Where Are the Crowdfunded Console Exclusives?
By Mitchell “Moe” Long
When browsing crowdfunded titles, we typically assume they’re PC games. However support for consoles has been pretty prevalent. Though some users may scoff at the notion of opting for a console port when offered a PC option, there are actually quite a few benefits. Primarily, you know without a doubt that the game will run. From the sheer variety of operating systems and computer parts, we’ve all run into that situation in which a game that theoretically should run like a champ simply doesn’t. Even the most capable of computers aren’t immune to such irritating situations.
Moreover, console versions eliminate the need for optimization. Sure, most of us gamers are more than willing to spend a few minutes, or even seconds tweaking the settings but that’s an undeniable plus of console gaming. Then there’s the whole controller aspect, and the ease of playing straight from the couch. Again, while this is largely possible from computers as well, a console makes this pickup and play.
“Broken Sword 5” which dropped from Revolution Studios features multiple ports, including Android, iOS, and even a PS Vita iteration. Then of course there’s the overwhelming “Pinball Arcade” library, including “Star Trek The Next Generation” and “Terminator 2” tables. FarSight Studios supports almost any platform you can think of, from the obligatory PC and Mac to PS3/4, Xbox 360, Android, iOS, and even the Ouya. Yes, the Ouya, that inventive though sadly misunderstood box with the boomerang controller.
Yet despite the commendable support for multiple platforms, one niche we haven’t really seen develop in the world of crowdfunding is the exclusive. Ah, the exclusive, that incendiary game which you either love or hate depending on what console you own. Why haven’t there been more exclusives cropping up across Kickstarter and IndieGoGo? There are a few, though they’re few and far between. “Gettysburg: The Tide Turns” for example is solely available on iPads and iPhones. Still, we haven’t seen the equivalent of a “Halo,” “Zelda” or “Resistance: Fall of Man” hit crowdfunding.
Interestingly, mobile gaming proves the exception in crowdfunding. Titles such as the aforementioned “Gettysburg” abound exclusively for iOS and Android devices. The massively popular “Republique” is currently an iOS only release, though soon it’ll receive ports to Windows as well as OS X. As tablets and phones have become cheaper and less expensive, developer adoption of such platforms has risen. Generally, as mobile operating systems update, compatibility is maintained through in-game updates. This isn’t true with most game consoles, which normally get phased out (unless you’re me, and are a sucker for cramming ancient systems in your entertainment center).
I don’t have a solid answer on why subset of gaming is lacking in the world of crowdsourced gaming, but if I had to warrant a guess I’d pinpoint finances. It’s difficult enough to fund a campaign through backers, and limiting the platform to one console would undoubtedly narrow the possible supporters. Of course, there are plenty of PC exclusives, we simply don’t really think of them that way. I’m one of those dudes who gets a kick out of fanboys lambasting games simply based on their platform. Such a move would also incentivize console developers to hop on the Kickstarter and IndieGoGo bandwagons. The more campaigns, the merrier…though maybe not for my poor, barren Andy Warhol wallet. Could exclusives be the next wave of crowdfunded games, or are there too many limiting variables to make them a reality?
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[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/moe.jpg” ]Mitchell “Moe” Long is a North Carolina writer with a passion for all things pop culture. Besides gaming, Moe enjoys cult classic films, listening to vinyl, and drinking far too much coffee. In addition to Cliqist, Moe writes about music and movies, and is currently composing what he hopes will one day be a novel about the universally awkward period of life known as high school. Feel free to check out and subscribe to his Examiner page as well as connect with him on Twitter. [/author]