Do exclusive 3rd party titles hurt the game industry?

I’m pretty sure many of you have seen the latest casualty of a 3rd party title that has gone completely exclusive to a system. This isn’t a timed exclusive but a forever exclusive title, it’s tied to that platform, forget about seeing it anywhere else. Now I know a great deal of you, including myself, hate to see things like this happen especially when it is a highly anticipated game and it’s on a system that I either don’t own or don’t plan on owning. It happens but it doesn’t change the fact that it sucks, I’m in total agreement with you there.

However the question remains!

Do exclusive 3rd party titles hurt the game industry?

Now I’m going to be 100% honest here. I’ve seen this happen over and over again through my time as a gamer (and that’s a pretty damned long time) and I’ve seen this happen especially in the recent eras. While it hasn’t been pretty, having a 3rd party exclusive title did one thing; it sold systems by the boat load. I’m not even remotely kidding here gang. Don’t believe me? It’s time for a history listen.

Fast forward past the Sega Master System and Nintendo Entertainment days. Go past the Super Nintendo and the Sega Genesis until we get to where this entire mess started. Yes – the Sony PlayStation / Sega Saturn Era as I like to call it. This, my friends, is where it started.

When the PlayStation first landed it was Sony who was tossing money around and trying to get companies to develop games for the PlayStation platform and this has been a constant until recently. Games like Tekken, Metal Gear Solid, Final Fantasy, three different Tomb Raider games, Kingdom Hearts, Devil May Cry, Ridge Racer and so many many more were exclusive to the PlayStation system.


Remember these from your childhood? Most of them are exclusive 3rd party titles!

Sure you’re probably saying that most of those titles are now available on other systems and you’re right; however, for most of the life of said titles were exclusive 3rd party titles. This trend forced you to buy the system those games were exclusive to or you couldn’t play them unless you either worked at a game store or knew friends and family who already owned that particular system.

It’s a trend my friends, not a very agreeable trend but it’s still a trend. And it has reared its ugly head again with the sequel to Crystal Dynamics reboot to Tomb Raider. C’mon people, surely you aren’t new to this game. Look at what happened with Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition.

Hey thanks for buying our game, wanna buy it again?

Hey thanks for buying our game, wanna buy it again?

But back to the question, does it really hurt the gaming industry? Well let me ask you this. If you’re a company that is having a tough time selling systems and you line your self up with several exclusive 3rd party titles, regardless if they are timed or life timed exclusives don’t you think you’ll have a better chance on selling those systems?

And if those systems sell, getting you a bigger market share and getting the developer of the game paid, who will likely go on to create more games? Does that seem like it’s hurting the industry?


The complete opposite can happen as well and either no one buys the system to play the game and the 3rd party exclusive crap goes out the window, leaving a bad taste in everyone’s mouth and making everyone a very sad panda. This outcome is quite possible as well.

The answer to this question depends on how you look at the issue, if you’re a person who is loyal to a brand (and if you are what is wrong with you?) and if you have a disposable income to afford all this crap.


You could be like me; simply not care and roll with the punches, cause in the end we’re simply along for the ride. We just wish there weren’t so many bumps.

About The Author

Keith Mitchell
Editor-in-chief and all-around good guy!

Keith Mitchell is the Founder and Editor in Chief of The Outerhaven. A grizzled IT professional during the day, but a passionate lover of video games after his 9-5 grid. Loves playing the Dark Souls series and has been gaming since he was 6 years old. Available for podcasts upon request.