In the gaming world, exclusives are generally considered to make or break a console. Microsoft will be all too aware of this fact, as the lack of original releases since the launch of the Xbox Series X has it firmly in third place in the “console wars”, something the company is willing to admit. However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has stated that if it were his way, console exclusives wouldn’t even be a thing.
As a witness in the court battle between Microsoft and the FTC (Federal Trade Commission), Nadella explains that he would like to “get rid” of console exclusives entirely, but Sony’s dependence on using exclusive products to dominate the market makes this impossible. . He argues that Sony’s position as a dominant player in the games industry has created a world where exclusives are the biggest sign of intense market competition.
“I’d like to get rid of the whole console exclusive thing, but that’s not my definition,” says Nadella. “Especially as a player with a low share of the console market, which is a dominant player [Sony] defined market competition with exclusives. I have no love for that world.”
According to Nadella, Microsoft is probably the weakest player in the console market, so it’s very easy for him to sit there and make bold claims about where he thinks the future of the industry should be headed. It’s very likely that the Xbox would still have as many exclusives as it does today if the positions of Microsoft and Sony were reversed. You could even argue that Microsoft was the dominant player in the Xbox 360/PS3 era, but we still saw the company release a lot of exclusive titles.
We also need to talk about the importance of exclusive consoles as a whole. It’s generally accepted that exclusives are primarily a good thing for the industry, as the differences between the consoles themselves are incredibly superficial these days. This means that PlayStation and Xbox are constantly using their exclusive IP to compete for attention, which leads to more exciting and innovative games, which leads to more amazing experiences for your average gamer.
Like it or not, exclusives aren’t going anywhere and will be here for the foreseeable future. They’re too important to companies like Sony and Nintendo to let go completely, but let’s just hope that these Microsoft acquisitions make previous third-party franchises like Call of Duty and The Elder Scrolls exclusive to the Xbox Series X .
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