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Analysis – E3 2014 Must Be A Showcase For Exclusives

I spent most of my day putting together release lists for each of the three major console platforms. It was a time consuming endeavor, but it was also educational and rewarding.

If one thing is clear to me now, it’s that this E3 is as important (if not moreso) than last year. The second half of 2014 is very thin for all three current platforms right now. Worse, the number of confirmed exclusives is absurdly slim.

Through the rest of 2014, here’s what the AAA profile as we know it right now looks like:

Xbox One Exclusives (Complete Release List)

  • Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved* (Also on Xbox 360)
  • Project Spark
  • Quantum Break
  • Sunset Overdrive
  • The Halo “journey” that Microsoft has been teasing.

PlayStation 4 Exclusives (Complete Release List)

  • Diablo III Ultimate Evil Edition
  • Driveclub
  • The Last of Us Remastered
  • The Order 1886
  • Planetside 2

Wii U Exclusives (Complete Release List)

  • Bayonetta 2
  • Mario Kart 8
  • Sonic Boom
  • Super Smash Bros. Wii U

Multiplatform (All three)

  • Call of Duty**
  • Just Dance**
  • Skylanders**
  • Watch Dogs*

Multiplatform (PS4/Xbox One)

  • Alien Isolation*
  • Assassin’s Creed Unity
  • Batman: Arkham Knight
  • The Crew
  • Destiny*
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition*
  • Dying Light*
  • EA Sports UFC
  • The Elder Scrolls Online
  • The Evil Within*
  • Evolve
  • FIFA**
  • Madden**
  • Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor*
  • Murdered: Soul Suspect*
  • NBA 2K15**
  • Sniper Elite 3*
  • Wolfenstein: The New Order*
  • WWE 2K15**

*Also available on last-generation hardware.

** Not yet announced and/or detailed, but reasonably suspected to be cross-generation.

Of the twenty-three multiplatform games above, only six are exclusive to new-generation consoles. That’s not nearly enough to motivate consumers who haven’t already upgraded to make the investment. We need to see more new-gen exclusive games at E3, and some of them need to be out this year.

One major variable is the indie community. Sony is bridging the gap between AAA titles with strong indie titles. Nintendo and Microsoft are lagging behind.

The titles that have been announced though, do not significantly overlap. Indies are currently the de facto exclusives, though likely not indefinitely as many of those titles go into development on other platforms.

Even with the indie presence on all three consoles, AAA and exclusives still drive mainstream consumer interest. All three platform holders need to have aces up their sleeves for E3. There must be titles they have waiting in reserve as surprises.

E3 2013 featured a series of promises, especially from Sony and Microsoft. We were inspired and excited to buy new hardware, even without robust libraries. This year, it’s time for all three companies to start delivering and make these investments worthwhile.

Image: E3 Expo

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