by Jonah Besenty | staff writer
Before 2003 if you wanted a game you would usually need to buy a disc of the game. This was troublesome for many reasons, such as digital rights management problems, installer issues, and broken or corrupted games. But for quite some time since then, you could buy your game through Steam and not go through the inconvenience of buying discs. Steam is a free digital distribution platform that was released in 2003 by the Valve Corporation. Steam allows developers to publish their games through the platform, communication with other users, content creation, streaming, and many more things.
The success of the Steam platform in the past 16 years has influenced other corporations such as Epic Games, Electronic Arts, and Ubisoft to create their own digital distribution platform like Origin, Uplay, and Epic Games Launcher. Recently, video game developer ,4A Games, who created and owns the rights to the video game franchise, Metro, based of off the popular Novel series of the same name struck a deal with Epic Games to make their upcoming game, Metro Exodus, a timed exclusive for PC. The game will be released on PC, but only on the Epic Games Launcher. Later in 2020 it will release on other platforms such as Steam which it originally was intended to release on.
The concept of Timed Exclusives has been around for a long time, however it has many problems with it.
When a timed exclusive is announced on a certain platform such as PlayStation 4, it creates frustration with consumers who may not have the platform and therefore cannot purchase the game they want unless they have said platform.
There is also a concept called exclusives which is essentially the same but is only released on one platform and never released on any other. This for isn’t as bad as timed exclusives because when a timed exclusive is released on other platforms consumers who couldn’t purchase it originally may have lost interest in the game and therefore do not purchase it. This hurts the producer a lot more than when a regular exclusive is released. Sales drop and cause the producer to hurt financially. Consumers sometimes might not even purchase a game from a company in the future if they wanted a game that they couldn’t get because of timed-exclusives.
Consumers should boycott game developers who make some products timed exclusives. This will hurt the developer but maybe they will understand that not only does it hurt consumers but they hurt themselves in the process.