As of late there has been a lot talk about what is and isn’t exclusive to Xbox. Phil Spencer, head of Xbox, did make it a point to state at the Xbox E3 conference that there is a ton of content that will be exclusive to Xbox owners but after the show ended many were left dumbfounded. So many terms were used throughout the conference that the word exclusivity lost its meaning and everyone just assumed it would just be multiplatform. After all, Microsoft is putting out all of its first party IP’s on Windows 10, is there really such a thing as exclusivity? The answer to that question is a lot more complicated than it appears.
Currently there are some upset gamers disappointed at Player Unknown’s Battlegrounds being announced as a console exclusive. Essentially it boils down to PS4 owners upset that a version for their console is not in the works. That report of exclusivity came from news site Express.Co unfortunately the information provided in the article offers no weight. A source of citation is not given and thus comes the outrage. If true this confirmation of exclusivity would give weight to Phil Spencer’s claim during the E3 conference. Gamers were realizing that those games that they thought may have been timed exclusive, actually have a chance of being truly exclusive to the Xbox platform.
In order to get some clarification we did a bit of research and gathered some sources from an industry veteran. Steve Gaynor the writer behind Tacoma and Gone Home admitted in a series of tweets that his game, which was labeled “console launch exclusive,” was indeed not coming to the PS4. With that being said there is still a grey area in which it appears as though the final say is up to the developer. Gaynor would later go on to dismiss a Switch port of Tocoma but left the door open for a potential port at a later date. In this regard we can analyze that the studio themselves have the option to go and make ports if they so choose even if they are exclusive.
The safe bet to make right now is that any game that was present at the Xbox E3 conference with the tagline console launch exclusive is just that, an exclusive in terms of consoles. When it comes to the PC, that term loses its meaning with a Steam version also available for users to purchase. The take away here is that if you’re planning on buying Tacoma or Battlegrounds in the near future you may be in for a disappointment. Whether or not that exclusivity remains the same after a period of time or when the studio is fiscally able to afford ports is another story.