EA founder predicts the death of console exclusives

Tuesday, 10th August 2010 16:38 GMT By Stephany Nunneley


EA founder Trip Hawkins has predicted console exclusivity and consoles in general will become a thing of the past as more publishers get on board with Cloud-gaming.

Speaking in the second episode of Game Theory, Hawkins said companies need to hurdle over “platform boundaries” by publishing games aimed for multiple devices.

“For much of the history of the industry, it was a winner takes all, single platform model,” he said. “Clearly it’s never going to be that way again.

“In the future, any kind of game company will have to have a technology approach that gives them agility across platform boundaries.

“That’s going to play into where gaming needs to go, which is to become like SAS – or Software as a Service – where customers are going to the Cloud, where they have an account and where they have virtual items and they can play.

“But they might come in from a variety of different devices. It’s going to be about simplicity and convenience and making that model work.”

His comments echo those uttered by Hideo Kojima in April, when the gaming legend said consoles will be phased out “in the near future”, so gamers can “have games that don’t depend on any platform”.

Trip Hawkins, formerly the director of strategy and marketing at Apple before founding Electronic Arts and going on head console and game developer 3DO, founded handheld game developer Digital Chocolate in 2003.

He was inducted into the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences’ Hall of Fame in 2005.

Watch episode two of Game Theory below.

Via CVG.



  1. Stephany Nunneley

    The Game Theory channel is here:

    #1 4 years ago
  2. daytripper

    uncharted and mass effect on the one box? sold.

    #2 4 years ago


    #3 4 years ago
  4. get2sammyb

    The game’s industry would be so sterile without platform holders and exclusive games. On a personal level, I can never quite muster the same excitement for a multiplatform title like I do an exclusive. Maybe it’s just me, but there’s something about an exclusive title, been developed specifically for a set-piece of hardware, and marketed as part of the system’s ethos.

    It’s the PlayStation ethos that makes me a “fan” of Sony’s system and Sony’s first-party studios; just as the same applies to XBOX and Nintendo fans.

    I just think you kill that with “one size fits all” solutions. You kill the identity, the culture behind the platform and the games. It’s just a DVD player, or just a piece of hardware.

    I dunno — if the future really is “Sony Games Console”, “Toshiba Games Console”, “Samsung Games Console” — all manufactured to a generic sub-set, for me, you’ve ripped much of the culture out of gaming.

    I flicked through the story, so perhaps that wasn’t the point I was supposed to extract from it. Either way, I wanted to get this off my chest.

    #4 4 years ago
  5. NiceFellow

    @2 I take your point but I think that’s about familiarity with one approach.

    Coming from a PC background to consoles, as I do, exclusives just seem odd. I mean, who ever heard of a PC exclusive title? But I agree with consoles exclusives are more about the brand identify and identification than the games per se.

    Being exclusive doesn’t really affect a game as such, nor does it really affect it’s quality, the only real advantage is a game designed specifically for certain hardware can be better optimized to that hardware.

    As to the actual topic – well, I kind of agree, but so long as there are specific devices you’re still likely to see first party exclusives of some form

    Plus of course while being device agnostic is nice in principle this nonetheless presents many challenges and will continue to do so as long as online speeds are variable and devices have different specifications.

    For example, at the end of the day, you can’t just develop something like, say, Crysis or Uncharted 2 and then decide to dump it on an iPhone. Similarly if you took an iPhone title and just dumped it onto a large, hi res monitor via a PC it wouldn’t look the best.

    But clearly, unless there is a single, dominant platform, being exclusive can be tough on sales.

    A PS3 exclusive right now has an install base of around 38 million I gather, while a 360 has around 41 million. But a multi-platform HD title has an install base of around 80 million potential buyers.

    Even Wii at 75 million or whatever isn’t really dominant.

    With PS1 and PS2 being so dominant being exclusive as a console title was an easy decision, but unless one of the players can gain that kind of dominance then it’s not really viable for any non 1st party developers.

    #5 4 years ago
  6. sebbie16

    I hope he realizes that it is exclusives that sell consoles, not multi-platform games that have shoddy ports.

    #6 4 years ago
  7. Herlock

    Tendo, MS & SCE have studios…sorry guys, exclusive gone be always there.
    Exclusive by thrid studio maybe not.

    #7 4 years ago
  8. Mike W

    Yea I agree, “third party” console exclusives are a thing of the past. You will never see a Mario or a Zelda title on your PS3 or Xbox 360. The only way you will see that if Nintendo becomes a third party party developer like Sega.

    #8 4 years ago
  9. loki

    Just lol Another dream of another PC NERD. It is never hapen, trol

    #9 4 years ago
  10. Happy Hardon Harry

    They have a point, console exclusives for 3rd party companies don’t make any sense as they lose shit loads of money. Next gen the 3rd party exclusive will go the way of the dodo.

    Anyway, only fanboys care about exclusives as it gives them something petty to argue about in the playground.

    #10 4 years ago
  11. Herlock

    “Anyway, only fanboys care about exclusives as it gives them something petty to argue about in the playground.”

    Or something running on specific hardware…
    Sorry pale, i love LBP, Uncharted etc…
    I like SCE IPs ;)
    Otherwise buy a PC.

    #11 4 years ago
  12. Happy Hardon Harry


    It’s the only reason i kept my PS3/Wii was for the first party exclusives, otherwise i wouldn’t have any console.

    As for the 360, i sold it, as i found MS’s IP to be complete and utter shite, their IP (Gears, Forza, Halo, Alan Wank, Fable, etc) just doesn’t do it for me, personally.

    #12 4 years ago
  13. DarkElfa

    Hey Loki, suck a dick you D-Bag, I’m sick of your bad mouthing PC users, there’s no damn need for it. We’re all gamers, so stop with the fan boy fagishness and grow some pubes.

    #13 4 years ago
  14. DeSpiritusBellum

    @3 Sony? :p

    #14 4 years ago
  15. Callum

    I doubt it to be honest, I would put some money on the Next generation of consoles being even more different than this current generation, making it increasingly difficult to port to both. Already the difference in hardware gives developers so many problems, taking a game from 360 to PS3 is no easy task if you want them to look and feel the same, only recently have developers really got it nailed down. Long live the exclusives!

    #15 4 years ago
  16. Lord Gremlin

    Meh. Not going to happen in the nearest 200-300 years. And I don’t care what happens in 2450.

    In the nearest future I smell Sony dominating. Exactly because of platform exclusives.

    #16 4 years ago
  17. Quiiick

    @ #4 (get2sammyb)

    Very well said. I totally agree with you. A “one size fits all”-platform would definitely be a dull place.

    The status quo: 3 participants fighting for the console-crown puts so much healthy competition into the “game”.

    #17 4 years ago
  18. rainer

    He’ basically describing the OnLive service, it’s a good idea and proven to work but whether OnLive will be the first to succeed at it is not set in stone. As people have concerns about Internet infrastructure and the pricing model but those are things that can be addressed in time.

    Trip’s right eventually it will go that way but probably not until 10 years from now after digital distribution becomes the dominant delivery method.

    #18 4 years ago
  19. mojo

    10: “Anyway, only fanboys care about exclusives as it gives them something petty to argue about in the playground.”

    and that is exactly wrong.
    gamers care about exclusives because these games deliver the best experience of the games on the regarding platforms.

    The best for us gamers would be if noone would develop multiplat.
    They should fuck off.

    #19 4 years ago

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