IP Exclusivity in the Industry
Ugh, so it turns out that Psyonix has sold itself out to Epic Games. After being in Steam for a really long time with a thriving community, Epic bought them and now they want to cut themselves off from Steam.
I'm really seeing a grim pattern between:
- streaming services' struggle with exclusive IPs (Netflix, Hulu, Disney, Amazon, Apple, etc)
- Epic's exclusivity bullshit to overcome Steam
- Ecosystem lock-ins with Apple, along with their war with Spotify.
The distribution platforms for various media are becoming fragmented, intentionally, now that both the platform and the creators have realized the value of being exclusive hand-in-hand with each other.
The platform can choose to host the content with little regard to service quality because they know the customers will flock towards the content anyway, whereas creators will opt for platform exclusivity if it means a better cut at the share or added monetary benefits earned by the platform holder elsewhere (ehem, Fortnite money).
The unwanted side-effect of all this is making the experience terrible for the consumer — with consumers being forced to subscribe to multiple services simultaneously, or running multiple game clients with varying degrees of quality of service.
Having multiple competing platforms are meant to drive the quality of services that the consumers want, but that's not going to happen if they're making tiny monopolies out of the IPs that they exclusively distribute.
God forbid if this creeps to the music industry and YouTube.
Imagine your favorite creators being evenly split between YouTube and somewhere else. That would be fine if it's all free, but if it ever evolves to a paid subscription model, we're in for a bad time, just like...
Imagine your music tracks being split between Spotify, Apple, Google and wherever because artists have decided to “exclusively release” their stuff on a different platform. Enjoy your multiple subscriptions and fragmented playlists, because the platform and the creators have decided to make the best for them and not for us.
Only the big companies will win in the end. The best we have for this would be government regulation, but damn, I'm sure they also have that covered with bribes / lobbying too.
In the end, the consumers will lose if this keeps up.