Co-Optimus - Editorial - Is Exclusive Content Bad For Gaming?

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Is Exclusive Content Bad For Gaming? - Page 2

No soup for you!

Gamers like to discuss their games. They like to share experiences. They like to try things that their friends have done. One reason gaming communities are so popular is because of our need to share experiences. We also tend to covet; We admire each others collections, we fawn over another persons costumes, and we want what isn't ours. Sometimes we can't have them because we can't afford them, but when we can't have them because they were limited in some specific way, it generates a sense of shortcoming in our game.

If I were to play co-op as the Juggernaut in Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2, my co-op friend would have to download the free patch-pack for the Juggernaut, but would have absolutely no access to the character with me. To put this another way, if my friend wants to enjoy the game with me, and I want to enjoy my preorder bonus content, THEY must download the same additional content taking up space on their console, but are unable to actually play it.

This lopsidedness also goes for a general discussion about the games we play. Wolverine: Origins had an in-game exclusive for a "training" room available through Gamestop exclusively. This training room allowed you to call up any enemy through the game to hack up again and again. When talking about X-men Origins with a friend, and asked which enemy was his favorite to pull up in the training room to beat up freely - he didn't have the content, and suddenly felt left out of something because he couldn't relate to the experience I had with the exact same game. While not normally a big issue, this content was not made available to purchase as separate DLC, so even if he wanted to play it - he couldn't.

The Juggernaut in-game exclusive from Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 has turned in to a fiasco which infuriated many very recently. The Juggernaut was an Activision/Gamestop exclusive that changes the gameplay by having access to a character who is vastly different than those available in game. The Juggernauts move set-list (fusion) was integrated in to all of the other characters, he was made to kick ass, but only if you pre-ordered from Gamestop.

The big mistake Activision made? Making this exclusive code an online redeem only with a limited number of available codes. In an attempt to regulate where their codes went, it was decided these codes were only to be redeemed with a valid receipt number online at Gamestop's website. Unfortunately, when something is free and on the internet, it's up for grabs if you can figure out how to break the system....and boy was the system ever broken. The response to the attack on the website denied many legitimate pre-orders their own code, though, according to many complaints, people were having problems before this even occurred. When the site came back up, Gamestop had claimed they ran out of Juggernaut codes. How does one run out of a digital piece of content?

Would the same problem have happened if Activision had gone on record of saying Juggernaut will be available to purchase at a later date? Perhaps. Instead, during our interview with Dan Tanguay, the game's director, he had this to say regarding the animosity created with exclusive content. " I’m sorry to hear that Juggernaut has created some animosity in the community. Unfortunately, we can’t speak on our DLC plans quite yet, but I can tell you that we are always listening to the community." A simple 'you'll still be able to get the content, but it'll cost you money' could have solved the situation.

Developers and publishers claim this exclusive is to combat the used game sales at one of the premier places to purchase used games, i.e. Gamestop. But, they have the same excuse about overpriced DLC. The irony here is they are helping out the company that created the used game problem for them to begin with.