Exclusives sell consoles. That’s just the way it is and just looking at Sony’s PS4 exclusive lineup combined with the mammoth lead they have this year, it is almost impossible to doubt the impact of a great exclusive. Even though that is the case, mega-publisher Bethesda sees a future without console exclusives.
More specifically, Bethesda’s Pete Hines wants to see those closed-system walls come down in the future (as reported by GameSpot). First of all, I do find it a bit ironic since one can consider the Bethesda launcher a closed-system on PC instead of letting Fallout 76 come to Steam, GOG.com and more as well, but let’s not get hung up on that.
During a Pax Aus Panel, Mr Hines explained what he thinks will happen in the future of gaming platforms:
I think you’re going to see platforms get more homogenised. Because truthfully, there’s really not a reason for [competing consoles] to be different. You don’t buy a DVD and then worry about which DVD player you have. You just buy a DVD and anything that plays DVDs works. And I think games are going to start to move closer and closer to that.
Mr Hines sees a future where you will just be able to purchase a game and play it on whichever platform you want. That is a great future for some, but one that I, for one, think is pretty unrealistic. Mr Hines continued by explaining what he thinks the future holds:
You might decide to play it on the Sony machine or the Microsoft machine or use the Google [streaming] service, but it will start–I think–to look more like it really doesn’t matter what you choose to play it on. You just want to play this game on the thing you choose to play your games on whether that’s because where your friends are or whatever. Things like cross-platform play, cross-platform progression, all of that stuff.
Lastly, Mr Hines explained why the industry needs to start moving in this direction and how it will benefit developers by reaching the most fans possible with this type of movement.
We as an industry need to start to move to not be so beholden to, “I only make a thing for that machine and not this one.” .The faster we get to that the better it’ll be for developers, the better it’ll be for games. I think we as an industry–because we need to–are going to move less toward differentiation–“Why is a thing better on one platform than another”–and more toward I just want to make a thing that everybody can play. Because that’s ultimately what’s going to get you the most players; that’s what’s going to get devs the most money and reach the most fans.
Yes, a future without console exclusives does sound better for everyone in the long run. If you don’t have to worry about which console you are going to buy and still know that you will play all the best games, that would be great. However, it is very unrealistic if you ask me, just because of one simple fact I mentioned right at the start of this article. Exclusives sell consoles.
What do you think about the future Bethesda is hoping for? Let us know in the comment section below.