One of the most annoying trends in video games is the word “exclusive,” which perhaps once meant “limited” or “restricted” but now, thanks to Microsoft and Sony, means absolutely nothing. Today’s big exclusive is PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds. Which probably isn’t an exclusive.
At the Xbox showcase during E3 in June, Microsoft announced that the popular battle royale shooter would “exclusively” come to Xbox One this year. Then, yesterday during a Gamescom livestream, Microsoft added that it would be publishing the game on Xbox One. Wrote executive producer CH Kim on the Xbox blog: “We will be launching exclusively on Xbox One in the Xbox Game Preview program later this year and we can’t wait to see all the Xbox fans on the battlefield.”
This of course raises the question: will Battlegrounds also come to other consoles—namely, PlayStation 4? Is it one of Microsoft’s infamous timed exclusives, like Rise of the Tomb Raider, which the company paid to keep solely on Xbox for a few months?
Let’s try to parse CH Kim’s language. “We will be launching exclusively on Xbox One in the Xbox Game Preview program later this year.” This could mean several things. It could mean that Battlegrounds is an exclusive to Xbox One, as it’s meant to imply. Or the “exclusively” could be tied to “later this year,” meaning that Battlegrounds is not actually an exclusive and will in fact launch on PS4 after some time.
Given Kim’s previous comments about Battlegrounds coming to PlayStation, and community manager Sammie Kang calling it a “launch exclusive,” it’s likely that we’ll see the game on PS4 after a few months. (We’ve reached out to the devs for clarity.) ((UPDATE (2:25pm): And here’s their helpful statement: “The game will launch exclusively on consoles for Xbox One and we’re not discussing any plans beyond that.”))
When Microsoft and Sony pay for these exclusive deals, they usually put language in their contracts that prevents the developers from making announcements on other platforms for a while. It is all nonsense and these companies should all be ashamed of themselves.