Exclusives used to be a part of the PS1-PS2 era,it was not just because of Console manufactures both Sony and Microsoft money-hatting the 3rd Party Publishers but also with relation to exclusives on PS1-PS2,it was because PS2 sold far far better than its competitor that it was no point making software for the others.
But those days ended in the PS360 era when Sony Dropped the ball and in its arrogance didn't Sign Exclusives and their expensive PS3 console also cost them exclusives as they lost the lead.But Here Microsoft was more aggressive as they signed up 3rd party exclusives in order to makeup for their lack of brand power compared to the PlayStation brand and also snatch PlayStation's formerly exclusives like GTA,Metal Gear and Final Fantasy franchises.
Sony was in a tough position in the PS3 era,high console price,losing exclusives and close to 10 years of billion Dollar losses - the only way Sony could compete is reduce PS3's price which they did and bolster its games lineup with first party exclusives which they did,although one of the biggest points PS3 was able to fight back was the stronger PlayStation brand name worldwide thanks to the success of PS1 & PS2
Apart from first party exclusives,most 3rd Party games were on both PS360 by the end of the gen,thus ending PlayStation's 3rd Party Exclusives era.
Now came the PS4 & Xbox One generation,this went to Sony & PS4 thanks to its stronger brand name worldwide and Sony's first party exclusives.Also,Sony because of its dominance was able to secure 3rd Party Marketing rights for Call of Duty,Star Wars,Assassins Creed,GTA,Red Dead Redemption comparable to what Microsoft had done with X360.
After losing the PS4 & Xbox One gen,Microsoft has now like Sony started building up its First Party Exclusives offering for next gen.
The downfall of 3rd Party exclusives ERA was not because 3rd Party Publisher's suddenly wanted to appease all gamers of because of Microsoft Big Wallets(though it was part of the phenomena) but because of Sony's decisions.
Sony launched PS3 a holiday later than X360 and at a ridiculous price which resulted in low sales by which time it made no sense of 3rd Party publisher's to put exclusives on PS3 because they would sell less.By this time,even if Sony wanted to money hat the Publisher's,they would have to pay a ridiculous prices which was not affordable.
Even the exclusives like GTA which SONY had signed at the start of the PS3 generation,they had to let go due to publisher's backlash because of low sales,They had to exchange this for multiple Marketing Deal's like GTA5's exclusive marketing deal for PS3.
Had Sony released PS3 at $299-399 with X360 in 2005,with their stronger brand name and exclusive signings.3rd Party Exclusives would still be the norm today
A thing to look for is Competition from multiple sources
Microsoft after their Acquisition of 10 new studios
Apple as you all know have the brand power,money power and platform power of the App Store so it is the biggest competitor aside from Microsoft and Nintendo that Sony's gonna face.
Google is the second one,it doesn't have what Apple has in brand power and money power but it is still very rich and globally known brand but it has the Android platform.
Amazon is the last one,it also has the money power but it lacks brand name compared to Apple and Google and has lacks platform like App Store and Google Play Store
I did not mention Nintendo as it doesn't directly compete with Sony,nonetheless it is a competitor
Grand Theft Auto
It is the biggest gaming franchise in the world by far.GTA5 sold 100million copies.
Even if they sell 50million copies on PS5,it will be a huge system seller and guarantee PS5 to be by far the best selling console,probably also beating PS2
Sony atm has a market Cap of $60billion,its has cash on hand of about $25billion and has assets of $170billion so Financially this deal is viable
Also GTA5 itself earned $6billion in revenue,Future sales could easily pay for this deal
Changing Industry and Future
Alot of people are do not want a game like GTA or other big 3rd Party games to be exclusives but the world doesn't always function by what you want or don't want but through the laws of nature.
And every industry goes though cycles of contraction and expansion and the gaming industry atm is in transition.
New competitors like Amazon,Google and Apple are entering the industry and all of them will be in for signing big exclusives.Competition will be tough and Sony needs a big exclusives other than its first party offering.
Also,the future is not just the battle of games exclusivity but of hardware platforms.Google and Apple are kings of this with their Apple's App Store and Google Play Store.Phones,Tablets and now TV's sell not based on software or hardware but based on the Operating System and the platform.
Apple's App Store and Google's Play Store have every advantage from Movies to Apps the Games which PlayStation Store or Windows Store or Nintendo Store,so i eventually gaming future will be dominated by platforms and Microsoft,Sony,Nintendo like other 3rd Party Publishers will be like Film Studios and Distributors selling games on App Store or Google Play Store.
Another new area is streaming again where Microsoft,Sony and Nintendo will just become publishers eventually not console manufacturers.
So in an Event Sony becomes only a publisher,GTA is a great brand name acquisitionLast edited by lightningfunk - on 14 March 2019