E3 2012: Timed Exclusives: Outdated strategy?
Does being first really matter?
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Microsoft announced during its media briefing that Black Ops 2, Resident Evil 6, and Tomb Raider would see its DLC on the XBOX 360 in a timed exclusive deal that follows suit the same way that Modern Warfare 3 and GTA IV before them did.
It begs the question: does having timed exclusive DLC really sways the consumer into purchasing the product that has the DLC first?
Does this business strategy really push sales of said game on the platform, or the platform itself?
First in, best dressed
With a game as big as Black Ops 2 the latest in the Call of Duty franchise I can see why this might work, especially due to the multiplayer following and Xbox Live. It has a reputation as a game that is populated by teenagers who idolize it and play it religiously.
If they own both a PS3/360 then you can bet they’ll buy it on the 360 purely for the fact that it’ll have the DLC early and they can brag about it to their friends.
No game is safe when it comes to DLC because it could unite or divide gamers. You get one side miffed for giving favouritism to the other and then if you release crappy DLC after promising it first on the other you can piss off that group too.
Adopting early isn’t smart
Some carriers and manufacturers agree on timed exclusives for new phones. That way they can capitalize on new sales for the company. However this doesn’t mean that this new flagship phone will be any good.
It could be plagued with battery and software issues that aren’t fixed until the phone is released to every other carrier which could be anywhere from 1 to 6 months.
You’re taking a large risk in being first to have something because best chances are is that it will be broken the moment you buy it.
Once the phone is released to every other carrier the manufacturer could have also revised the internals of the phone permanently fixing the battery issues.
So technically, you’re now stuck with a 1st gen phone plagued by battery issues that can’t be fixed where as your friend who waited for it to be released with his carrier has the same phone with all the issues fixed.
XBOX 360, when it released, was plagued by the red ring of death and it took awhile before newer revised consoles ran cooler and didn’t crash as easily.
Tomb Raider’s DLC could be anything that is either related to the main storyline or a separate story arc set in the same world. It may not be what you expected.
And will one game’s early DLC really get you to buy a certain console?
Does it give one console fanbase bragging rights over another? It’s DLC, anything as piddly as extra outfits and weapons, to better stuff like single player missions or multiplayer modes and maps. But they cost extra anyway.
Only those, as in the Call of Duty example, that want advantages over others; the ability to memorise a map earlier or upgrade a weapon sooner. Those people already will play on the one console.
Most people will buy the version where their friends are playing most if they have both consoles.
In short, getting something early isn’t necessarily better, extra DLC isn’t going to make most people’s minds up to buy a certain version or console anymore, and the bragging rights are extremely limited.
Timed DLC: Who cares? It seems like a waste of money by console makers.
What do you think? Comment below.
©2012 Arthur Kotsopoulos
Filed under: Console gaming, E3 2012, Xbox 360 Tagged: | Black Ops 2, Call Of Duty Black Ops, call of duty black ops 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Downloadable content, e3 2012, Resident Evil, Resident Evil 6, timed DLC, Timed downloadable content, Timed exclusive DLC, Tomb Raider