quotes from certain users however I will not be utilizing any user names.
Gaming is a wide field and it caters to a wide audience and everyone has their motives and reasons as to why they choose specific gaming consoles and prefer certain types of genres. From financial constraints, to childhood nostalgia, there is a range of reasons why some people would choose one gaming platform over another. Some are lucky enough to have all while some are contented with one. This is not about those gamers, this is about the people who can’t seem to understand why some gamers may have a particular stance or viewpoint when it comes to their preferred console and its exclusives. Why so many are hesitant (and rightly so) to see their brand share its exclusives and why doing so does not necessarily equate to more “happy gamers”. So let’s begin by tackling some of the criticisms usually directed towards console gamers.
One of the most common criticisms you hear about console fans is the statement “the way you act you’ll swear you own shares in (place console manufacturer here)” or (sorry, didn’t realize you were an investor in (place manufacture here)”. Let’s just get this out of the way, YES, yes I am an investor in that brand. I invested my hard earned money into that platform (sometimes hundreds of dollars) and though I may not get monetary returns like financial investors, my return is entertainment. My return is knowing that for the next couple of years my gaming needs will be met and I can be assured of thousands of hours of joyous gaming experiences. Comments like those come across as bitter and it shows a complete lack of understanding of the person making them. I am very interested in the quarterly financial reports as that shows whether the company I have invested so much money and time into will continue to support my pastime and will continue to churn out the games that I like. Every console gamer SHOULD have a vested interest in the financial status of their preferred brand. If you don’t then it is obvious you don’t really care about gaming.
Another common critique you hear is the famous “why does it bother you so much if your console exclusive comes to pc?” usually followed by “how will it harm consoles if pc gamers get console exclusives?”. I think the best way to respond to this is to quote a pc gamer who also supports that statement. This comment was made by a particular user on a recent article "If you really all had gaming PCs as you pretend you would see the value in gamers being able to play a game like (game)on PC too." Then, in the very next line they say this “I have a PS4 Pro and (game) and I love the game. If it's only available on PS4 then that's where I'll play it, but if I had the choice of course I would prefer to play it on my PC.” And this is exactly why console gamers DO NOT want their exclusives, whether it is first or third party, on PC. When Pc gamers are given the choice they will always choose pc to play their games. The more people that buy the game for the pc, the less purchase it for the console. If the console version of a game is not selling well then why make it for the console, if the console doesn’t get games then the console will not sell, if the console doesn’t sell we have a wii u situation on our hands. Keeping console exclusives on the relevant console ensures additional sales for that console and its games, hence it ensures a long and healthy life for the brand. Why it’s so difficult for so many people to see this is beyond me.
One of the most ridiculous comments you will ever see is the “true gamers own all platforms”. No, gamers with an abundance of money own all platforms, for the rest of people they buy what they can afford. That comment is absolutely retarded and begs you to ask if the person making the comment is mentally deficient.
“By bringing games to the pc it allows more freedom”. No it doesn’t. By bringing the game to multiple platforms it will cause longer development times, less developer focus on a single platform which usually results in buggy messes, a more fragmented user base and it also can severely restrict the vision of the developer. Two examples of developer restriction are Heavy Rain and Death Stranding. When quantic dreams first approached Microsoft with heavy rain Microsoft wanted them to change it because they were concerned about the controversial topic. Quantic dream refused and went to sony, the rest is history. Hideo Kojima himself explained his choice for going with sony was the freedom they offered. Something not many other manufacturers do. Admittedly though the last point about developer freedom was aimed more at multiconsole games than console/pc games, as pc does generally offer freedom of developer vision.
“I don’t understand how you cannot enjoy your game on the (place console manufacturer here) without worrying about how others may want to enjoy it”. This one is very simple. I have EVERY RIGHT to question why someone would want a company I took my hard earned money to invest in to sabotage themselves and the system I decided to support, to cater to an audience that didn’t think they needed to support them in the first place. They have no obligation to you or anyone that did not invest in their eco system, their obligation and loyalty is for their customers. If you want to see just how ridiculous this question is try applying it to other things: Why shouldn’t Toyota allow me to use a Dodge engine in their vans? Why shouldn’t Microsoft make a version of office for apple desktops? Why shouldn’t HBO allow their exclusive programs on Starz? Exclusivity pushes sales, simple as that. When a company makes a product they don’t owe you anything. If you want their product then buy it.
“Selling your software on as many platforms as possible is the best route to take for a profit margin”. This statement is not always true. While there are many times when this is the case, there are times when the cost of developing a game falls below the actual return on sales. A good example of this would be many third party games developed for the wii and many Japanese games released on the xbox one in japan. If the target audience on the specific gaming platform does not purchase the game or if the system does not have enough sales then a developer can actually lose money in the process. Not because a game is developed for more consoles means the developer will automatically make more money. Also, we need to consider that many times teams just don't have the manpower to make multiple versions of a game and hence they often get support, financial or developer, from the manufacturers. When a manufacturer does this, again their loyalty is to THEIR fanbase not the competitor's.
Exclusives are part of gaming and hopefully they always will be. Some people will be lucky enough to enjoy them all and some will not. If you don’t then be happy with what you do have and continue supporting as much as you can, your platform of choice. Nothing is wrong with that. Nothing is wrong with wanting to see your platform grow and outperform the competition. Will those same people who criticize you for cheering on your platform also go to a sports game of their favorite team and celebrate every time the opposing team scores? No, yet somehow it’s taboo to have the same mentality in gaming. Support your platform, enjoy the games you can and ignore everyone else.