It’s amazing what can come along and burst your hype bubble; sometimes, it’s saying how a product won’t have NPCs (Fallout 76), sometimes it’s because you are really getting skeptical about the company making it, and sometimes… it’s taking an important member of a Superhero team and locking it to a specific console. After it being leaked yesterday, and then the companies involved just lying to us, it’s been revealed that Spider-man will be console-exclusive DLC in Marvel’s Avengers… on the PS4.
So, full disclosure… I think when you just look at the raw value and quality of titles, the PS4 is the best console of this generation (though the Switch is the best and we all know it… it’s just different). The Xbox had a really rocky launch, but they’ve pivoted what they offer (through updates and the insane value of Game Pass), to have a decent system. For me, though, most importantly… it’s the system that most of my friends have. Including the friends that I was planning to play this game with.
I can understand why Sony wants an exclusive like this, but it’s become increasingly out-of-step with what consumers want. Cross-play and multiplayer have rendered these out as a negative in the mind of a lot of consumers (and developers), where having a timed exclusive means you have to start sectioning them off. They’ve been screwing things like this up all generation, and repeatedly take anti-consumer moves in how they handle things. It’s disappointing, but not shocking. Sony does the wrong thing until they’re forced to do the right one.
What is more shocking, here, is seeing Marvel and Square|Enix go down this path. The PS4 is the number one selling console of this generation, but PC and Xbox are still a pretty massive chunk. Especially in the United States, which will be the main market for the game. They just took one of the most popular characters and told a big chunk of their market “please pay the same price for a worse version of the game.”
I’m sure plenty of people are going to be just fine about that; because gamer’s are often terrible, more than a few are taking the opportunity to make fun of and rip into Xbox and PC players because even though the idea of the console wars is asinine, a lot of people just love them. Thinking past our own selfish needs and wants, though, and it’s hard to see this as anything other than an anti-consumer move. I own a PS4, and could play this on there if I wanted to, but I don’t feel like this is behavior that should be rewarded at this point.
It’s also not a matter of Sony having an sort of exclusive rights; their rights extend to the character in movies. TV is produced and Disney’s own animation studios, and Spidey has been in plenty of other video games (the PS4 game was a single exclusive on the console, and not part of Sony’s contract for the character). I don’t know if Sony was able to hand over enough money that it would offset the sales they will be lost on other platforms because of it.
In one little anti-consumer move, what was my most anticipated game of the next couple of months just became a “yeah, no thanks” or a “maybe later” game for me. I know I’m only one order, but it’s one they’ve lost.