Is it fair to say that in the current economic landscape, particularly that of gaming, publishers often cannot afford to make console exclusives anymore, or at least not nearly as often?
The price of developing and publishing games is constantly rising (barring that of indies), therefore publishers are having a harder time recouping the publishing and development costs of AAA titles. When we look to companies such as SE and Capcom, their games are being received much poorer than in previous generations which affects their ability to break-even on production, publishing, and distribution. Some companies, like Activision and EA, have embraced the multi-platform model for ages with their biggest titles, and continue to do so. Could this be why they're currently sitting so high on the food chain of video game publishers?
I'm saying that as gaming progresses, console exclusives are going to die off slowly, at least in terms of big ticket games. Low budget and indie games will continue to see exclusive distribution because they're less costly to make, but AAA titles just can't meet sales quotas on a single platform/brand.
I'd expect the exclusive argument to slowly die off and fade away as large publishers begin to have a harder time beefing up their bottom-line, and frankly, that's all their investors care about. In turn, that's all that publishers care about. They'll take a mediocre game that sells 5 million copies, across multiple consoles, over a critically acclaimed exclusive that sells 1 million any day. That's just business. Sadly, this is the fate of AAA games. They're big business now and no longer a labor of love.
Well of course it won't be. EA has probably realized how awful of a decision was to release a game exclusively on a console that is being stomped in sales. When it comes down to it, publishers just want to make money, and they could've made so much more by releasing on both new consoles.
"That's NASCAR tactics." "Opinions are like magnets, nobody knows how they work." - Foppe