Anyone who’s been playing video games or has owned one console or another knows about “platform exclusivity.” It’s why Mario games never showed up on the Sega Genesis or why Master Chief was never on the Playstation 2. While this has always sucked and means you either buy all the consoles or miss out on certain games, it’s what has kept the gaming industry competitive which is good for everyone.
There is one kind of platform exclusivity that absolutely drives me up a wall: platform exclusive DLC.
So, say that you have the same game that’s been released across all of the current generation consoles, save for some minor resolution or frame rate differences. It’s safe to assume that you would buy the game for your preferred or only console. However, after you buy it, you find out that the developer is releasing some DLC for the game; but it’s only coming to SOME of the consoles. And sadly, you just happen to not own one of these “special” consoles that are getting this new DLC. So there you are! The proud owner of a now incomplete game because you happened to pick the “wrong” horse in the console race.
Tomb Raider Underworld and Prince of Persia (2008) are perfect examples of “platform exclusive DLC.” Both games were released across the PS3, Xbox 360 and PC platforms and were all identical save for their DLC or lack thereof. After release, both received post-game DLC content that continued and expanded upon the world and story. Prince of Persia had “Epilogue” which was only released on XBLA & PSN; PC users were left out in the cold. Tomb Raider Underworld actually had two pieces of DLC, Beneath the Ashes and Lara’s Shadow. Both were completely exclusive to the 360 version of the game. Assassin’s Creed is another widely cross-platform game that has historically restricted certain DLC content to Playstation devices.
To be clear here, I’m not concerned with timed DLC exclusives that only last a few months, I couldn’t give two skeever hides about that. What really scratches my discs is when that DLC is never made available to the other platforms. Your game is cross-platform, why isn’t your DLC? Where’s the logic in that? It’s one thing to make an entire game platform exclusive due to agreements or ownership with or by a particular console maker. But to release a game on all platforms and then withhold certain content from certain consoles is just cruel. That’s like handing out ice cream cones to everyone and then giving only a few of the “special” kids an extra scoop just because. You were happy with your one scoop cause that’s what everyone else had, but now you’re left out and feel cheated.
And what’s the purpose of all this? It obviously doesn’t benefit all the gamers who now feel they own an inferior version of a game. Money is the obvious answer and most likely the most common one. I’m sure console makers write sizable checks to make sure that their platform gets DLC and the other one doesn’t. Though if developers and publishers were smart, they’d only agree to a timed exclusive, eventually letting everyone on every platform have a chance to buy the new content. Of course time and work load can be a factor, this has been especially true recently with the Wii-U not receiving game DLC that all the other platforms get. Whether it’s the poor sales of a console or the difficulty in programming for the console, we may never know for sure.
TLDR: IF YOUR GAME IS MULTI-PLATFORM THEN THE DLC BETTER FUNKIN BE TOO!!