5 exclusive games that aren’t any more and why we’re better off for it
A lot of people won’t be able to play Rise of the Tomb Raider next year because it’s launching exclusively on the Xbox One for a limited amount of time.
Exclusivity deals between game developers and platform holders have happened since the beginning of the industry. The partnership between Square Enix and Microsoft is not shocking because it’s new, it’s shocking because for many it feels like a selfish choice for the up-front money that’s usually part of these kinds of deals. It’s a decision to drive console sales with a popular game by keeping it away from a large amount of the audience. And, unsurprisingly, they’re not happy.
Here’s five games that made (and are making) the switch from being exclusive to one platform.
Capcom’s popular action series made its first debut on an Xbox console after seven years of being a series. Devil May Cry 4 launched in 2008, and as of June, it’s the highest selling game in the series. The first three games were originally exclusive to PlayStation but are now available on Xbox through the recent HD collection.
The first Final Fantasy released on an Xbox platform was in 2006 with Final Fantasy 11: Online. The original Xbox came out in 2005.
The first regular entry in the series, Final Fantasy 13, launched on the Xbox in 2009. Out of the top ten best selling Square Enix games, which mostly consists of Final Fantasy games, Final Fantasy 13 is the fourth best selling game with over 6 million units.
The Mass Effect series was originally exclusive to the Xbox–Microsoft even published the first game–but in 2011, EA and BioWare released Mass Effect 2 on the PlayStation 3. When Mass Effect 3 launched a year later it came to Sony and Microsoft’s platforms at the same time. And you can now play the first game on the PlayStation 3 with the Mass Effect Trilogy.
Mass Effect 3 was the best selling entry in the series, if you’re not seeing the trend yet.
Yes, the mega popular crime series Grand Theft Auto was once exclusive to PlayStation consoles, not by way of partnership between Sony and Rockstar, but just because the company developed on one platform first.
Grand Theft Auto 3 didn’t make it on Xbox until 2003, two years after its initial launch. Grand Theft Auto: Vice City came out the same year, which is one year after it launched. And Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas came out on the Xbox a year after it came out on PlayStation.
Now, Grand Theft Auto is a multiplatform monster. The fifth entry in the series has sold over 32 million copies since February.
Okay, so the Metal Gear series is a little funny when it comes to Xbox. The games didn’t make the switch until 2002 with Metal Gear Solid: Substance, which is only a year after the original Xbox launched, but we haven’t seen another since.
Xbox players were out of luck until 2011 with the Metal Gear Solid: HD Collection, but they never got Metal Gear Solid 4. Things seem to be changing for the better though, since Xbox 360 and Xbox One owners will get Metal Gear Solid 5: Ground Zeroes and Phantom Pain next year.