The gaming world’s a cruel one, folks. There’s no doubt about that. Between micro-transactions, political discourse and industry standards inching toward the heels, there’s plenty to criticize. No issue, however, is quite as prevalent, frustrating and downright brimful of greed as console exclusivity. Ever-shifting on its path to siphoning every cent from desperate consumers, it starts with an hour of gameplay, a free costume set and, perhaps if you’re lucky, a keychain representing your ability to fork over cash months-too-soon.
Point is, it’s not a good practice — not for consumers, who’re constantly teetering between fruitless options, and not for the developers, forced to toil over content a significant chunk of their fanbase won’t ever enjoy. And now, GameStop — videogame retail juggernaut — has plans to up the ante. Oh, the humanity.
Colin Sebastian, presumably well-dressed industry analyst extraordinaire at Robert W. Baird recently wrote that game publishers are “enthusiastic about partnering with GameStop,” and that they’d offer “exclusive content on each major game release.” While already a common practice for some of its partners, GameStop has bigger plans in the works.
In a discussion with Venturebeat, Sebastian confirmed that the retailer wants to get “involved at the time of game development,” helping to ensure exclusive gameplay experiences, as well as various rewards for their customers. The statement was confirmed by a GameStop public relations representative: “we are working with our partners to build in a longer lead time — and we are working with them to get both physical and digital exclusives.”
There’s certainly a concerning factor in all this, with GameStop at the helm potentially shoehorning developers into providing exclusive material, quality is sure to slither into inimical territory. After all, being the most powerful videogame retailer in the world has its advantages, and exploitation has always been at the pinnacle. Although the nature of the content in the works remains unknown, there’s little doubt that it’ll touch consumers in the biggest no-no spot of them all: the wallet.
How do you feel about GameStop having a hand in game development? Let us know in the comments below.