Remember all the controversy generated with the timed Tomb Raider announcement for the Xbox? Well prepare for another bout of controversy as we hear the massive announcement that Street Fighter 5 will be coming exclusively to PS4 and PC. That’s right folks; the internet is about to go into meltdown and we’ll no doubt be on the front lines witnessing the war unfold as tears are shed, keyboards are smashed and hypocrites are exposed.
THIRD PARTY EXCLUSIVITY- AN UGLY NEW TREND REARS ITS HEAD
So there we have it. Third Party exclusivity is a thing now; first Titanfall, then Tomb Raider and now Street Fighter 5. We cannot say that we are fans of this trend at all. It only serves to deprive otherwise entitled gamers all because of some financial deal struck between companies. Titanfall suffered from this kind of arrangement particularly because it was a new IP and really needed as much exposure as possible. For many, Tomb Raider’s spiritual home was on the PlayStation so the agreement felt like a betrayal on the part of Crystal Dynamics to a lot of the Sony faithful. Now Street Fighter, a game that never really had a historical console association on one platform will be neglecting the Xbox One. We struggle to think of any benefit this serves to anyone other than the companies involved and of course, the fanboys who will use this to further the cause of their virtual war.
MONEY-HATTING IS OKAY IF SONY DOES IT
Whilst the announcement is relatively fresh, what this writer finds really interesting (and not entirely surprising) is the fact that there seems to be comparatively less outrage over this announcement than as compared to the Tomb Raider fiasco. For all the noise made about this so-called ‘evil practice’ when the deal was struck for the latter game and how Microsoft should be condemned for their part in it, it appears that Sony can do no wrong even if the deal is struck with Capcom, a company that has been in the firing line amongst gamers for some time now for its perceived anti-consumer practices (see Resident Evil 5 and its locked co-operative content on disc).
TIMED EXCLUSIVE OR LIFETIME?
The details of this agreement are not clear at this stage as to whether this exclusivity will be a timed one ala Tomb Raider on the Xbox next year or a permanent one like Titanfall. Expect to hear more about this at this weekend’s PlayStation Experience event. If it is a lifetime exclusive on the PS4 and PC, the ramifications for something like this are huge. Street Fighter is one of the most if not the most important beat em ups on the market and if a title like that can be swept up as a lifetime exclusive for a single console, then we shudder to think what other games in the future will fall victim to this practice.
In either case, we are very interested to see how this development plays out, among the gaming community as well as among the companies involved. Whatever you think about this generation of gaming, you can hardly call it boring!