Liveware Quickies: The Curse Off The Exclusive
September 17, 2012 Leave a comment
What a horrible night to have a curse.
A few days ago it was announced that Bayonetta 2, the sequel to Bayonetta on Xbox360 and PS3, would be published by Nintendo as a Wii U exclusive. Exclusives are generally offensive to me, but in this case I have a specific complaint and a unique situation.
Why Do You Hate Me Platinum Games?
The Bayonetta franchise was established for Xbox360 and PS3 with the game’s first launch in 2009. The PS3-port received due criticism for technical errors and since then the designer admitted that he was unhappy with the PS3 port and that he shouldn’t have outsourced the porting to another company. So this time the solution by Platinum Games is to release the game exclusively for Wii U sidestepping the problem of ports.
The problem is, you already have an established customer base on other systems and understandably the majority of your customer base is heavily miffed about your decision.
Let’s be honest here, most consumers don’t own every next-gen platform.
Of course I understand the business and philosophy behind the exclusive. The console-war, the tribalism, brand-loyalty, believe me, I get it, I just find it offensive and unethical. The problem with Bayonetta 2 isn’t specifically that the game comes out exclusively for the Wii U, it’s that the franchise already established me (and everyone else) as their consumer on a different system.
The Wii U is not even out yet as a platform, your whole decision is riding on the Wii U being A. successful and B. worth plonking down ~300$ for owners of the Xbox and/or PS3 (your current customers).
Or maybe you just don’t care Platinum Games. Maybe you just make the game, release it, get paid by Nintendo, and then whine that nobody bought your game.
I mean your total sales were around 1.89 Million copies worldwide since release (3 years), it’s not like this title attracted a massive player-base in the first place. Do you really think that Wii U owners (previous owners of the Wii, i.e kasuals with a k, my mom) will buy your heavily mature title with tits flying across the screen every 10 seconds?
The game you are selling vs your systems target demographic.
Simply put I don’t understand your strategy here with the things you are accomplishing:
- Alienating your existing customers, no matter how many times you tell me that you don’t want to do that.
- Gambling on the success of an untested platform.
- Gambling on your success with a diametrically opposed customer-profile of the Wii U (the family friendly crowd).
- Wasting everyones goodwill towards you as a developer and rising the barrier of entry to your franchise.
Shut Up! Without Nintendo There Wouldn’t Be A Bayonetta 2
Yes, that argument, Nintendo “saved” the franchise. From where I stand, there still isn’t a Bayonetta 2.
From Twitter @CutThroatNeko:
@the_adam_tm About the concept of exclusivity, I am quite agree, even if I thought that every hardware should be as unique as game built for each of them, but it’s OK.
Otherwise, as a créator, the first important thing is to make the game you want and in second, choose the hardware that fit it the most. And aside those, keeping control over your creation.
As Sega choose to port the first Bayo on PS3 by another company, Kamiya says he was desappointed by the result.
As Sega is in big difficulty actually, PG guys wasn’t allowed to mec a sequel to this game. I think their was very disappointed too.
So when a company like Nintendo give you the opportunity to make that sequel or game you deeply want to do, that’s the more important. And as this company is a console maker, you know you won’t have to make or outsource a port on another hardware.
And Finally, Bayonetta’s concept could be made whatever the hardware is, no core-gameplay asking for waggle, touchscreen or Kinect.
My very thought is as player, we should be happy to have a sequel to a game we love.
As creator, since we are both of us in the industry too, we can understand the purpose beyond all those console war, marketing shit and vassal-to-a-brand feeling.
No offence ^^
I was just surprised of your reaction, as I was totally agree with your previous statement about it’s not easy to make video games ^^
Can you state with any confidence that a better solution beyond “selling” the franchise to Nintendo could not have been found if they really just “deeply wanted” to make the game?
I mean if you really just deeply wanted to make a game, out of a feeling of artistic integrity, or that there are stories left untold, etc. you could have just as well started a Kickstarter and made the game for PC. Or, another crazy thought, freeze the IP until such a time where you have the resources and make other games in the meantime.
But honestly, I don’t believe for a moment that Platinum Games just wanted to make a sequel to Bayonetta exclusively from their hearts desire. This was cold business and I’m not going to treat them as some kind of poor indie-dev that broke it big and needs to sacrifice things to keep going.
With the solid IP lineup they have like Vanquish, MadWorld, Infinite Space, and an upcoming Metal Gear Rising (one of the strongest franchises on the planet) they can’t be treated like some poor sods that can only survive if they make Bayonetta 2 for the Wii U.
You can’t really honestly claim that Nintendo “saved” the Bayonetta IP.
Saving something would imply that it would be in danger, and the Bayonetta IP was never in any danger.
I Can Live Without It
Something I can’t interact with is inherently not useful to me and might as well not exist.
Am I entitled to Bayonetta 2? Of course not, but I am entitled to respect as an existing customer, respect that doesn’t seem important to Platinum Games.
Honestly, I can live without Bayonetta 2, but this kind behavior should be criticized and opposed, the same way I will criticize From Software for their hackjob-port of Dark Souls on PC (don’t you worry, you’re next) or any multitude of problems on EAs part.
Is and ought are two different things. Why wallow in defeatism if you have a blog, like me.