Red Dead Redemption 2 Will Have Some Sort Of Timed PlayStation Exclusivity

Illustration for article titled Red Dead Redemption 2 Will Have Some Sort Of Timed PlayStation Exclusivity

One of the video game industry’s most grating trends is timed exclusivity, when a console manufacturer like Sony or Microsoft pays a publisher money in order to deprive content from other platforms for a certain timeframe. It looks like Red Dead Redemption 2 will be following suit.


Today, developer Rockstar announced a bunch of bundles and pre-order bonuses for the much-anticipated Western game, and buried amongst all the stuff about outfits and GTA Online cash on the PlayStation Store is this line:

PlayStation® Exclusive: Play select content first on PlayStation®4. Details to follow.

We don’t know the scale of “select content”—could be hats, could be a full expansion—but if it’s anything like Sony’s arrangement with Destiny, it will be a pain for Xbox players. The company behind the PlayStation 4 paid Activision to keep guns, maps, and even full strikes away from Xbox players for years, then did the same for Destiny 2 and several Call of Duty games. Microsoft has pulled its own “timed exclusivity” nonsense for Dragon Age: Inquisition as well as other big multi-platform games—also including Call of Duty—over the past decade.

Now, it appears that Red Dead Redemption is following that same trend. Rockstar didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.



While annoying, something to keep in mind is that while the prices of games have been stagnant for over a decade and show no sign of increasing (if game prices rose with inflation new games would cost $76.08) the cost of development has skyrocketed during that same time period. As such developers and publishers need to find new ways to generate increased revenue to help compensate for that loss of profit.

They do this through season passes, loot boxes, and platform exclusivity deals. All of these practices are seen as anti-consumer (although, people don’t seem to really care about season passes anymore) and for good reason, but you have to ask yourself if you would rather have the current business model or the cost of a base game increase by 27% across the board. Personally, I would prefer the increased base price, but I have some means. I would guess most people would not choose that trade-off.