In the wake of today’s Tomb Raider news I thought it would be important to talk about the word “exclusive” and what it has come to mean.
A few days ago Editor in Chief of Kotaku, Stephen Totilo and I had the following exchange on twitter:
His initial link points out that Rise and Dead Rising 3 were both announced as Xbox One exclusives and now they are both coming to PC. Those two announcements (two months apart) have come in the midst of the commonly used phrase “timed exclusive”. It’s exactly what it sounds like, the game is exclusive to a platform for a set amount of time.
Activision has had timed exclusives on Call of Duty DLC on Xbox for a few years. It makes Microsoft happy because they get to say “we get this popular thing first” on stage at big events and the die hard fans of that franchise are more likely to buy the game on that platform.
But in the past when third party games were exclusive, they were really exclusive. Final Fantasy games were exclusive to Sony platforms for years, for example. So were Tomb Raider games.
The first chink in the armor of “exclusivity” I can remember was BioShock in 2007. The first BioShock is one of the best games I’ve ever played, won tons of Game of the Year awards, and was touted as being “Only on Xbox” – words they even printed on the box.
14 months after it came out on the Xbox 360, a PS3 version was released.
This story is become more and more common. On the one hand, I love it. I love that GTA, BioShock, and Final Fantasy are playable on every platform. It’s great for gaming, it’s great for gamers, and it’s great for people who can only afford one console.
(Yes, as long as console makers continue to publish games you’re never going to get to play 100% of games released, but you can play 95%, and that’s pretty good. At least in the near future you wont be playing Halo on a PlayStation and you won’t be playing Uncharted on an Xbox.)
But on the other hand, we’ve cheapened the word. People don’t trust the word exclusive when especially when Microsoft says it. Just look at the news about Rise of the Tomb Raider, almost every outlet reporting it casts some doubt about the length of this exclusive. Not a single report that I’ve read is certain that Square / Crystal Dynamics will publish Tomb Raider only on the Xbox. Everyone is expecting Sony to have Tomb Raider in 2016.
Microsoft has warped the meaning of the word exclusive to mean exclusive-ish, or exclusive-for-now. They’ve also cheapened the value of their console. When you look at the landscape of games coming one or two games may nudge you to choose one console over the other.
Stephen Totilo is right, “it set’s a precedent” and lying about a game that’s exclusive devalues your console and just makes your consumers upset.
It is still unclear weather the the new Tomb Raider is actually exclusive to Microsoft or if it’s just a timed exclusive. The fact that it’s been more than four hours since the news broke, and outlets still seem to be debating the definition of exclusive and what it means in this instance, is in of itself a problem.
UPDATE: Eurogamer has confirmed that the Tomb Raider deal “has a duration”
No. I’m not flipping you off.
Dan Seifert points out that “Chromebooks will never be successful until they have bigger screens" since 81% of laptop sales are computers with 15 or 17 inch screens.
As a 15 inch MBP owner, I’m honestly very surprised. I can’t think of another person I know with a 15 inch machine. And even now, as I look around the coffee shop I’m sitting in, and all I see are 13-14 inch laptops.
This is really interesting data.
In the wake of the Robin Williams news, this is your reminder that no one has to go through depression alone. People love you and people want to talk to you.
If you’re depressed or if you think you’re depressed call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
Or email me. I’m not a professional but I can help you find help in your area: NerdologyProject@gmail.com
“In 2002, having spent more than three years in one residence for the first time in my life, I got called for jury duty. I show up on time, ready to serve. When we get to the voir dire, the lawyer says to me, “I see you’re an astrophysicist. What’s that?” I answer, “Astrophysics is the laws of physics, applied to the universe—the Big Bang, black holes, that sort of thing.” Then he asks, “What do you teach at Princeton?” and I say, “I teach a class on the evaluation of evidence and the relative unreliability of eyewitness testimony.” Five minutes later, I’m on the street.
A few years later, jury duty again. The judge states that the defendant is charged with possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine. It was found on his body, he was arrested, and he is now on trial. This time, after the Q&A is over, the judge asks us whether there are any questions we’d like to ask the court, and I say, “Yes, Your Honor. Why did you say he was in possession of 1,700 milligrams of cocaine? That equals 1.7 grams. The ‘thousand’ cancels with the ‘milli-’ and you get 1.7 grams, which is less than the weight of a dime.” Again I’m out on the street.”
Note to self, you can be too smart to serve on a jury.
Throwback Thursday - He’s the administrator of this camera.
Star Wars has the best #TBT game.
Knife City has a new EP out this week and it’s really good. You can listen and buy it at Bandcamp.
And if you’re not familiar with Knife City you can buy their previous, self titled EP on Bandcamp as well. (I say “their” because Knife City is a “band” but it’s just one person. His name is Luke. And he’s a really cool dude.)
I’ve had the album on repeat all morning and I have no regrets. I think my favorite moment is at 2:35 in the title track Precious Jewel. It’s just hitting on every level.