When I was young, I had two systems: a Nintendo GameCube and the original Playstation. I loved both of these consoles; they had great games and a handful of exclusives. While I owned a lot of third-party games for my GameCube, I had a plethora of exclusives for the Playstation with games such as Crash Bandicoot 3: Warped, Music 2000 and Digimon World. Yes, I really liked the Playstation, especially my Crash Bandicoot games. However, I remember going into a store to buy a game for my lovely purple Cube and noticed a game on the shelf that brought out a face of despair Crash Bandicoot: Wrath of Cortex for GameCube. I never knew about Crashs dive into the other consoles at the time, so I was honestly angry. Of course being young, I forgot about it and didnt make a big fuss. However, in this modern era of gaming, the joys of exclusivity seem to become more distant as we move forward.
I know there, obviously, there still exist plenty of exclusive games, especially for Nintendo consoles, however there are still all of those titles that should be exclusive, yet they end up not being exclusive for some odd reason. You know what Im talking about and you know who were all looking at: Ubisoft. Now, I dont have to go into much detail, but if you dont know it by now Well, you will now. Ubisoft recently announced that Rayman Legends will go multiplatform, previously being a Wii U exclusive. This at first doesnt seem horrible, seeing as it may become a timed-exclusive. However, since Legends is two weeks away from being released, they decided to delay it by seven months in order release it along the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360 versions. Mind you, this game is finished! Why would you delay it seven months in order to selling all three versions when you could release the Wii U version first and then the other versions later?
And of course, this backfired immensely boycotts have been started and a lot of pre-orders have been cancelled. If this is Ubisofts way of trying to make a greater profit, it isnt going to work now, because they lost a lot of money. Now its slated for a September release, but lets see what games are coming out in September:
- Grand Theft Auto V
- Wind Waker HD (Rumoured)
Okay, so, while not many games, hell, I used a rumoured release date, whats the problem here? Well, firstly, one of the most anticipated games of the year is on that list GTAV. Now, what will most people say what theyre looking forward to in September? If you answered Rayman Legends, youre incorrect. Grand Theft Auto V was delayed from March to September, but that at least had a damn good reason: it just wasnt finished yet. To my understanding, Rayman Legends was delayed before, as that wasnt done itself and thats understandable, but when you already have a playable demo out, which will be nearly one year old by the time of the actual release date Thats a concern to say the very least.
Now, as mentioned above, Id like to bring another point up: why isnt it a timed-exclusive? If it was like this, no one would care and wed all be fine. Of course, some people will be upset that its not a Wii U exclusive, but still, Wii U owners would be able to get it first and enjoy it for a long time before Xbox 360 and PS3 owners get their hands on it. Ninja Gaiden 3: Razors Edge is now coming to Xbox 360 and PS3, but yknow what; at least it was release at the same time, despite Ninja Gaiden 3 itself being nearly one year old. Heck, Indie games do this too, with Castle Crashers being timed and being released on the Xbox 360 originally then gradually make its way to PS3 and PC.
If you release a game for one system and need more time to release it for another, youve made a wise business decision, as more people will buy the product and when its released later, people will buy it then and youll be able to make more of a profit. However, with what Ubisoft did, a lot of people have been put off by not only Rayman Legends, but the company itself. Given that theyre releasing it during the same month Grand Theft Auto V was a gutsy move, yet they couldve moved it to another month where it wouldnt be dominated. All the money you were going to get, Ubisoft? Expect less of it now.
This may sound like a bunch of rambling, but imagine if other companies do this? All of those pre-orders, all of those exclusives now theyve gone to waste. Whoever made this decision at Ubisoft should really reconsider what theyve done, but it looks like its too late for that. If this happens to become a common practise, exclusives could well become a thing of the past, except for several franchises that is. Exclusivity is seemingly becoming less and less common nowadays, and while there are plenty of exclusive titles, there is still this looming issue. Ubisoft has shown us an unusual practise and lets hope that it will never be repeated again.