Dean Hall, of DayZ fame and ex-Bohemia Interactive employee, has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Intel i7 CPU exclusive DLC for Arizona Sunshine. He believes exclusives are a necessity for sustaining games development, particularly when growing niche markets such as virtual reality.
Hall vented in an extensive Reddit post, saying “Consumers have transferred their expectations from the PC market to VR. Specifically, they expect high quality content, lots of it, for a low price.”
Talking about his own VR game, Out of Ammo, he said it has exceed expectations but it is still “very unprofitable” due to the comparatively tiny size of the VR market. “We are comfortable with this, and approached it as such. We expected to lose money and we had the funding internally to handle this.”
His point being that without external funding, there is no way these games were ever going to get made. So as annoying as it is to not have some promising looking games on your specific hardware, the only reason they exist at all is because of the hardware and the money backing it in the first place.
“The most common examples of this are the consoles,” continued Hall. “At launch, they actually have very few customers and the initial games released for them, if not bundled and/or with (timed or otherwise) exclusivity deals - the console would not have the games it does. Developers have relied on this funding in order to make games.
“Beware what you wish for. You may be successfully destroying timed-exclusives and exclusives for Virtual Reality. But what you don't realize, is that has been the way that platform and hardware developers subsidize game development. If we don't replace that, there won't be money for making games.”
I’m probably somewhat controversially in agreement with Hall on this one. It’s one thing complaining a game you want isn’t come to your platform, it’s another thing entirely to say it’s an awful decision and every game should come to every platform. Without these platforms, the games wouldn’t exist in the first place for you to want. They’re often a chance for AAA games to be a little bit quirky and unique, knowing there is a hardcore audience for it and supplemented by hardware sales. Without that we'd just end up with a lot more homogenization, just like the yearly Call of Duty and Assassin’s Creed efforts.
Where do you stand on this then, are exclusives a necessary evil? Or are these games being unable to turn a profit just the market speaking? Share your thoughts below!