Sony Microsoft Succumbed? How did an Exclusive Game “rebel”?

The pattern of domestic games is different from abroad.

Well, don’t make fun of “Kong Yiji”, but one thing is, there is still a clear watershed between domestic and foreign players in terms of the “game console”. Overseas, especially in North America, game consoles are the only gaming option for most homes. Everyone has a TV at home. You can spend three to five dollars to buy a host computer for four to five years, and friends can also play together. As for the computer, it is generally only used when working.

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Domestic players prefer computer and mobile games

But for the domestic players, or to be exact, for us this entry from your computer or mobile phone gamers, the large majority of people can not specifically designed to “play the game” and then buy a game console, and therefore with a computer or mobile phone Playing games has become our only way to play.

Although we are very happy to play with the mobile computer, there are indeed a lot of fun games on the mobile computer, but there are not too many games. We will encounter a certain exclusive game that can only be played by the game console. Condition. For example, annual games such as “God of War 4” and “Break of the Wild” have never landed on computers and other platforms, and many players have left regrets.

  ”Exclusive” can also be modified

But things always turn around. For example , the “exclusive game” “Dawn of Horizon Zero” produced by Sony’s developers and released by Sony announced that it will be listed on Steam, becoming the first Sony “cancel exclusive” game. The appearance of this news has caused some PS4 players to be dissatisfied that they bought their PS4 for nothing. But it also inspired more computer gamers and talked about who will be the next game out of monopoly?

Games published directly by Sony

Although I am a PS4 player, personally, as a player, I still support the “cancel monopoly”. After all, a good game should be accessible to more people and should not be affected by the platform or Restrictions on models and the removal of monopoly will also become a major trend in the future. But why is it easy to say the word “cancel monopoly”, but is it so complicated to implement?

To solve the bell, you have to be a bell person, and you want to answer why it is difficult to cancel the monopoly. This has to start with the birth of the monopoly game. Let’s first sort out the three major reasons for the birth of exclusive games: exclusive game IP, exclusive developer, and exclusive buyout.

  Game IP Exclusive

The first is the exclusive gaming IP. This is easier to understand, because the gaming IP belongs to a certain host brand. As long as you want to play my game, you can only buy my host. Speaking of which, everyone is more familiar with Nintendo, which officially returned to the mainland market last year. As a brand that holds well-known global IPs such as Mario and Pokémon, Nintendo has put its exclusive policy to the extreme: you can hardly see these IPs appearing on any other platform as a game, even if it is This derivative mobile game is also co-developed with other developers without affecting the sales of its own console. Want to play the masterpiece, there is no choice but to buy our console.

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Want to play Mario, can only choose Nintendo

In fact, Nintendo has such a high degree of exclusivity for its own reasons: For so many years of painstakingly operating IP, if the IP is easily transferred to other platforms, Nintendo may lose its dominance over these IPs. Over the years, Nintendo’s game consoles are not the most powerful in the same period. Whether it is behind the screen or the number of frames, “gameplay” is its only opportunity to overtake.

When the game and the host are all built by themselves, the hardware and software can work together perfectly to bring a 1 + 1> 2 experience-just like iOS and Mac. If you port your game to other platforms, not only will other hosts compete with yourself, but there will also be unstable factors during the migration process, which may affect the reputation of the game IP. Therefore, in the exclusive game, Nintendo has always refused to give in.

Sony and Microsoft also have similar views on this situation of IP monopoly: Because the IPs of major works such as “Spider-Man”, “God of War” and “Uncharted Seas” are controlled by Sony, these games are also responsible for the new host Escort mission. In order to maximize console sales, these IP-related games usually appear in the form of “exclusive games”.

The same is true of the Microsoft camp. The “Forza Motorsport” series and “Halo series” as Microsoft’s masterpieces also play a role of escort for the new host. Even if most of them have a corresponding computer version. But because the computer version is also part of the Windows platform, it will not constitute competition for Xbox sales.


Many Xbox games have landed on the Windows platform

In addition to ensuring the sales of their own consoles, these IP monopolies have another reason: game monopoly means that there is no need to share other platforms. Almost all publishers, including mobile phones, have a percentage of the game purchase. In other words, if Microsoft ’s halo series landed on PS4, whether it is a digital or physical version, Microsoft will need to pay Sony a certain platform fee for each game sold. In the principle of maximizing benefits, anyway, I have a host myself, why should I pay protection fees for other platforms? This is one of the reasons why these games are not possible to cancel the monopoly and land on other platforms.

  Developer exclusive

Then there is the second case-developer monopoly. This is actually the case with “The Dawn of Horizon Zero” that we said at the beginning. The game studio that developed “Horizon Zero Dawn” is a sub-studio of Sony’s SIE Global Studio. According to common sense, these game IPs also belong to Sony. But unlike the first case, the impact of these IPs is far less profound than those of old IPs that have been operating for many years, and most of them do not even have a “series” statement.

Because such games usually do not have “continuing competitiveness”, even if they escorted the new console as an exclusive game in the early days, they will not bring more sales to the console after the end of the life cycle of their works. In this case, putting it on another platform may be a better choice. On the one hand, landing on the new platform can attract new players, not only increasing sales, but also advertising for yourself.

For example, players who used to only like “shooting and driving football” can now experience the magnificent plot and world of role-playing games. The next time they choose a game console, they may stand on their own side: Everyone has it, it is better to choose a host with other games. ”

“Gunball” can be played anywhere, it is better to change to a more interesting platform

  Buyout monopoly

However, even if it is a third-party developer, that is, a developer who does not belong to any brand faction, their game may have an exclusive possibility. For example, the French developer Quantic Dream does not belong to any brand faction, but its “Detroit: Changing Man” is the same. “Exclusive” for a whole year on Sony’s PS4 platform: This game that landed on PS4 in May 2018 did not officially land on the computer platform until December 12, 2019.

This involves another concept of monopoly, that is, “buyout” monopoly. The game console cannot rely solely on its own game support, and it also needs to introduce external forces. In the example of “Detroit: Become Human”, Sony directly bought out the exclusive right of the game when it was launched, and incorporated it into its own exclusive game, thereby expanding the content advantage of its game console.


This game was once exclusive to PS4, but finally landed on PC

This behavior is a win-win for both the host platform and the developer: developers do not need to worry about the market reaction of the game release, they can monetize the game in advance, and can log in to other platforms as usual after one year; the host platform also expands its own game library , More competitive in the host market share. Under such a buyout situation, developers have no right to let their games land on other platforms, and naturally there is no such thing as “cancel monopoly”.

However, for this type of game, except for a few games that are permanently bought out, for most games, there are no conditions such as binding between them and the game console. After all, the different platforms are divided or the platform has a general influence. It’s also a half-dozen. Instead of being tied up on one platform, it is better to land on other platforms after the end of the exclusivity period and expand sales as much as possible. Therefore, this kind of “exclusive” games are usually canceled and added to other game platforms.

  What does it have to do with my mobile player?

Having said all this, how does the cancellation of the game monopolize us? Can’t a game be exclusive, can my mobile phone play these console games?

Here I only answer the latter question. Cancelling monopoly may indeed allow us to play console games with mobile phones, but unlike our imagination, the console games mentioned here are not the kind of large-scale 3A masterpieces, but come from independent development. Indie Game.

Unlike large-scale studios, these hard-working but unindependent independent developers have no hot spots brought by star producers, hundreds of millions of dollars in development budgets, and no million-level year-end share. Most of them entered the game industry with their ideals, but couldn’t realize their dreams because they couldn’t make ends meet. As a result , they had no choice but to participate in the platform’s support plan and permanently “sell” their games to the platform for the next try prepare for.

Behind every indie game is full of hardships

Although the game platform bought the exclusivity of these games, it usually does not build momentum for these games: there are so many games to promote, and where can the resources support these small developers. In this vicious circle, the living space of independent developers is becoming increasingly narrow.

The game publishing platform is willing to “cancel the monopoly” of the game, benefiting these obscure independent developers. With the support of the platform, they can use the platform’s resources to better develop games. After the results are made and the exclusive period has expired, they can also better promote their games to more players according to the different conditions and types of different platforms. Players can also encounter these independent boutiques on different platforms. This will not only benefit multiple parties, but also improve the ecological environment for independent developers and allow more players to play better games.

After all , getting out of the shackles of the platform and feeling the happiness brought by the game is the core value of the game as the “ninth art”. I hope that in the future we can see more games “exit from monopoly”, so that more players can better enjoy the game.

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