Quantum Break: The Arguable ‘Exclusive’

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Quantum Break is a Microsoft exclusive video-game developed by Remedy Games. Microsoft recently announced it would also have its day-one release on the P.C as well, which resulted in a minority of angered Xbox-fans. The internet abounds with insufficient arguments, non-truths and the like. I couldn’t care less but what does affect me is when said nonsense buries the important discussions [to be had] underneath layers of thoughtless critique. The Quantum Break conundrum is one such occasion.

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“Then why purchase an Xbox One at all?” one might ask.

( I poise this question in the most polite manner possible. Since the people online who concur with this argument have been most impolite, and childish, when questioning Microsoft’s decision.) That argument is rather narrow. The owner of said console, I strongly suspect, has no intention to play it on the PC, even if it came out on that platform. If you were excited for the game, that excitement has no bearing on what other platforms it will release on. If you have the resources to play on either platform, then it does not devalue that experience. It permits more people to have the experience.

The computer hardware it would take to run Quantum Break – as fluidly as an Xbox One – would probably set you back between 7-800$, which is more than twice what it costs to purchase an Xbox One. Playing it on the console is far more convenient than on the PC. For starters, you have to remember to turn off your Anti-virus, plug in your controller, and the application, before you start the game. Or having to waste five to ten minutes rebooting the game if you forget one of several annoyances before the game can start.

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Not to undermine anybody’s intelligence, but it should have been within reason for players to assume Microsoft would announce this: it has never been easy to bring out a new intellectual property; Microsoft has a very obvious interest in the p.c market; and the game is now accessible to a larger audience. It should not have caught you off-guard.

Furthermore, Microsoft changed their entire structure and culture since Satya Nadella became a primary member of the company. They became a company focused on services. This would allow them to exist alongside their customers, whether in an office, on an Apple device, or in this case, an Xbox product on a Windows device. “ReCore”, “Halo Wars”, “Cuphead” – these are examples of first party software with releases on the P.C.

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There are several other first party games coming soon such as “Sea of Thieves”, “Inside”, “Crackdown 3”, “Gears [of War] 4”, and “Scalebound”. The majority of these games will likely release on both platforms as well. As an Xbox One owner, I am not angered by it. Microsoft is ensuring it does not make the same mistake with the same developer. Quantum Break developer, Remedy’s previous [large] project, the Xbox exclusive “Alan Wake” was beloved among the Xbox 360 players who experienced it. However, it did not sell the numbers for a sequel to be green lit.

Though it did come to p.c much later, the hype for “Alan Wake” had died down. Bringing it to P.C on day one doubles its chances to be a commercial hit.

I should note that the concerns from these angered fans aren’t legitimate, if you look closely. Part of the reaction, though, comes from their love for the platform. Hence, they wish for the Xbox One to succeed. They worry that this decision could be to the detriment of said console. That is a valid concern – but it is far too early to know if this will deter the Microsoft platform from catching up to the PS4 sale figures. That said, all of the units sold for Quantum Break will still go to Microsoft, be it on Windows or Xbox. Obviously, Microsoft is indifferent as to which platform they sell on;

they just want the product to sell.

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Unlike this ‘fan-raged nontroversy’, the tragedy that might be is Microsoft’s decision to bring QB to P.C without a Steam-release. For a company that preaches to bring its products to wherever its customers are, this decision – to only sell QB on the Microsoft Store – is hypocritical and slightly tone-deaf to their philosophy. By not giving QB a Steam release, Microsoft is crippling the potential for its sales. However, this decision could kick start Windows Store into a more prevalent consumer-choice for purchasing software, applications, etc. Hence, they collect more revenue from lesser purchases. After all, selling a product on Steam means a substantial percentage goes to Valve.

Nonetheless, a section of the Xbox community wishes for that shining example in the form of an Xbox One exclusive game, to show off, in opposition to the PlayStation community. This vocal minority within the Xbox community are their own worst enemy. It is a misconception to see this as a problem. The minute you talk to a casual gamer without any stakes in the industry, you are bound to hear excitement when asked what they think of “Quantum Break”. It’s healthy for the platforms to compete. I am a strong believer that competition results in innovation. But it is not necessary, nor ever justified, for fans to bring cult-like behavior into the fore.

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