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    Platform Exclusive

    Concept »

    Third-party developers and publishers occasionally engage in the practice of releasing a title or piece of DLC on only one platform for any number of reasons. Sometimes these are permanent while others are only platform exclusive for a certain window of time.

    Short summary describing this concept.

    Platform Exclusive last edited by reverendhunt on 01/10/24 05:32AM View full history


    Platform exclusive titles have permeated the video game industry since its inception. Early platform exclusives in the 1980s mostly had to do with first-party franchise licensing and hardware limitations. An early example was Atari's exclusive license to Taito's blockbuster arcade game Space Invaders on home consoles, making it the first killer app in gaming history. Atari also licensed the exclusive home console rights to Pac-Man. The practise of platform exclusivity increased with the dominance of Nintendo, which prevented third-parties from developing for rival companies. In the modern video game industry, many platform exclusives have to do with publishing agreements penned between developers, publishers and the console manufacturers.

    However, the rise of console power parity and the influx of third-party developers has made the issue more controversial and strategic. For example, when Final Fantasy XIII went from being a PlayStation 3 exclusive to a multi-platform title, many people were enraged and petitioned to boycott the game in order to make Square-Enix change its mind about the decision. While this reaction did not phase Square-Enix, the move away from platform exclusivity helped the publisher sell more units. Conversely, Peter Moore announced that Grand Theft Auto 4 DLC would be exclusive to the Xbox 360 version of the game. Microsoft paid a hefty sum to Take-Two in order to make the DLC episodes exclusive to Xbox 360, hoping to gain leverage over the PlayStation 3 sales. When all was said and done, the DLC ended up on both consoles.

    A "Timed Exclusive" is one that will appear on one platform anywhere between several weeks to several years before it arrives on another. The majority of these instances has dealt with DLC. At E3 2010, Activision announced a deal with Microsoft that makes all future Call of Duty map packs for the next two years timed exclusives on the Xbox 360.


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