Each of us can make an argument for whether we love or hate GameStop. We also can argue whether we like exclusive content or not. In the future, however, we may be arguing if we like GameStop offering exclusive in-game content.
GameStop and other retailers often work with developers or publishers to offer exclusive pre-order bonuses but GameStop’s plans may reach further after meeting with an investment group. The retailer outlined plans to R. W. Baird to consider “getting involved at the time of game development where there could be some content exclusive to [the retailer] included in the game.” This seems to indicate the desire to offer more substantial bonuses, albeit digital or physical, in the future by teaming with developers early in a game’s development.
Big titles have been offering console exclusive for some time and are becoming more prevalent. Call of Duty has been giving Xbox user’s exclusive first access to DLC for some time and Destiny is doing the same for DLC on PlayStation. GameStop’s plan differs in that its exclusives are designed to get you to buy from them, regardless of your platform of choice. Imagine that you and a friend want to play a game together but your friend bought from Amazon and you bought from GameStop. Given this possible strategy, you and your friend may not be able to play all the game’s content together.
It is too early to tell what exactly will become exclusive to the retailer but it may be likely that other retailers will pursue this business model as well. I would caution that this may cause in-game fragmentation of user bases but can see that this may already be happening as some players choose not to buy DLC for games, thus potentially limiting their interactions with other players.
Paul Novak is a self described Polish ninja toiling away as an IT professional but more into gaming and writing. Physically existing in the west side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania yet existentially flowing with the ether of the Internet. Found here at What’s Your Tag? and on the Twitter @dudewantshisrug. Game on with Team XBRO!
Guess all those years of buying games for a couples bucks and then selling for near original price are paying off.
Yeah, they probably have some spare cash.
The Gamestapo strike again. If gamers spoke with their wallets, this nonsense of retailer exclusive content could be nipped in the bud. It’s a disturbing trend.
But what are the alternatives? Digital only and suffer with prolonged high prices? Don’t buy the games at all? I think exclusives are here to stay, it’s a matter of which exclusives you want to end up with.
At this point it is so out on control that it is hard to just put the brakes on. Most major retailers have bought into this practice. I try to buy from stores that don’t bother with the superfluous extras, like bookstores, FYE/Sam Goody, or local shops. However I concede that not everyone has those options, and those places don’t always have the best price. A big part of the problem is of course, Gamestop itself. If enough gamers would stop throwing their money away at those stores we might at least see a decline in their encroachment on the gaming industry.
Until the used game market is gone GameStop isn’t going away, even then it may survive. Other retailers aren’t that much better with their practices either. Plus, the digital marketplaces still need to mature some to make a real difference.
The used game market isn’t a problem in and of itself. The problem is that Gamestop was allowed to buy up all of its competition, and except at the local level, they own the used game market. Gamers have essentially created their own demons. There is unfortunately no easy solution. My recommendation is to just not support Gamestop and other companies that try to buy their way into developers’ pockets in order to get exclusives, as much as possible. Buying from local shops, ebay, and alternative online retailers. Amazon is admittedly hard to ignore because they have good prices and are convenient, but if I have other options besides them I try to use it.
It’s great to exercise options if you have them but for the most part they are limited. We are going to keep seeing exclusives more and more. At least with the retailer exclusives we get some choice whereas the console based exclusives are completely outside of our control. The developers can be just as much at fault for partaking in the exclusives scheme.
Retailer and console exclusives bother me so much because they are so, well, exclusive. If you say, by a game at Best Buy, and you get a free extra map there, but then if you buy from somewhere else, you have to unlock the map or buy it as DLC. Even if these extras were being sold as DLC to those who didn’t get them as a bonus, that is at least more fair than being locked out altogether. That is what I hate most.
Many exclusives are time based and end up being generally available but I’m not certain that making timed exclusive content available for a fee is fair either. It is benefitting the developer or publisher more than any body else since they get paid either way.
No, it isn’t fair either, and ideally such things should be free to all and not just some. But in this kind of market, I feel that at least the option of charging for it is a more realistic alternative than what we currently have. I hate being cut off from content just because of my choice of console or retailer. For example, many Assassin’s Creed games have had as much as “an hour of gameplay” (at least that’s what it advertises) that is exclusive for the PS3 version. So just because I don’t have a PS3 I get denied access to extra single player gameplay. Great. At least having the option to pay for extra content is better than being denied it altogether. It could even be rolled into other, already existing DLC packs.
Look for exclusives to be mostly time based if they go past cosmetic changes. The MGS5:GZ missions did not keep console exclusivity for long and it has already been stated that the PlayStation exclusives for Destiny will likely go to other platforms within a year(no word on costs). It all comes back to deals that the game developer/publisher are willing to make.