It's been confirmed that one of the world's most popular superheroes, Spider-Man, will be exclusive to the PS4 and PS5 versions of Marvel's Avengers. As can be expected, this has upset fans who plan on buying the game for PC and Xbox One, with widespread backlash online.
Of course, this is far from the first time that video game exclusivity deals have upset gamers, and in fact, there are many instances of it throughout the years. Here are some of the most notable video game exclusivity controversies to date.
The first Bayonetta was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, earning rave reviews from critics and developing a dedicated group of fans. Unfortunately, the original Bayonetta wasn't enough of a sales success to convince Sega to move forward with a sequel. Nintendo, seeing the franchise's potential, decided to step in and help fund the development of Bayonetta 2, securing exclusive publishing rights in the process.
Platinum Games has outright said that Bayonetta 2 wouldn't have existed without Nintendo stepping in, but that didn't stop a lot of fans from becoming upset that the game was going to be exclusive to the Wii U. On the bright side, Nintendo has since brought the first two Bayonetta games to its much more popular Switch console, and it also has Bayonetta 3 in active development. The titular Bayonetta has also been featured as a playable character on the Super Smash Bros. Ultimate roster, so while fans weren't happy about the exclusivity deal, they have gotten a lot more Bayonetta content than they would have otherwise as a result of it.
One of the guiltiest franchises when it comes to exclusive content that has upset fans is easily Activision's Call of Duty franchise. The exclusivity deals started during the PS3 and Xbox 360 era, when Xbox 360 gamers would get first dibs on multiplayer and Zombies DLC for an entire month. Needless to say, Call of Duty fans on PC and PlayStation weren't happy about these deals, but the latest exclusivity deals have been far more egregious.
Since DLC is free for Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, the PS4 exclusivity came in the form of an entire game mode. PS4 gamers are still the only Call of Duty: Modern Warfare players that can play Spec Ops Survival, and that is not expected to change until October at the earliest. The decision to make Spec Ops Survival a PS4 exclusive was met with significant backlash from fans, though the mode seems to have flopped anyway.
Speaking of Activision exclusivity deals, Activision caused a similar stir with its PlayStation-exclusive Destiny content. Both Destiny and Destiny 2 featured significant exclusive content for PS4, which included entirely PvP multiplayer maps and more. As expected, Destiny fans on other platforms felt shortchanged by these deals, as it essentially meant that they were paying the same price as PS4 players for less content.
When Epic Games announced its Epic Games Store launcher, it immediately put in action a strategy to secure exclusivity deals with some of the world's top games. It accomplished this by giving game developers and publishers a significantly larger slice of the cut when it came to game sales on the platform. Epic Games Store's exclusivity deals has kept many big games off Steam for a least a year after they've been made available on the Epic Games Store. Since the Epic Games Store has far less features than Steam, PC gamers have been understandably upset by these deals.
The Final Fantasy franchise got its start on Nintendo platforms, with the first six games in the long-running RPG franchise releasing for the NES and SNES. Many expected Final Fantasy 7 to launch for the Nintendo 64, but Square Enix ultimately decided to develop the game for Sony's PlayStation 1 console instead. The Internet wasn't nearly as active back then, but there were still many Nintendo fans who were upset by this. Nintendo itself was also reportedly not happy about the situation, allegedly telling Square Enix that it didn't want the company to release any more games for its consoles.
It seems that most of the exclusivity deals that have upset players have been associated with PlayStation, but that hasn't always been the case. Some may recall when Microsoft announced that the sequel to the popular 2013 Tomb Raider reboot, Rise of the Tomb Raider, would be a timed-exclusive for Xbox 360 and Xbox One. The backlash was pretty severe, and Microsoft has since mostly avoided console exclusivity deals. In fact, Microsoft seems to be actively working against the idea of exclusives in general, releasing some of its big games on other platforms like the PC and Nintendo Switch.