A Sort of Kind of Xbox 360 Exclusive

March 23, 2013

I read a news headline this week that went like this:

“Minecraft is being released!…ON RETAIL DISC!”

And my reaction to it was the way the kid reacted in those cereal commercials from the 90’s.

“I just had Reese’s for breakfast!”
“You had Candy for breakfast!?”
“No, Reese’s Puff Cereal!”

It was shock. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. He was eating Re–I mean, Minecraft was coming out on retail disc! I think this is an interesting move, definitely inspired by The Walking Dead. I didn’t play The Walking Dead until it was on retail disc and I don’t regret it one bit. That was my game of the year for 2012, easily. Sorry Minecraft, but you put a scared yet strong willed little girl in a video game world filled with zombies and you’ve won my heart. But I think this release is DEFINITELY inspired by that, for sure.

And it’s smart, especially, as I said in my previous article, Minecraft needs to make money on the 360 some other way besides people buying the game itself and the skin packs. Retail is just another step in that monetary direction, and I won’t fault them for it, they’re a business, it makes perfect economic sense. It’s like The Beatles. For the longest time, The Beatles’ rights weren’t available to be sold digitally, even on iTunes. When they finally were released on iTunes, I came to find out that the reason they didn’t want the music released digitally was because The Beatles were still selling SO MANY CDs that they didn’t NEED to be released digitally. Well, by this point in time, they had run out the CD tail end of things and decided to move their profits in the digital era.

Minecraft is kind of doing it backwards, but whatever.

Why Isn’t Minecraft on Other Consoles?

And as I said–it’s a smart idea. We’re definitely living in an age where things are becoming available across multiple platforms, no matter what the media type. Books are now available to read via Kindles and iPads as digital files (which I think is incredibly stupid, but I’m not going to go on a 3 page long tirade about WHY), and movies are the same way. I personally think games should be released across all platforms. I hate the idea of console specific limitations. Like, a lot of people say they want exclusives for their consoles, gamers I mean, and I don’t think that’s fair. Somebody shouldn’t have to purchase another console–especially in this economy–when the majority of the gaming fan base are 13-20 year old males (it seems) and might not be able to afford it or their parents can’t either. Buying two separate consoles just because one company doesn’t want to release something across all platforms isn’t right.

Minecraft isn’t available on the PS3, and I think that’s incredibly unfair. And this isn’t just me ranting; I feel I have justification for this argument.

I played a game called Alan Wake, which was an Xbox 360 exclusive. Wasn’t available anywhere else. Because of this, it suffered tremendously. About a year or so later, the game was then re-released on the PC and made about all its money back. Why? Because it was finally more openly available to a wider, broader audience, which is how it should’ve been to begin with. The exclusive gaming thing is definitely the console maker’s decision. Microsoft of Sony or Nintendo go to someone, buy the rights and say “This is only on our system”. I guarantee it. I know it’s not the publisher or the developer because from an economic standpoint it doesn’t make sense of them.

Yeah, from Sony/Nintendo/Microsoft, it makes perfect sense. “This game is only available on our console, buy our console, we get 100% of the sales revenue!”

But look at it from the developer/publishers standpoint too, and it suddenly makes no sense whatsoever. “We’re sacrificing our game being available to a larger market which means we’re probably making LESS money.”

Doesn’t make sense.

Minecraft should be available on the PS3. It’s on the Mac, the PC, the iOS devices, the Xbox 360 and I’ve heard a Wii U version is possibly in talks, so why not just go the next logical step and go to the PS3 too? Minecraft being available on disc is a fantastic first step to making more money for them, but it’s not the end all be all solution which is “Be available to EVERYONE.”

One portion of the market isn’t the WHOLE portion of the market. Minecraft deserves the whole portion. Not just one fraction of it.

Get on it, Mojang.

Previous post:

Next post: