Xbox Exec Clarifies Comments About DLC Exclusivity and More

"Paying marketing funds so another console's base can't play a piece of content doesn't feel like growth."

336 Comments

Xbox executive Phil Spencer has spoken out to clarify some comments he made earlier about how the video game industry can grow in the future.

In 2015, Spencer said he wanted that year's E3 show to focus more on Microsoft's own franchises and expanding them. Asked on Twitter recently if this is still Microsoft's directive, Spencer said it is. He cited things like EA Access, Fallout mods, the Game Preview program, and cross-play between Xbox One and PC that are things that "move gaming forward," and in some cases are only available on Xbox.

"Our [first-party] IP should do the same," Spencer said, referencing efforts that push gaming forward.

He went on to say the continued support for Halo 5, particularly its Forge mode, is an example of Microsoft continuing to invest in and grow its own franchises.

As for what Spencer doesn't want to do, he said, "Paying marketing funds so another console's base can't play a piece of content doesn't feel like growth."

This might sound like a dig at Sony's timed-exclusivity deal with Activision for Call of Duty and Destiny DLC, but Spencer doesn't see it that way. "People getting worked up on this," he said when someone suggested he was being hypocritical. "Never said Xbox has never done this, not calling out others, just not practice I like, that's it."

Microsoft has its own co-marketing deals, too, one of which is with Ubisoft for The Division DLC.

What do you make of Spence's comments? Let us know in the comments below!

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Vic6933

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Why is the PS vs XBOX debate still a thing? It's damn near 2017 and people are still acting like the "other side" is pure evil, grow up. Enjoy your console of choice, exclusives and all. Embrace the competition which drives the business to create better games. DLC exclusivity is a thing it sucks but everyone will get the content. Don't like DLC, don't buy it. Both parties are trying to stay competitive and drive business towards their side, that's how you make money and stay in business don't take it so personally.

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deactivated-5d762a7e1423c

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@7tizz: lol...I highly doubt it is jealousy....it's about being a passionate member of your own team, not envy of the other team...and part of that passion is bashing the other "team".....I assume for most it is simply good fun.

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JustinGoSka

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@Vic6933: I agree. 95% of people that play video games have already bought current Gen consoles. Its not like either side will win people over by paying to get exclusive content. They're better off putting that marketing money towards free DLC and other goodies for their customers.

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ExoticCharm

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It's amazing how many sony fanboys are incapable of reading what's actually being said in an article. It must be too hard for them.

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Thanatos2k

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So why don't you have ACTUAL cross play in your games then? That means you actually have to let people on Xbox and PC play multiplayer together.

Gonna lie about it again?

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kanekan-slaugh

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@Thanatos2k: They do though...

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Thanatos2k

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@kanekan-slaugh: Can you play Gears 4 cross play across PC and Xbone? Not co-op. Actual multiplayer.

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kanekan-slaugh

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@Thanatos2k: Yes

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@kanekan-slaugh: https://www.extremetech.com/gaming/240428-gears-war-4-competitive-cross-play-tested-weekend

No, you can't. They "tested it" for only a couple days.

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kanekan-slaugh

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@Thanatos2k: Then that website isn't reliable because it is supported.

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JustinGoSka

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@Thanatos2k: Other games have had crossplay. Shadowrun on the 360 had it. Although to be fair, it was probably the worst Shadowrun game to ever be released.

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Thanatos2k

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@JustinGoSka: 1 game, over 10 years? Yeah. Real commitment there. Except Microsoft is the one holding it back:

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/ms-killed-pc-xbox-cross-platform-play

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JustinGoSka

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@Thanatos2k: I personally don't really care about cross platform play because I have a PC and an Xbox. If I could play with people that have a Playstation, then I might be interested because I have a few friends that either only have a playstation or they have both consoles but play certain games on Playstation only.

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Mirimon78

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@Thanatos2k: while I agree that msft is still the obstacle here, that article you linked is, well, trash on so many levels and completely fails to point out the real reason. It really is a bad article, in all regards.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@Mirimon78: It definitely points out the real reason. Just because you don't like the reason doesn't mean the article is wrong.

What's holding Gears 4 back from cross platform multiplayer, again?

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Mirimon78

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@Thanatos2k: lol, it points out nothing, it is n anecdotal story of a rumor they allegedly heard from somebody else.... it also also disporved by the frequent defeat of a kb/m player by one using a controller (and more importantly ignores all the available solutions to equalize controls for all players).

The reason predates that "story", by nearly a decade. Msft had a policy in place originally, and under the plan of anybody else playing with xbox gamers would have to do it on xbl only, and would have to subscribe to their service to do so regardless of the playform they were actually playing from. This is how it affected cross play with pc. Crossplay with other consoles was similarly affected by their policies which would refuse to allow people from using any other brand-name console from playing with xbox users. This idea was basically a form of exclusivity with the hyped misconception of having a superior service to game on. If people wanted to play on xbl, they would need to become xbox customers.

As far as new games this gen, while the policies have changed a little bit, they are still fairly self serving for msft and only for msft.

Methods to normalize play of a game between m/kb users and controller users are available, such as device detection (easily hacked), or by disabling control customization (effectively limiting the speed the camera and such can move (one advantage to using a mouse) and by introducing target error (which would eliminate the precision advantage of a mouse)).

And to be clear, m/kb users have an advantage in ease of use of hardware, not one of skill.

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@Mirimon78: "it also also disporved by the frequent defeat of a kb/m player by one using a controller"

And that was the part where you proved your bias, rending the rest of your post utter nonsense.

This was never a debate. Mouse will always be better for shooters. Anyone feebly trying to suggest otherwise can have the bozo bit flipped.

It's even more hilarious you think that mouse users need to be crippled in order to service the console user's self esteem.....proving the article correct.

"m/kb users have an advantage in ease of use of hardware, not one of skill."

Absolutely laughable. Do you know that if you enabled the crutches that controller users have baked into their games, you'd be banned for cheating? Do you know what the term "skill ceiling" means?

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Mirimon78

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@Thanatos2k: mouse better? Maybe for some, it is inherently easier requiring less skill to utilize effectively.

What bias? Oh, ypu rhink I only have an xbox and only play those dressed down mockery of a shooter called gaylo with my mall bros right??? Gtfoh

I suppose you thi k co.petative gamers on co soles use aim assist too right? That tells me how much YOU don't know and how your whole tantrum here was based on your beleifs, and thus biased.

What I am talking about is eliminating hardware any hardware advantages (which is simply an extension of pay to win when you really look at it) so that more game tyles could enjoy cross platform play in a ducive envirement, which would be good for the consumers and the business. The same is done for any professional competative industry, like the NFL, NASCAR etc.

I myself use both for shooters, mouse for my right, controller for the left (this offers the besr for aiming speed and accuracy as well as the best for movement control and reaction time/smoothness).

Are you still mad about that other time you tried to argue something and failed?? That's rather juvenile of you..

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@Mirimon78: "mouse better? Maybe for some,"

No. For everyone. Developers know this. Don't even try this nonsense just because you have to disagree. There is no hardware advantage for PCs - there is a hardware DISADVANTAGE using a controller. It would be like demanding everyone else play with only using one hand because that's what you've been doing. Using two hands is PAY TO WIN! They'd laugh in your face, like I'm about to do now.

"I myself use both for shooters, mouse for my right, controller for the left"

Hahahhahahahahahahahahaha what the hell. I know you're scrambling but please try and make it believable.

Really dude, you're coming unglued. The above post is barely intelligible, please proofread. You're clearly deeply insecure about this issue, you seem like exactly the type of person Microsoft was trying to protect when they cowarded out of cross play, as the article indicates.

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Mirimon78

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@Thanatos2k: if a mouse is awlays better no matter what, then explain how a mouse user gets defeated by somebody using a standard controller?

I don't even know why you bother, you don't even have a pc

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@Mirimon78: I could beat my mom using a mouse while using a controller myself. That doesn't mean anything though.

"you don't even have a pc"

This is one of the dumbest things you've ever posted.

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Mirimon78

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Edited By Mirimon78

@Thanatos2k: so not only is a controller sometime better, but you are into domestic assault and battery??? Sounds like you need a good whoopin' boy.

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Thanatos2k

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@Mirimon78: It appears you were unable to comprehend the words I wrote. Read again, carefully. It has to do with the skill of the players involved.

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Mirimon78

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Edited By Mirimon78

@Thanatos2k: now your claiming it takes skill to abuse your mom?

This is doubly sad because I know you have no skills, and you seem to be proud to beat up your mum..

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Thanatos2k

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Edited By Thanatos2k

@Mirimon78: Ahhhh I see, you know you've completely lost so now you have to try and save some face by switching to feeble insults. Well, looks like that about does it for you. Go on, get your last post in. You clearly need it.

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Mirimon78

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@Thanatos2k: those are your own words, no need to cry about it.

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Mirimon78

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Edited By Mirimon78

How is any of that moving gaming forward? That's all just taking steps in a path somebody already made, why are they always acting like they (msft) invented these things?

Taking something already done and renaming it with your own brand is not invention, nor moving forward... it is merely playing catch up.

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deactivated-5d762a7e1423c

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@Mirimon78: yeah, they should invent more things like online mp gaming or Achievements.....you know things like moving gaming forward....not sure I can site 2 more meaningful things that moved gaming forward come to think of it.

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Mirimon78

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@Daelusca: haha, funny, I get your tone.. but uh.. fyi, they didn't invent either of those, and not only have they not pushed gaming forward at all, even less so since his charge. They were decades late to those innovations...heck, ms-dos had barely been invented by the time gaming achievements were in use...

It's a common misconceptiin of you xbox kids, thinking the whole world revolves around you and everything was invented recently by msft. You'll have to dig a bit deeper to find something msft did to moving gaming forward. Keep searching!

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Doctor_MG

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Edited By Doctor_MG

@Mirimon78:

Are you talking about in-game achievements or multi-game achievements? Because I'm fairly certain that Microsoft did invent gaming achievements across a whole platform (multi-game) and not just inside an individual game. Hell, Steam didn't even get them until 2007.

But online-gaming? Microsoft didn't even invent that in a console space, let alone altogether.

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Mirimon78

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@doctor_mg: multigame is technically activision as well, though cross platform (sounds ahead of its time there...).

I was respondi g to a person who seemed to beleive msft invented achievements and online gaming, who then yried to move the goal posts to specify in terms of console gaming, which again was not true. Msft did help sega with the online out of the box console, the dreamcast, and take activision's achievement concept a step further and adopt it to all games on their platform (which would expand to all games on xbl, much like other platforms had done).

Also.. msft did have an issue with linking achievements to accounts. I had a whole years worth of offline work on the 360 and when I brought it back from Iraq and went online it demanded I make a separate account and would not link the two, customer support had no solution.. but that is just one guy with one issue.

What I would like to see is increased difficulty and value in achievements, and have them work like a cyrrency in being able to purchase in game items. "Oh, you have 100 point, here's a hat for masterchief, oh, 1 million? You can get this cool excalibur shotgunsword for gears of war 4..." some have done things towards that, but it is still not solidified.

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Doctor_MG

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Edited By Doctor_MG

@Mirimon78:

What games/platforms did Activision implement multi-game achievements on before Microsoft?

Yeah, like you said, Sega definitely did it first with the Dreamcast and, to a lesser extent, the Sega Megadrive. Good ole Sega Net though. Playing Phantasy Star online was something else back then.

I never owned an Xbox 360, so I wasn't their to experiment with their early years, thankfully.

Yeah, I always thought that it would be cool of Microsoft/Nintendo/Sony to have a reward system too. Let's say you have a gamer score of 40,000 (which is like forty games 100%) they could give you 40$ (or maybe less) of credit towards Xbox Live. Hell, even custom backgrounds or avatars for getting a platinum on Playstation would be a cool reward. Someone had an idea that Nintendo could link the Switch with the My Nintendo service and using the My Nintendo point program to be integrated with achievements too.

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Mirimon78

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@doctor_mg: activisions first system was very analogue, regardless of which platform their title was on, one would have to take a photo standing near the screen displaying the cometion of something and mail it i , they would assess and award a patch accordingly. Later they would program an achievement into an actual game (this first was on the amiga).

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Doctor_MG

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@Mirimon78:

That is pretty interesting, but I still thank Microsoft for making it a more unified system. Activision was ahead of the curve though, as was Sega (R.I.P.).

Sometimes I do find it incredible the inventions that Sega pioneered before they were popular. Whether it was VR for gaming, internal memory, or network compatibility. They even tried their hand at 3D.

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Mirimon78

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@doctor_mg: indeed, their creativity was great, but countered by the floundering and devided leadership and direction. It's a shame really...

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deactivated-5d762a7e1423c

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@Mirimon78: haha.....in the console space, you know, where the vast majority play real games (meaning mobile does not count), who invented those things?

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Mirimon78

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@Daelusca: uh, yeah.. console space if you want to segragate the game undustry fir so.e reason. It doesn't matter and makes your claims still false.

The award for first online console gaming goes to sega who not only made the first attempt at online console gaming in 1990, but would later on be the first console to have online gaming out of the box during 6th gen consoles.

As for achievements, that "achievement" goes to not a console itself, but Activision. The first console to have a game with achievements progranmed into a game was the Amiga.

Yes, msft would eventually, years later, take these and use them to popularize the movement and lend to the misconceptiin of them inventing, innovating, and "moving gaming forward" the credit is not theirs to claim or be given.

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Mirimon78

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How is any of that moving gaming forward? That's all just taking steps in a path somebody already made, why are they always acting like they invented these things?

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JustinGoSka

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@Mirimon78: Taking good ideas that other people came up with and incorporating them in to tour product is moving forward. Being static would be ignoring other peoples good ideas and continuing doing the same stuff you've always been doing.

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Mirimon78

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Edited By Mirimon78

@JustinGoSka: no, that's just following...

His claim is that THEY are moving gaming as a whole, not him or his division or company.. but to claim that theh are moving gaming itself forward, which is not the case.

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JustinGoSka

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@Mirimon78: Whether you lead or follow, you're still going in the same direction.

Microsoft and Sony are so big in gaming, that any technological advancement they incorporate in their product moves gaming forward, at least for consoles. If Sony adds something, Microsoft has to add something comparable; if Microsoft does something new, Sony has to do something similar. Their competition moves the industry forward.

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Mirimon78

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@JustinGoSka: this has all gone over your head, as you seem not capable of understanding the implications of the statement he made and are poorly attempting to translate it to some other logic ... it almost sems pointless to keep trying to explain it to you.

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PNOVA

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Edited By PNOVA

Xbox fanboys and phil spencer are the reason Destiny got bad reviews even though Destiny was better than Titanfall, advance warfare/bo3/infinite warfare, and overwatch. Due to these type of people, they troll the game and try to hurt the game, which is far worst than buying DLC first. Xbox fanboys and Phil Spencer are stopping the growth of gaming because they are destroying good games because of DLC marketing deals.

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Mirimon78

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@7tizz: nope, destiny>tf.

Tf2 is a different matter, and good for them for finally making a titanfall worth buying. Of only they had done this with the first one, make a campaign (a good one too) the franchise would have much more clout by now and sold better.

Also, simply because its you, your post is automatically pointless.

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JustinGoSka

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@pnova: Lol, Destiny got bad reviews due to lack of content and lack of a plot. I don't think Xbox executives had an influence on the individuals that wrote review for the game.

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sladakrobot

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Edited By sladakrobot

@pnova: what are you smoking?

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PNOVA

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Edited By PNOVA

But it's ok for microsoft to buy entire games from EA? If it was up to phil spencer it would be about who has the most money to buy games from EA, sony or ms. Titanfall 3 is now exclusive to xbox and pc. IGN celebrates the victory lol.

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kanekan-slaugh

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@pnova: Well, yeah an exclusive game will drive sales for the console. An exclusive DLC will just piss people off.

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