Destiny 2's PS4 Exclusive Exotic Weapons Prove How Dumb Console Exclusive DLC Is
Bungie announced yesterday that the developer would soon roll out a fix to prevent Destiny 2 players on Xbox One and PC from using the Wavesplitter exotic tracer rifle, a weapon that was meant to be a PS4-exclusive. The weapon was accidentally sold by Xur last weekend to players on other platforms as well, creating an issue for Bungie, which had advertised the weapon as console-exclusive content specifically created for PS4 players.
With Activision as publisher, Bungie has frequently teamed up with Sony to create exclusive content for the PlayStation 4, whether that be exotic weapons, new maps, or even entire strikes solely for Guardians using the console. While the content would eventually be rolled out for other users as well, it would take a long time—sometimes as long as a year, with many having lost interest in the content or weapons in the interim. Console-exclusive DLC isn't a relatively common practice in the industry, but it's also not an aberration. Dragon: Age Inquisition famously released the Jaws of Hakkon DLC on PC and Xbox One well before it arrived on the PS4, and partnerships occasionally crop up that leave specific demographics of gamers out in the cold.
For Destiny 2 users, the solution is that Bungie will allow players on Xbox One and PC to keep the Wavesplitter once the fix is rolled out, although it will remain unusable until it enter the general population's loot pool in September 2019. Players will just have to hold on to a completely useless weapon for roughly six months while PS4 users continue to gallivant around with the trace rifle.
The bug that awarded users with the Wavesplitter and Bungie's subsequent attempt at a "fix" highlights a major issue with the games industry right now: console-exclusive content is extraordinarily stupid, and creates resentment in fans. PS4 users are more likely to be relieved rather than excited when it comes to Wavesplitter access, while PC and Xbox One users are upset they had a taste of the new weapon and had it taken away because they had the audacity to use a different platform.
The biggest issue with console-exclusive content is that it punishes people for not owning multiple platforms. The reality is not everyone can own several different consoles in one generation—gaming is an expensive hobby that doesn't always allow for people to enjoy all the exclusive games publishers produce. While console-exclusive games are a different animal, releasing a game on multiple platforms and then only allowing users on one of them to access early content and bonuses feels downright extortionary, not to mention cruel.
Let's be completely clear—console exclusive content has likely never influenced more than a handful of fans to purchase a device for themselves to access it earlier. The reality is it's more often a nuisance than it is a selling point, and it makes the companies engaging in the practice look greedy as a result. Destiny 2 is clearly suffering as a result of Activision's incessant need to milk as much money out of consumers as possible, but it's not the only game looking to rope off content behind console exclusivity despite availability on multiple platforms. The Wavesplitter situation and its fix are dumb, but what's even more asinine is the existence of console-exclusive DLC at all when it's 2019 and publishers should know better.