Upon announcing Quantum Break’s PC release, a small minority of Xbox One gamers lost the plot, frustrated by their loss of an exclusive title.
That’s not why I’m writing this; that’s a dead horse flogged well beyond its prime – now a gluttonous puddle of muscle and sinew.
The fact is, Microsoft is releasing Quantum Break for PC, via the Windows store. It’s happening. There’s really no point in debating it.
Nor is there any point in arguing that a good deal of those upset by the announcement are really rather foolish. That is to say: we all know they’re one turbine short of an aeroplane.
What about the rest of those upset, however? Are there any legitimate reasons to be upset?
In fact, there are. There are very real reasons to be upset, but they’re not as solid as you might think.
But before I continue, you should know that this is about more than the raving tweets of one particularly upset Xbox One fan.
@The_CrapGamer You cancelled a pre-order for a game you want to play because someone else get's to play the game on Windows?
— Phil Spencer (@XboxP3) February 11, 2016
The good news is that, for the most part, upset Xbox One fans have come to terms with the loss of Quantum Break’s exclusivity and moved on with their lives – good on you.
@KillaBeez3931 I've come to my senses, I'm human. I guess that comes with the ability to think things out, change your mind, yea?
— The CrapGamer (@The_CrapGamer) February 14, 2016
That’s the sensible approach. We all get upset and fanatical over a particular position, and we’ve all argued until blue in the face, only to realise we probably didn’t have as much ground to stand on as we initially thought.
Don’t misunderstand, I’m not saying those upset have no right to be.
Both of those trailers end with the words “Xbox One Exclusive”, something posited by The CrapGamer at least once.
— The CrapGamer (@The_CrapGamer) February 14, 2016
Here’s the question though: should you really be taking Microsoft’s word for it? And if you do, are you not partially to blame for jumping to conclusion – that Microsoft might change their mind about Quantum Break’s exclusivity?
I’m not here to debate ethics in the industry, or as practiced by companies like Microsoft; instead, I’m suggesting that this exact thing has happened before. Exhibit A:
The very same thing happened with another formerly Xbox exclusive Remedy Entertainment game.
What’s the saying about being fooled twice? It’s rhetorical; we all know where I’m going with this.
As the consumer, it’s up to you to take these factors into consideration, that companies like Sony and Microsoft are here to make a profit. It’s not always at the expense of the customer, but you can definitely be held accountable for turning a blind eye or feigning ignorance.
Just like ignorance to the law does not grant immunity from it, nor does ignorance to trends in the gaming industry confer much of a leg to stand on.
Keep in mind that in a discussion with PC Gamer,
Phil Spencer talked about the possibility of Xbox One exclusives like Quantum Break coming to PC. That was last year, no less.
Going to those teams mid-cycle and saying: ‘Hey, by the way, I want to add a platform,’ didn’t really feel like necessarily the best way to end up with the best result for the game. They had a path that they were on. It’s not to say those games could never come to Windows, but right now we’re on the path to finish the great games that they’ve started, and I want that to be the case. These games are on a path, whereas with, like, Halo Wars 2 I had the opportunity from the beginning, when we’re sitting down with the studio, to say, ‘Here’s the target. Here’s what we wanna go do.”
Exclusives sell consoles, we know this. For a good part of the last generation, the Xbox 360 was happily competing head-to-head with the PlayStation 3, that is until Microsoft opted out of exclusive titles for the Xbox 360 and Sony began to crank out the exclusives for the PS3.
From then on, minus how poorly PSN ran, there was no reason to get an Xbox 360. Rather buy a PS3, that way you get the best games from both platforms.
So I won’t argue that you shouldn’t purchase a console like the Xbox One for its exclusives; why else would you purchase it over the PlayStation 4?
But don’t make purchasing decisions on upcoming titles and games that have yet to release. Make financial decisions based on what you know for sure, and over the titles already released for a platform.
And you know what, losing exclusives can be scary because it sometimes means the end of a console.
The loss of exclusives may cause interest and, ultimately, sales of a console to wane, reducing the support from third party developers and publishers alike. It effectively kills a console; just ask those who own a Wii U or PS Vita.
That’s not what’s happening in this case. Microsoft are offering the opportunity for PC gamers to play games like Quantum Break, not the competition (Sony and Nintendo).
Windows 10 is just as much a Microsoft platform as the Xbox One is, and corollary, the Xbox One is just as much about Windows 10 as the PC is.
More gamers playing a game means more interest by developers, more resources invested into it, a stronger community and a lot more besides.
And I know, losing exclusives to the PC gives Sony fans more ammunition to lob in your general direction, proclaiming that you’ve purchased the wrong console.
But anger as well as boycotting Quantum Break will do no one harm but yourself. Just enjoy it, and have fun.
The feature image used in this post is not an original. It is edited for the sake of this piece.