Update: Following a wave of reporting based on documentation from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority which suggested what we all suspected, that Xbox Game Pass is harming full-price software sales, the Redmond firm has released a statement to Kotaku which fails to deny the claims:
"Xbox Game Pass offers gamers and game creators more choice and opportunity in how they discover, experience, and deliver games. For gamers, that means providing another option for them to discover games and play with friends at a great value. For developers, that means creating another option for how they monetize their games.
"We’re focused on helping game creators of all sizes maximize the total financial value they receive through Game Pass. Each game is unique, so we work closely with creators to build a custom program to reflect what they need, ensure they are compensated financially for their participation in the service, and allow room for creativity and innovation. As a result, the number of developers interested in working with Game Pass continues to grow."
Corporate lingo translation: yes, it's affecting software sales.
Original Article: Xbox's popular Game Pass subscription is tanking the sales of games that join the service. Included in a new report from the UK's Competition and Markets Authority, Microsoft has admitted that software added to Game Pass has its actual sales figures significantly impacted as a result.
"Microsoft also submitted that its internal analysis shows a [redacted]% decline in base game sales twelve months following their addition on Game Pass," the report states. So, for a year following a game's launch on Game Pass, it sees a dip in sales on Xbox platforms.
This is the opposite of remarks Phil Spencer made about the perceived effects of Game Pass on the market. The executive said putting a game on Game Pass was "leading to more sales of the game", but now the platform holder is saying otherwise.
Interestingly, Activision shows concerns about the subject as well. In the same report, Microsoft says the publisher isn't comfortable with including its games on subscription services as doing so might "severely cannibalise B2P [buy-to-play] sales, particularly in the case of newer releases".
Sony has been more cautious about putting large-scale games on the revamped PS Plus day one; especially when it comes to its own, first-party titles, the company is sticking to the more traditional premium release method. It's been working out well, with record-breaking sales for games like God of War Ragnarok and others. PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has made his thoughts on the matter pretty clear in the past, and with this revelation from Microsoft, it seems he may have been right.
This is all part of the ongoing investigation into Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard. Regulators in the UK and USA are still concerned the $69 billion deal will have too large an impact on the industry, potentially harming Xbox's competitors.
Didn't see that coming at all. /i
GASP I am just totally shocked. Who could ever have predicted this? WHO?!
You don’t say Phil!?!? There’s gonna be some serious konniptions up and down Gamepassland at that admission. Then they’ll remember that they actually had a game release recently… and the mental gymnasts will save the day 😅 phew!
I think this has gradually changed over time as people have got more savvy.
I certainly had plenty of games on my system that turned up on Gamepass later or that I bought after they had left.
But as time has gone on, I have worked the system out. I don't need to buy any games on Xbox - let alone at full price because they either drop into the service or they end up on sale while I have been playing something else.
It also seems that Gamepass has almost reached critical mass and it hasn't achieved the lofty position that Xbox hoped.
In short, despite coming out with a big bold play at the start of this gen, little has changed and in the end the failure to drop any big first party games has hit them really hard.
I'm shock shocked!! But seriously I do wonder what happens to Xbox 1st party devs because usually developers get bonuses for certain sale milestones, so if the games are free and sales are low do that not get any bonuses?
Well obviously....but it's all good for the consumers
So Sony was right after all.
Next up Microsoft will be saying how un-sustainable it is.
No, no, no. MS should be the good guys and Sony must be the bad guys. The internet told me so...
It's crazy that people thought differently anyway. There's just no way this business model is viable without Microsoft's deep pockets.
@Americansamurai1 they leave and start their own independent third party development team, named after a Top Gun character’s call-sign.
@UltimateOtaku91 I mean Microsoft can't even manage their studios they have now, how are they going to manager the biggest 3rd party publisher too.
I'm curious where the quote about "leading to more sales of the game" comes from. I do recall the statement from the XO18 or XO19 floor that "Game Pass subscribers actually purchase more games than non-subscribers", which never say they specifically purchase copies of GP titles in greater volume but that subscribing customers tend to buy more games overall than non-subscribers.
Nobody ever expected that MORE people buy a game that's ON the service, the whole point of subscribing is to have the game included in the sub. The part that matters is if subscribers have increased OVERALL spend into the ecosystem, meaning subscriptions + mtx + other game sales. It's no different for Plus (with the obvious difference regarding day 1 launch sales, but of course, Plus is also a cheaper service.)
This was maybe the biggest gamble in gaming history and this proves it.
Either game pass puts everyone else out of business or it destroys the Xbox brand. Crazy how risky this whole platform is, almost have to respect the guts.
I bet third party Devs are actually quite glad sony and Microsoft going in diff directions as in one heavily on gamepass even third party new releases and Sony who despite that are still sticking to there pricing model. So they get that guarantee fee from gamepass aswell as high potential sales from PlayStation who like today said on pushsquare Hogwarts 82% of sales on PlayStation.
If it’s not good for devs and publishers then, ultimately, it’s not good for consumers.
@dschons Totally, unsarcastically agree - it's shocking a company that close to being bought by Microsoft would admit the truth that's obvious to everyone. I expected them to fall in line and lie.
I wouldn't be surprised if it's a net benefit to small studios who aren't expecting major sales in the first place, though it could hurt them as well if they're not paid a bonus based on engagement, and a huge hit gets pitiful sales due to being on a subscription service. So much depends on how the (secret) contracts are written.
@NEStalgia They've said it a lot: https://www.gamesindustry.biz/phil-spencer-game-pass-leads-to-more-game-sales
"When you put a game like Forza Horizon 4 on Game Pass, you instantly have more players of the game, which is actually leading to more sales of the game," he said. "Some people have questioned that, but when State of Decay 2 launched, you saw if you looked in the US at the NPD you saw this game selling really well the month it launched on GamePass.
"You say, 'Well isn't everyone just going to subscribe for $10 and go play this thing?' But no, gamers find things to play based on what everybody else is playing. What's #1 on Mixer, what's #1 on Twitch, what's my friend's list [saying], what are people saying on Discord, they go everywhere to see. When these games hit something like GamePass with all these players, it instantly raises the awareness."
(And there are other similar more recent quotes, too!)
@NEStalgia Im not going to search for articles, but they certainly were reported as claiming gamepass would boost sales.
I think it was based on the belief people would buy after it left the service, and microtransactions of course.
I'm just surprised MS is admitting it. I mean we knew.
@TheCollector316 Im shock shocked I say
Create a service that draws people in at a low entry fee. Buy up as much of the industry as possible until you’re insulated from serious competition. Jack up the prices. Obvious plan from the start.
@Americansamurai1 oh that's actually a good point I totally forgot that was a thing.
I mean, I think a lot of people saw this coming, it was just going to take time before Microsoft said something.
oh what a surprise. not
the sad thing is that there are still enough people who blindly believe phil's lies.
I think the most cut and paste comment on any Xbox site is....
"I'll wait till it's on Gamepass."
I think the message was that it promotes the game to those without Gamepass by getting word of mouth going. Also leads to people buying it at a discount if it leaves the service, or if they want to actually own it or support the devs.
I never really bought that idea, but it was what was said.
Truly a shocking revelation! The real issue is that it would be very difficult for Microsoft to reverse course at this point. Most of the audience on Xbox just plays whatever Game Pass has and dont even give anything else a second glance. I can't imagine what the reaction would be from their fans if they heard one day that Xbox 1st party games wouldn't be coming day one on the service anymore.
@Futureshark not just Xbox sites sadly.
I personally don’t mind paying full price for games at launch when they’re of a calibre that justifies the pricing. The issue is that most of the day one releases on game pass either release buggy as hell, or are subpar at best. Starfield could possibly change that a great deal, as could Wild Hearts but at the end of the day I want quality over quantity.
Each platform has its strengths and I’m on PlayStation because its strengths are just THAT good.
The conflicting information from Microsoft looks bad though, especially when it comes to regulators.
I mainly play Single Player games as I am sure many people do. Once I get the platinum 100%, I move onto the next game. I have zero incentive to buy it.
I actually bought God of War Ragnarok since I know its not coming to PS Plus until 2024 at the earliest IF i'm lucky. I paid to play it early.
On Gamepass with games releasing day 1, Why would I ever buy a game?
Game pass for Xbox games and boomerang rentals for playstation games....Lots of money saved
@pharos_haven makes you wonder how that would impact attracting and keeping talent.
@get2sammyb @NEStalgia "you saw this game selling really well the month it launched on Game Pass". Well, yeah. Something that launches does get more sales than something that's been out a month, two months, six months, a year, and so on. I don't think adding Game Pass into the mix changes that fact.
@get2sammyb Thanks. The two statements are clearly referencing different metrics, though. The latter, about Forza Horizon, talks about increased sales due to, effectively, forcing the game to go viral at launch and selling copies to non-subscribers due to the amount of people talking about it. The original quote refers to a DIP in sales, a situation that could not be evaluated for that Forza Horizon example since it launched onto a service. The FH example is talking about the GP sales effect on new games launching day 1 onto the service. The article quote about a dip in sales necessarily relates to existing games not on the service joining into the service at a later date, as there otherwise would be no baseline to measure a dip against.
Obviously common sense tells us that the whole point of a game being on these services, be it Plus or Game Pass is to NOT buy the game and play it for your fixed subscription fee. But there's also some cross statements coming from dissimilar metrics on games at different points in their life cycles. After all, FH4, and especially FH5 did sell extremely well, where FH5 hit the all formats charts despite GP. High on Life hit the top of the XB digital store charts despite being on the service (and a terrible game, I seriously pity which of you guys reviews it once it hits PS, but I'm betting it's Rob, and he'll say it's good lol.) Obviously on the Plus side of things, Stray sold extremely well despite being on the (much cheaper than GP!) Plus Extra.
Not singling you out, I know you've written very positively about both GP and Plus, but it's easy to start taking pot shots at these seeming cross statements, out of context of what the data represents in general, from either side where bias plays in. But the statements apply equally to PS Plus subscribers as GP subscribers, so it's all relevant.
(Edit: Originally said Plus Essential but meant Extra.)
Yep, gamepass is not sustainable. I saw this coming from a mile away. Subscriptions like this are not a gamer's friend. If this really sets in, how much extra incentive to monetize games with MTs do you think there will be? Gamepass is a bad deal in the long term.
@Korgon That's it. They've laid all their eggs in this basket. No going back now.
@Shstrick I think your absolutely right. I personally don't like the idea of games leaving game pass or renting them. If I like the game or looking forward to one I'll buy it flat out to help support the Dev's. I sold my Xbox and gone to PS just because the exclusive games. But as Netflix grows so do thier greed and the price will absolutely start climbing. I think Xbox and game pass are doing good because the parents are buying the systems and game pass for thier kids and calling it a done deal. No more waiting in lines and no more paying for expensive releases. IMO
@Jaz007 For a giant like MS, pretty much anything is sustainable, that's the worst part about it. Profitable though: Yeah, this might take a little while, lol.
One could write a whole essay on the negatives with a majority-subscription gaming landscape but, as @Jaz007 aptly summarises, it's just that subscriptions are not a gamer's friend in the long run.
Competition, choice and the eventual effect on gaming content. Nah. I obviously can't be 100% certain with every negative eventuality but enough risk is there to make me err on the side of caution with the model. Especially when it comes to a mega corporation like Microsoft.
@NEStalgia I think you have made some excellent points there and I do think the 'quote' in the article is a little misleading.
I also think there is a genuinely positive element to gamepass and small developers. Gamepass has basically been funding a load of very good indie games with their gamepass deals allowing for more fully realised games and for devs to take more chances.
Thinking specifically of Pentiment and Hi-Fi Rush, there are games we might never have seen without gamepass.
@get2sammyb @NEStalgia That "Game Pass subscribers actually purchase more games than non-subscribers" quote was always BS. Think about it logically. Gamers who are engaged in the platform enough to subscribe were ALWAYS more likely to buy more games than less engaged non-subscribers, even after GP. It's a magician's trick of a quote, sounds good but really just distracting from the truth.
I could also understand Day 1 games on Game Pass (or other sub service) sometimes getting more sales in total than they would have done otherwise*, as Phil said, but i'd imagine those sales would be mostly on other platforms due to the increased mindshare and column inches. Especially for smaller titles/indies.
I could even believe that it might happen on Xbox itself in a few cherry picked cases. Especially those that fall into that wait for a sale category, but it's not going to lead to more SALES, than if it wasn't on Game Pass for most AAA titles.
But sometimes Game Pass highlights that the game is actually good, or helps it go viral.
(*Though how you evaluate that it sold more than it was going to I don't know. It's basically impossible to know what sales were actually going to be and we don't have access to an alternative timeline to A/B test it. Perhaps it would have performed above expectations anyway.)
Everyone and their mother will have their "I told you so" ready to spout out without further reflection... so very clever.
Microsoft was hoping more PlayStation owners would jump ship and join Xbox, LOL. Then they allowed the price to be circumvented with the one dollar upgrade. Buying the games you really want over getting trash you would never play is the best choice.
What saves something like PS-Plus is its low cost. I expect many people buy Game Pass for $15 just on the months a big new game releases. Making for a even bigger loss for Microsoft.
I don’t know how anyone thought gamepass couldn’t cannibalise sales.
More laughable was spencer saying it somehow increased sales haha seriously!
No interest in any subscription service, except maybe Switch Online for all the retro titles.
The thing is he almost certainly WON'T have lied. He just would have picked his words, or cherry picked his sources, very carefully to avoid outright lying. But it's still all spin, aimed to deceive.
It's definitely true. I own a Series X and haven't actually bought a single game for it. Everything is played through Game Pass
And to be fair I get game pass free with my EE mobile phone contract so it was just a one off outlay for the console and I don't need to spend anymore.
Surely if you differentiate between games coming day one or not, then you would conclude that games that come day one would see an even larger dip in sales (over what would otherwise be expected from historic sales figures) than would those that come later. This is given that the vast majority of a games sales come at release and always have.
Now, I guess you could argue that increased visibility and word of mouth for those games would bring increased sales, but i’d consider it far more likely that it would bring increased sales for Gamepass rather than the game itself. And I think Microsoft would agree, otherwise they wouldn’t pay to have them on (or make them for) the service.
@Americansamurai1 I'd probably quit or quit the industry altogether
@themightyant Yes, it's something of a magician's trick of a statement that was going to be true regardless, but saying that misses an important element of truth within it. If Game Pass keeps players MORE ENGAGED within the ecosystem, particularly while it is the underdog ecosystem, they are more likely to increase the portion of their budget that would be spent on gaming within that ecosystem instead of within another ecosystem, or more likely to increase budget on games spend in general by virtue of spending more time and energy engaged within that ecosystem. It's not a zero-sum game. The goal of any subscription or digital service is to monopolize a user's time, energy, mindshare, or add-on spending within that service alone, to increase the amount of time and money they continue adding into that service instead of a competing service. That's the secret sauce for MMOs and GaaS overall. For that matter theme parks with season passes frequent flyer miles, and every other service. It's a somewhat trick statement, but there's also significant truth within it, but it's more subtle and they're not going to come right out and say "we're manipulating you by capturing your time and mindshare by luring you to maximize the time you spend in our world."
It works. We can go the other way. I'm spending more time on PS at the moment than I was 6 months ago. Why? PSVR2. It captured my attention, makes me spend more time looking at PS things, which then makes me tend to spend more time doing PS things. Capturing that attention and mindshare absolutely increases sales.
Sure I'm spending $550 for that mindshare on PS.
But have I also spent 550 on Game Pass over 3 years? Yes....
For your asterisk point, exactly. BUT, that goes to my point to Jaz, MS isn't concerned with if something is AS profitable on the service as it would be if it wasn't. Sony is. MS is only concerned about it being profitable at all. And as for devs/publishers, while they want to maximize revenue, what might be more important to them is budgeting and risk mitigation unless they know they have a top selling hit on their hands. Many business, and their investors, would rather have a guaranteed return than a high risk potential high return (but potential loss) etc, so the deal-making comes into it I'm sure.
@thefourfoldroot1 I read yours after mighty's so the reply above really works for you too
@Jaz007 The most profitable games are mtx-driven, and don't charge even a subscription fee for the game, CoD charges full retail and is STILL the king of mtx. And Genshin rewrote the book on monetization and distribution. Not sure subscriptions factor into that dark future one way or another. We're stuck with it. GP and Plus could collapse tomorrow, and the next day we'll get the announcements of another dozen mtx-driven games.
Whether subscriptions are sustainable is still another topic. There's a mile of difference between MS' goals and PS' goals in that PS needs their gaming division to maximize the ROI as the primary growth channel of the company. MS merely requires it to turn a profit after investment. So long as the 10- year result of the XB ecosystem, including PC and cloud, turns a profit overall, it's a success. It's not their primary industry, they don't need it to double the YoY results in gaming alone. But for Sony, they need to make sure to maximize all potential profitability from the games business because most of their entire corporate growth forecasts are based on that as one of the 4 tentpole markets. OTOH that's MS's point in terms of competition that as long as a company like Sony that's focused on maximizing profits runs the show, competition and consumer value suffers.
Time for xbox owners to put their money where their mouth is...
If you love the brand that much, you should support it!
@themightyant lies or deceit- does it really matter which?
On another hand Gamepass is THE reason why I have a XSX. Without it the console has virtually no value to me. Like the last generation for me it’s Xbox for most third party games and PS5 for exclusives
At the end of the day as long as it exists I’ll play game on it because it saves me so much money every year it’s crazy. I pay for my subscription so I don’t feel bad for one second playing a day one release for “free” but I never wait for games to be put on GP down the line. If I want to play it and it’s not on release day (or when I’m ready to play it) I buy it. Might wait for a sale if I think it’s too expensive though
If the devs get paid for making the games, the publishers get paid for the game going on gamepass, and Xbox get paid through the gamepass subs… then what do the sales matter?
So much hate for Gamepass here but it has saved me a lot of money and allowed me to try loads of random games. Obviously it’s all been said before; but these comment threads just get really dumb with random hate thrown out for no reason (though PS Essential is celebrated).
I would argue it has convinced more devs to come to Xbox too since they know they might be in with a chance of making it on Gamepass; especially indies.
“If Game Pass keeps players MORE ENGAGED within the ecosystem, particularly while it is the underdog ecosystem, they are more likely to increase the portion of their budget that would be spent on gaming on that ecosystem”
I think we have to be very careful not to stay too cocoon in our environment, or we’ll start believing things like the above are commonplace.
In fact, people only usually have so much time to play (I’m around 1-2hrs per night) and if they are “engaged” with PS Extra games or Gamepass games, they simply won’t buy other games until done with those. They won’t suddenly find more time and money because they happen to be on the console. Perhaps the hardcore sure, but not the brand of gamer MS are trying to press Gamepass on now.
The only way to increase money in from these games while on Gamepass or similar is through Microtransactions. People do feel like they have got something for nothing in these services because the spend is so separated from receipt of the product. So they are more likely to spend a bit on Microtransactions. I know I’ve spent £6 this year on DLC for Extra games compared to £0 in my whole life before subscriptions…
Imagine if Sony fans waited for those multi-plat games That comes on gamepass and waited for them to leave gamepass before buying them. The games would probably go on sale a lot faster and devs would have to think twice before releasing their games on gamepass🤔
I know money is no object for them but nobody wants to throw away money on an unsuccessful business venture indefinitely.
Everything seems to hang on this Activision acquisition - MS desperately need it to be approved if they ever hope to be seen as serious competition for Sony/Playstation. I wonder what will happen if it’s stopped?
Of course it is, it's conditioning people to not want to pay for games. Jim Ryan has always known this and that's why Sony won't do the day one releases.
Wow this has really rocked me, rocked me to the core, I don't know whether I will ever be able to believe a corporate suit again, my whole belief system have been shaken.
@get2sammyb I can well believe that DLC sales increase, I know I sometimes buy them for ps+ and they sometimes go on sale after the PS+ annoucement. From that you could say "sales increase" and technically you aren't telling porkies.
@K1LLEGAL If games that end up on Gamepass have lower sales (those first few months sales are by far the most valuable), and an overall lower profit; then future games targeting the service will have smaller budgets to compensate. What gets sacrificed then? Content? Quality Control? Developer Salaries?
I've jumped over to xbox this gen as gamepass is too good. It's the best deal in gaming ever. Like I'm currently playing Age of empires 2 remastered, Jo Jo's bizarre adventure battle and just finished the amazing Opus. I have 45 games in my to play list and have played well over a hundred games in just over a year.
It will effect gaming, in the future most games will have a store front of sorts. I can't see how this benefits publishers though, maybe for a bit of extra cash when sales die out? I previously mirrored the same worries as everyone above me about the future of gaming. It can't possibly make economic sense.
But I'm not a publisher and swamped in games. So it's great for the consumer right now.
@Dodoo It's SPIN, how to 'lie' with statistics, they are ALL at it.
I wish they weren't but they are.
didn't they just lay off a bunch of people in cost cutting moves? i wonder how much longer the game pass system will go. i wouldn't be surprised if games ending up getting removed after so long , or having you purchase the full game after you play it for so long. i wouldn't mind the 2nd , being able to try out a game before you buy , if you like a game enough then its worth buying right?
Removed - inappropriate language
@K1LLEGAL i guess its more a question of long term viability.
GP is still cheap, its cheap conversion etc.
but what happens when MS close loopholes and prices rise? (netflix) what are people realisticly going to pay monthly? the longer you have it the lower the value it becomes as you played what you wanted. will people just sub now and then for certain games?>
Do devs keep taking the lower guaranteed income? or trust in their quality and likely earn more? Will they want higher fees to compensate lower sales?
currently in short term its great, will it always be who knows.
Yep not surprised at all. Phil's original comments were probably related to the fact microsoft pay a significant fee to get the game on the service, which for smaller titles 'may' exceed expected purchases through the traditional format. Maybe that's how he tried to spin it at least, but this report absolutely backs Sony's position on the matter.
Microsoft are embarrassing themselves over this Acti deal. From having Acti employees come out and say Sony dont need COD because of the Last of Us tv show (absolutely bonkers leap of logic), to now over the weekend being revealed to have demanded the performance details of Sony's executive staff (which Sony has described as harrasment - https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/microsoft-activision-bizarrely-demand-playstation-085142535.html),. This whole thing is extremely embarrassing.
I genuinely dont understand the xbots who are criticisng Sony in all of this too. This is all Microsoft's doing, and Sony is having to answer all the legal questions in return for their entirely reasonable objection to the deal
@Loftimus they already do by buying their console and using windows . more companies in the game industry should sacrifice their pockets for the players . i don’t care about “what goes on at home” just give me good games and good experiences
I keep saying it and keep getting ***** on by Xbox fans, but Microsoft's aim is to get everyone in the subscription so you never own games. Then they will stop physical sales. Then they will increase the price.
It's a sham and we should all avoid game streaming and subscriptions.
I have an xbox and gamepass and i dont care. they give me money via Microsoft rewards and get to play games cheaply with gamepass. i will happily take up Microsoft's offer and what do i care if it costs them money these greedy mega corporations deserve to be exploited they are one of the biggest companies on the planet.
Removed - trolling
@twitchtvpat so basically you want to pay for demos?
@MattBoothDev kind of but instead of a demo it would be the full game. something that would give you a pretty good idea of , well i think this game is worth paying for or not. i think they even have it setup atm , if you buy a game thats off of game pass its discounted , ( not 100% sure on that) .
I got banned on XBox Series X Reddit forum for saying this. That place is run by a bunch of losers on a power trip.
This practice is so bad for the industry. Thankfully Sony is smart enough to see the bigger picture. AAA games cost a lot of money and by cannibalizing sales you're just going to force these studios to cut budgets and if that happens you can say goodbye to games like Spiderman and God of War.
I'll try to make sense of what you said, but yes, Microsoft's end game is you'll be renting access to games for £X.XX a month.
They will keep the digital store open, because they get a 30% cut off each sale, which cannot be traded later.
They'll kill physical games the second they can. They tried in 2013 and got ***** on and have, with the rest of the industry been slowly nudging players into paying more and getting less.
The worst part is there'll be people that act personally offended when you speak out against it and then defend it saying they think it's a great deal and who even bothers buying games these days that's so boomer, etc etc
@MattBoothDev so is your concern with physical ? it’s still unavoidable, even if you physically have the disc , they can revoke the license through the console . we don’t own the games we play physically or digitally . blizzard just pulled the scummiest ***** a few months ago replacing overwatch 1 with overwatch 2 , despite having the overwatch 1 DISC the games no longer accessible . i’m just using that as the most recent example i can think of
& yea i know it’s a live service game but i think it still technically counts.
btw i’m just messing with you when i said boomer , i mean no harm lol .
@thedevilsjester yes but they get paid to go on Gamepass which negates the lower sales. Thats the negotiation the publishers will come to with Xbox. So the profit is ideally the same or more or less who knows but the idea is for maximum profit because of course it is. You are acting like they put it on Gamepass for free.
They even get the payment upfront (I think?) which means they can get to work quicker on their next game.
Not the people at purex. Now lets see the profitable part lol.
do you own an xbox? no then why do you care if Microsoft doesnt make loads of money.
do you own an xbox? yes then get Microsoft rewards and gamepass and save yourself a ton of money at Microsoft's expense
That's probably what will the hardcore fans say from now on.
How many times they got told the service doesn't promote sales and is not profitable to make big budget games? How many times? With in depth explanation?
File this one under: No ***** Sherlock
@trev666 I'm the same, stocked up on 3 years worth of Ultimate for £128 - even if they only release 4 games on it that i'd buy in that time then I'm quids in and I'm happy to take them for every penny I can right now.
@K1LLEGAL "So much hate for Gamepass here but it has saved me a lot of money"
Every single person who says that proves the point Activision was making. Game Pass lets you spend less than you would have spent otherwise.
Now you can certainly argue that's good for the consumer, and for certain consumers that is clearly true - as you said, you saved money! However, you can also argue it's bad for the developers who would have otherwise had all that money you saved, to help them pay their staff and start on the next project. If those developers are still happy with the situation despite getting less revenue from sales, it has to be because Microsoft is running GP at a loss, and paying those developers something near what they would have received if you and others hadn't saved so much money through GP.
That's pretty awesome...while it lasts. Eventually it will stop. When it does, the more heavily you're hooked on GP the more it will hurt.
Called it. There sure was a ton of defenders that said otherwise. Not necessarily on this site though.
Yup. Mtx, dlcs, battle passes incoming (cought $20 halo colors)
@RobN thats one way of looking at it; but the other side is… a lot of these games I wouldn’t have ever paid for in the first place; but now have played through Gamepass and they are getting paid by Xbox.
It’s obviously hard to know but as an indie developer you would have the decision of upfront cash from Xbox or gambling it on sales of the game. Which could go viral and make millions or could fall flat on it’s face. So yes there will be some devs/publishers that come out better than others, and they may not even know it. It’s a case of not knowing how it would have sold for sure.
I do wonder about Vampire Survivors since they had the viral money from Steam so not sure why they went for Gamepass; but there is a lot of background we don’t know.
Yup. Can't just go back. They will lose their players and that will hurt more.
Double edge sword. And one side was wider
I used to own an Xbox back a few years ago around the time Game Pass launched and I had a number of Xbox One games at the time, but once Game Pass came out and they started doing day one releases for the first party games and some third party games I just figured why buy the game when I can just subscribe to play the new game and cancel my sub when I’m done 🤷🏻♀️ and I know they offer discounts on games that are on game pass if you’re subbed to it, but why would I pay for the game when I can pay a lower price to run through it? And if I don’t finish it before it leaves the service I wasn’t interested enough to buy it. I only play on my PS5 now, but the way I see GP is basically the same as Blockbuster used to be back in the day where you get to try the game out, but for a monthly fee as opposed to a per game fee, and if you like it you’ll just finish it for that low fee instead of buying it though because you don’t have a small period of time to play the game. At least with Blockbuster it was pay like $8(probably wrong on this but I’m guessing) and you get 3 days to play this game and if you want to keep playing rent it out again for another $8 or keep it late and pay late fees, or buy the game because you liked what you got to try out. I never expected that games on GP would make big money just due to the fact you can pay their monthly fee for the new game you wanna play, power through it, then cancel your subscription and continue. I plan on doing this to cloud stream their new Fable game when it comes out. Pay their fee for ultimate to cloud stream through my phone(which I can mirror on my TV) power through the game, then cancel. I understand I could always buy it to replay it, but Xbox doesn’t put out anything I’m interested in buying their console for. Anything Series X/S has that I might want to play is also on PS5, and out of exclusives I have no interest outside of the Fable game they haven’t actually revealed anything on since they just said hey we’re doing a new one. At least on PlayStation I feel that what I paid for a PS5 was worth it due to the high number of games I’ve played that are exclusive to the console(or exclusives coming that I’d have no issue paying for), Xbox seems a waste of money for a $500 console that I can just pay a fee for one month to power through any exclusive I might want to play(which is very low). ***** back in the days if 360 and PS3 at least they had some nice exclusives like Lost Odyssey, Infinite Undiscovery and Mass Effect 1(before PS3 got it through the trilogy set), now it’s just buy up studios to increase our output of exclusives without putting the work into it.
The thing I've always hated about Game Pass is the day one releases (especially for AAA level games) because it changes people's buying habits.
Consumers always want more for less but it isn't healthy for an industry where AAA games are constantly in demand for high end graphics, animation, gameplay, story, voice acting etc. But that balloons the budgets past the hundred million mark.
It then makes sense why certain games have a load of DLC, expansions, battle passes and MTXs, there looking for ways to earn back revenue on their investments. That's not to say publishers don't take the p*** because they absolutely do. And the end of the day it's a tricky balancing act between the industry continuing to make high quality games while maintaining reasonable prices for consumers. Day one GP learns too much in one direction.
It's almost as if we have been saying that the Game pass model is unsustainable. Why buy anything on Xbox if you'll get all the biggest titles free on day one? The best thing they can hope for now is making every new release a glorified free to play game where they charge you for plenty of microtransactions and battle passes and turn everything into a games-as-a-service model. I can't imagine the cesspool that the industry would become if we went down that route. Gamepass was just too good to be true.
Stating the obvious next they'll be admitting gamepass isnt profitable & they're using money from other Microsoft divisions to keep it going
Strange no article on this on pure Xbox.
Was an article when Xbox were saying GPU boosted sales. Which was transparently a lie. Might as well have been on the side of a red bus with Boris claiming it
@K1LLEGAL what we know is that little devs like STALKER devs have been vocal about how the best way to help them (because they are from Ukraine so it's pretty obvious the money MS gave them it's not enough right now) is actually buying the game.
So yes, for big companies it's easy to go for the secure money but for the small devs even if their game goes viral they have to survive until that happens and the gp/psplus model in the long term would harm more than help middle and small developers, because big companies would be the ones deciding how much money they could make in the scenario where no one would be in the disposition to actually pay for something (and we know this is happening right now)
@AdamNovice in fairness it isn't only Gamepass that is guilty for making that happen.
For the whole of last gen the sales on games have been so aggressive that many games are being sold extremely cheaply a matter of weeks after launch.
Sony have clearly decided they are not happy with this and are trying to maintain a premium price for their big franchises.
There has been a race to the bottom for a long long time price wise while there is a consistent claim that gamers want more and more from the graphics and size of games despite the fact that the Switch has games selling 50m units.
It is a strange industry right now and one that I think will need a dramatic change in the near future on many levels.
The % is probably the most important number here. Since it's been redacted, we don't know if that number is 5% or 75%.
For a third party game, is the money Microsoft paid to get said game on Game Pass + the reduced sales on Xbox during that year = profit on said a game?
If the answer is yes, then this is all just a non-issue and it's just a reaction for people to say "see, told you so!"
If the answer is no, then it will be interesting to see how much longer Game Pass exists or how much longer any major game releases on the platform (including 1st-party games).
It's not as if Microsoft holds a gun to any third-party developers head to release on Game Pass.
I mean, some developers have been very happy with the success of their games on Game Pass. Others just won't release because, yes, the game can make more money $60 - $70 pop.
For all we know, this internal review document could be used as a guide for Microsoft to court developers to Game Pass by determining if the money Microsoft is paying to push to the service would be enough for the developer to release based on reasonable market analysis and expected sales output to compensate for obvious lost sales.
Not defending Game Pass, per se, I mean if it actually IS doing harm (which this report doesn't say otherwise), then it needs to go away. I am just not going to sit here and bash something when we don't even know what the real impact is at all.
@thefourfoldroot1 It's a fair point, but I think it also comes from the in-cocoon view. If we take the AVERAGE games consumer, not enthusiasts, then how much annual budget are we expecting they spend on games software (not hardware?)
We're not talking about people who are buying Tinykin and Cult of the Lamb, we're really not talking about people that think Persona 3 Portable matters. The AVERAGE player, the player who plays that 1-2 hours a day or much less in many cases, is probably not going to be spending that much more than $180 a year in game software anyway. And if we're talking people buying physical games, buying USED, that money doesn't to into MS/Sony/publisher anyway. And if buying new, that price is vastly reduced in value by retailer wholesale price.
So GP ingests what should be the average per-customer spend, directly into digital sales. It doesn't matter if that consumer jumps from playing 2 games to playing 100 games, they're budget and spend is unchanged (that's the advantage, offering more value doesn't necessarily cost more to provide for the same return.) Plus, in this instance, is actually the better value/more budget conscious option (hardware cost aside) as it's cheaper.
Does that attract more sales in DLC/mtx? Certainly. Though games were doing that anyway, even at full price, and online games have transitioned to f2p for exactly that reason, making the subscription the premium option by contrast.
I'm not saying one way or another what one is better, or isn't better, in terms of returns, but I'm saying the people that manage these types of services have a boatload of sales data they're basing their strategies on. They know what the average player spends and how and where they spend it. They're likely not giving away the store. Just like "unlimited internet" in the US in the 90's was basically power users getting subsidized by grandma checking her email once a month, it basically subsidizes the habits of "the hardcore" by the average player putting similar or more money into the system that they would have otherwise, but extracting more value from it overall that cost no more to deliver. I think a lot of anti-subscription sentiment comes from the viewpoint of enthusiasts that sit here thinking "I spent $600 in games this year, at $180 GP is just giving games away!" But the normal player doesn't spend $600 in games a year. They spend $70-150 on 2 games, or one blockbuster and a few sales. At $180, GP already has them spending more. And at $15/monthly, that makes spending a bit more look much easier here and there. It can have the same effect as a sale. I "refuse" to buy games at $70. So then what happens black friday? I end up checking out like $450 in games between the 3 digital stores. Joke's on me, but who cares, I get more perceived value, they get more money, everyone wins.
There's a lot at play financially in this stuff. Unfortunately articles like these bring out the "I personally hate services therefore relish the idea that the industry declares it a failure!" crowd and on the flip site the "See, GP will dominate the industry" fans.
Here's the thing though to better picture the value. Think of what you maybe spend, MAXIMUM, per year on games. Or what the average enthusiast that hangs out here does (that celebrates full priced gaming)....let's just say 1 full priced $70 game a month. Some spend more, some undoubtedly spend less. But I think a full priced game a month we can probably settle on as a reasnable "this is an enthusiasts games budget" round number. $840/yr. $70/mo.
GP isn't $70 a month yet. Imagine a new PS Plus tier: PS Plus Elite. It's $69.99/mo. Now imagine it includes not just a select library of games. Imagine it includes the ENTIRE PS catalogue available on the store, with a few premium exceptions....maybe not GoW. Maybe not TLOU. But literally everything else, day 1. Now, no paying customer is likely to be paying more than that, ever, so they're not really extracting any more value out of the service than they would have paid into anyway, it just unlocks more options and variety to play with.
Does that price sound extreme? Because that's exactly the price Youtube TV costs. Which is CHEAPER than comparable cable services. But that would be for a totally unlocked "Play literally any PS game except for a few premium options" (compare to HBO/Starz not included in base costs for YTTV incurring an extra $5-10 upgrade.)
Obviously at $15, GP is far from $70, but GP is also a fixed library of titles, not the entire catalogue as a smorgasboard.
Point is, when everyone argues this stuff on the internet people aren't really taking int account the entire big-data driven metrics and actual sales volume/sales expectations per-user into the ecosystem that the planners of these services are. It's pretty complicated numbers games and total market behavior prediction stuff going on.
We been knew...but it's still hilarious to see them finally admit it. Game Pass destroys software sales and they thought everyone was going to simply buy into the scheme of all games being unfinished multiplayer "live services" filled to the brim with microtransactions and ads..as they slowly got control of the industry and gained a monopoly. NOPE.
I'll gladly pay 70 bucks for games like Ragnarok, Rift Apart, Spidey 2, etc before I ever give in to the crap games industry Microsoft wants to make.
@nomither6 sure, but if you disconnect from the internet you can install from the disc without updates, at least.
I am very bothered about physical media, yep. I have a decent library of games going back to the PS1, MegaDrive, GameCube and Xbox (1).
All my PS4 and PS5 games, so far, have been at least £10 cheaper than digital, mainly because of the competition for sales vs the monopoly Sony and Microsoft have on the digital stores.
With physical games there's the ability, in theory, to crack the copy protection, if it ever got that bad.
But that's an aside, my main worry is you'll only be able to play games if you are paying the subscription fee. The second that happens there's a price hike coming, because at that point, the manufacturer has a stranglehold on how you access the content and they can choose how much you pay.
Finally, I'm a millennial anyway, as if as much wasn't obvious 😂 at with everything in this industry, there's so much potential for good stuff, like games subscriptions and streaming, but the industry cannot be trusted at all.
@MattBoothDev "but the industry cannot be trusted at all."
Never a truer phrase spoken about the games industry. It is a cess pit and quite often its own worst enemy.
@NEStalgia you missed the part where the industry wants this so badly because it nukes game ownership and second hand sales.
That's their drive. They don't care if it's galvanising sales. They're loss leading. Getting people locked into their platform, ready for the next step, which is a digital only console in the next generation.
@Wheatly "It is a strange industry right now and one that I think will need a dramatic change in the near future on many levels."
Exactly this. Too much supply for available demand, a push to ever increase budgets in the product, with the expectation of increasing cost, which consumers are clearly resisting as a whole, thus the discounts and subscriptions. It's a very imbalanced industry. On one hand it wants to be a premium luxury product for the wealthy that can afford such refinement as the highest budget products that can be produced. On the other hand it wants to be so mass market and mainstream it sells lunchboxes and tshirts. The industry wants to keep increasing price, and consumers will continue to resist that and budget products will continue increasing. And the biggest two things by revenue in gaming, Genshin and Fortnite, are literally free with "optional" sales, - and they are SO big in revenue it makes discussion of literally everything else almost completely irrelevant at all.
Something has to, and will change, and I'm not quite sure what.
It's depressing seeing the lack of subtlety or thought in so many responses here on this. Predictable, but half the comments are "SEE GP IS UNSUSTAINABLE WE KNEW IT, DOWN WITH IT! THEY ADMIT IT, ITS OVER, SALES DESTROYED!" Some good, insightful comments, but so many knee-jerk self affirmation responses. No wonder gamers are so easy to manipulate. Tell them what they want to hear, on any side of any issue, and they swarm in defense of it. It's all about as intellectual and well reasoned as politics...
I would like a more reasonable model. Game developers would still make profits selling games at 50$ instead of 70$ as long as it sells well. Its order and demand the oldest rule in capitalism. Avatar Way of the Water production and marketing total cost was like $1,5 billion, normal (non 3D) tickets werent more expensive than a low budget film. I don't want to have to chose between subscription model and 100$ games.
@MattBoothDev Didn't miss it, been saying that for quite a while. I definitely agree, that's been the push on all sides for quite a while, and Nintendos' current approach is just making digital way cheaper than physical via back door (isn't that what should have happened in the BEGINNING?! I know why it didn't, but still...)
But I don't think it's as simple as "ok, digital only, now $80 games forever and ever no more sales, mwahahahaha" I think the strategies change again there. But I do agree with you, these companies A) want to lock you in to their digital store, but also, B) are tired of revenue-sharing half their intake with Walmart and Amazon. Consumers tend not to get they're not paying $70 for physical games, they're paying like $40, the rest goes to retailers.
Isn't this the whole point of Gamepass and Xbox's approach? In reality they don't want you to buy your games so you have to perpetually subscribe, their problem is the hugely misguided attempt of including mobile gamers in the potential market for such a service, when the overwhelming majority will never play the kind of games on there. For Xbox this is fine but for 3rd parties this is a huge issue, you only have to look at the Hogwarts Legacy sales split to see how it's affecting games that aren't even on the service
@NEStalgia But much like anything else when people get tribal they back flip and tumble around mentally to get themselves in a spot where they back their team - whether it be sport, gaming, politics or any other divisive topic.
I have personally lost patience with Xbox right now and I think PS5 sales show that many others probably don't have a lot of time for them either.
But then I think Sony have reached the promised land where to their core fanbase there is no wrong they can do and can be strung along to agree with anything.
It is interesting that I feel like the tone of this website - having I think been pretty fair and critical in the past seems to me to be leaning more to this hardcore stand point too.
I'm loving the gymnastics on show from certain commenters here. Even when provided with irrefutable proof straight from the horses mouth, they're doing somersaults in their attempts to defend it or play it down.
Ps plus extra/premium and Gamepass are nothing but glorified demo subscriptions. Nice for the hardcore gamers who have enough time to play games, but otherwise you're better off buying the titles you like. No wonder MS wants to buy ActiBliz. They hope to get lots of casual gamers that way.
Anyone with two brain cells could've figured that out. If it were genuinely profitable then Nintendo would've started doing it ten years ago.
@Psnfanboy79 It is not just that. I notice almost every game which debuts day 1 gp eventually comes to PS plus. So yeah, I avoid buying those games. Examples are back 4 blood, street of rage 4, and even death loop and Yakuza 7 (Like a Dragon). Now waiting for Plaugue Requium and Ninja Turtle.
I’m not really sure where you are going with this. It seems the conversation is straying from the point somewhat.
Obviously game sales are going to drop when there is a competing subscription service. Obviously MS are willing to pay publishers to make GP more appealing, and take a loss on their own made games, in order to attract subscribers. We’ve all always known this really.
Does this mean more money from casuals, and so subsidised gaming for those of us who would spend more? Probably.
I don’t care if games sell more or less honestly. I only care about bait and switch issues (which will eventually be an issue) and with how games will change once they become part of a subscription service only.
@K1LLEGAL I doubt the compensation from Microsoft comes anywhere near replacing the first couple of months of sales of a title at full price. It might come a bit closer, or at least be worth the risk for smaller less well know games; but not the AAA beasts.
@Wheatly I avoided this particular part of the site during the PS4 years. It was unbearable editorially and in the commentariat during the height of "PS is the only console that matters". Things really relaxed and chilled during the PS5 launch era and it became a great place, the editorial content balanced very nicely. It's still a better place than it was, maybe 6 years ago, I think, and the core editorial staff just being older and wiser helps that a great deal. But I do see things slipping back in that direction with this newfound dominance of the platform again.
But....I'm a Nintendo and Sega fan since the 80s....I'm used to the whole "whatever the company does to me, I deserved it!" mentality. I was there for Saturn, I was there for WiiU....I know the drill
The tribal everything of the moderns world just becomes too much after a while. It's not just games. I'm used to it in games. For veterans of the the 16bit wars, this is nothing. It's that the 16bit wars are now EVERYTHING IN LIFE that gets tiring!
@thefourfoldroot1 Yeah I can agree on bait and Switch (going back to YTTV I remember when it was, what $35/mo? Now it's $70. They threw Oprah and HGTV in there and now I have to pay for that stuff whenever I sub even though I don't give a rats rear about it. I see the same in the future of subs.
But my point was really, just as you said in the middle there, if rev increases from the subscriptions overall versus raw game sales, the individual unit sales, stop mattering and sub is ligitimately more profitable.
That said, it's moot. MS has has said sub counts for 17% of rev, and on console they don't expect that to change much, so it's still not how the majority are consuming content on the platform .
Antitrust and Monopoly laws are designed to protect the consumer, not competitors in the marketplace.
I guess we are agreed then. Although I am sure you understand that growing subs on consoles is not really where they are aiming. Subs without the need to sell a loss making console, but where you can still run your own store. Now that’s where they see the money.
Game Pass and its Day One releases are amazing if you're console agnostic and own multiple systems. PS Plus is so bad I cancelled in Nov and haven't missed it once.
No, Jim Ryan. I am not paying you for a sub that offers games that are on sale all the time and badly emulated PS1/PS2 titles.
Just stop defending the service. You clearly don't see resident evil, gta, hogwarts or elden ring being there. That's more than enough evidence.
@jrt87 "No, Jim Ryan. I am not paying you for a sub that offers games that are on sale all the time and badly emulated PS1/PS2 titles."
I'm pretty sure the service was engineered specifically for you to not want to use it. When a company that keeps saying they want services to fail sells you a service that looks like you shouldn't want to buy it, you can kind of guess it's because you're not supposed to
To be fair to Extra though, it's not a bad service for a super budget-concious gamer. The kind that would normally buy a PS4 and only used games. Premium is a steaming pile and no mistake, though.
@thefourfoldroot1 Oh definitely, they're pretty clear that the goal is the non-console crowd, all the growth is on PC and cloud, not console ,etc. I don't think they want to get out of console specifically, but I don't think that's where they see the real growth coming from. For them, the console is just a "halo product" (not to be confused with a Halo product), to make the whole ecosystem more enticing.
@mrbone I never notice that those games on gamepass come on PlayStation plus extra🤔
Been listening to xbros go on for years about game pass. None seeming to see what is coming.
Surprise, surprise..or wasn't this a surprise after all?
@thedevilsjester then why accept the deal?
@GodofCapcom whats that got to do with anything?
Well, get ready for even more micro-transactions and big chunks of games locked behind paid DLC. They’re going to make their money somehow.
Yep, that should be obvious. The better question would be whether the gamepass revenue goes any way to offsetting the lost sales, though I can't imagine the numbers will be that great for most developers.
@K1LLEGAL For first party? They don't have a choice. For third? Its not exactly Disney Land; developers are not lined up waiting for their ticket to be pulled; so whatever they are offering, only appeals to certain developers, or certain games. Without looking at their contracts, I couldn't say.
@NEStalgia I don't really see the value in PS+; even in the best of months when there are great games being released on the service. If its a great game, chances are that most have already played it; and if its a turd, no one wants to. Conversely, Gamepass actually seems to provide a lot of value (too much, in fact), I don't play digital titles (free or otherwise) so I don't have a horse in this race, I only worry about the long term impacts it would have on the developers.
Indie games don't have to sell in the millions. Them are not the problem.
Microsoft created Gamepass to undercut the competition with its deep pockets. It makes consumers think "I can get this on PS for RRP or on Xbox for this small monthly sub among other games".
People were attracted to the low $1 fee and the "bang for your buck" excuse the pun. There was no competition on what offered the better value for 3rd party games. Microsoft NEEDS people to stay on the sub to get an ROI. Why? They're spending way more than they the games are worth to generate hoping later down the line, that enough people OR that people will stick around without updating the service.
There are 25 Million confirmed MAUs on GP. We know the cost and how many games reside on the service. Those figures are enough to calculate how much the expenditure. For argument's sake, I purposely based the revenue on the best case scenario that every single MAU pays monthly which is the most expensive for consumers.
25MM MAUS a month equates to £300MM (low @ £1 a month) to £1.44B (high @ £120 a year) annually. Average of 400 titles on the service. £7.5MM highest possible average to spend on per title on GP to break even. Obviously fluctuation on indies versus AAA additions.
Is anyone seriously thinking developers and publishers are accepting £7.5 million for Game pass instead of attempting to gain 125k sales @ £60?
People aren't coming in the droves they thought through undercutting so how do they make consumers move and stay? I reckon buying out the main AAA publishers favoured by giant communities to stranglehold would.
I can see some truth to Phil Spencer’s statement that putting a game on Game Pass was "leading to more sales of the game.” For example, I never would’ve purchased a Yakuza game…or a Mafia game…or a Just Cause game…or a Sniper Elite game…or, heck, the sequel to Party Hard, if they hadn’t been made available on PS+. Still, Microsoft KNEW it’d harm game sales. Their goal all along was to win market share in XBox console sales through Game Pass. Once you’ve got market share, you can rest on your laurels. That’s what Madden football has done for 20+ years.
Everything. Has to do with everything, but people had years to figure this out, and they're not going to anyways.
I think games pass major success was it distracted us away from the fact there was no true next gen games.
It is still a good deal, not played much on it recently but still priced at that more hassle to cancel price.
Not sure if it is a good thing if MS buy Activision or not.
But it all seems to be about COD, would they need permission (clearance from loads of governments etc) to buy the rights to COD? It wouldn't be a buy out, just buying the COD IP and then go back and buy the rest without the arguments.
@thedevilsjester I agree. I subscribe to GP, I don't subscribe to Plus. For GP it means for a fixed $180 I get to play all the first party titles (which for 2022 amounted to Pentiment and.... yeah that's about it, lol) Starfield is a game I'd have bought anyway, but it's nice it's "pre-budgeted".... But also means I jump in and try a bunch of peak indies I would otherwise have never given the light of day. Plus I use the cloud service.
PS Plus..... as an enthusiast, I see little of value there. Everything on it is stuff that's dirt cheap in sales anyway and is mostly stuff I already bought years ago.
But I can see it has a great place in the market for the very very (very) budget consumer. Lots of people buy last-gen consoles in the super-slim variety and just buy used games cheap at gamestop clearance bins. This pulls that money into the platform that otherwise wasn't going to the platform and provides way better value. It does have a customer, it's way cheaper than GP, but I'm definitely not that customer.
Those defending the statements, and being pedantic, lol. Why? Xbox clearly were being deceitful, lying, spin - all the same - and now they’ve gone the other way, with the same level of spin because they want to downplay GPU to force through a deal. They are not goodies here, they are a corporate power house doing what corporate power houses do…. Lie to get what they want. Claim both sides of a fence to different people.
I own every gen of Xbox, and sub to GPU and I say this
Lol, this is great. Can't wait to hear the Last Stand crew go in on this.
Bad news for Sony's PS+ upgrade tiers if true.
@NEStalgia its the price of extra that swings it for me. 56quid for a year? thats only what a coffee and cake a month?
all i want from it is a chance of a game i was 50/50 on and so far im getting my value... but i also dont buy games to add to a backlog like so many.
@JayJ Albeit similar services, Sony has a very different approach when it comes to choosing which games go into theirs. The main focus of the article here are games that launch into the service simultaneously. This is not a thing on PS for the most part.
xbox trying to kill the whole gaming industry it seems
They may 'lose' out on actual sales of their games, supplementing that with a much larger player base to potentially 'sell' more DLC, MTX etc and still get money from those Gamers who 'rent' the game. Its a 'different' way of bringing income in.
Take Forza Horizon for example - that 'may' of sold 5m copies in the first 6-12months. But instead of maybe 1m buying and playing the game in the first week or so, they had 20m people playing and I bet they got something from 'everyone' of those.
Halo Infinite had 22m in the first week yet how many played Returnal, R&C etc in their first week?
Sales are going to be 'down' on Game Pass games, but then Games like Hogwarts for example may get more sales on Xbox because those people aren't spending that money on Games like Plague Tale, Atomic Heart, Hi-Fi Rush etc.
As much as Sony is fixated on Sales as a measure of Success, MS are more interested in the player engagement and unique users. None of Sony's First Party games have had as big a Launch in terms of actual players playing their games as MS does with some of their games. Sea of Thieves would never of Sold more than 3m yet has over 25m players.
Sales are NOT the only income source to recuperate the costs of development etc anymore and so whilst 'sales' of certain games due to Sub services maybe 'lower' on Xbox now, they may offset that by having many more gamers playing on Xbox which overall increases their revenue and reach. More people in your 'store', more you can sell to.
Sony are Sales focussed so it 'hurts' their business model to 'lose' sales - especially at Launch when Games cost the most, have the HIGHEST profit margins etc. Hence they only release theirs on PC/PS+ once the Sales of both Hardware and the Game are no longer going to be 'impacted'. MS are much more Service driven and Sales are more a secondary focus, hence their Games release day and date into services, on PC. Sales of Hardware and Software are 'optional' for the consumer, its more important to 'get' people in the door than maximise your 'sales' potential - Sales will happen because People will prefer to play on Hardware not stream, prefer to own their game, not 'rent'.
I love xbox gamepass..so easy to get for .99/month! I've never paid more. I'll enjoy it while it lasts.
Isn't this a Playstation website?
@stvevan Yeah that's the thing, when good sales happen, I buy it and add it to the backing. I just finished hzd's frozen wilds dlc. I bought it on sale in 2018... 😂. So basically plus extra is a mirror of my own library. While gp offers stuff I don't own and probably never would.
But that's also the thing, I mostly play things I otherwise wouldn't have purchased on gp. Plus the exclusives but that's always something of a loss leader in terms of costs compared to third party sales for all platforms. Plus extra really doesn't offer much for me yet. If there add some vr2 games this itll be worth it and I'll join. I used to join Now for a month here and there before it was all or nothing for the year.
Yeah and albums on Spotify don't sell at retail. It's a statement to the CMA, of course they'll paint a terrible picture.
Still remember the $120 xbox live increase.
@NEStalgia How many people here alone say I had it for free on Gamepass.
So anyone who comes up with this nonsense that it creates more sales is a joke.
"In the end Jim was right after all and we all knew it lets be honest here people"
And one more thing the Gamepass devalues games. Sony has been held hostage by this crappy baseball studio that keep them hostage with a license.
@dschons Uhh no, I am seeing lots of new PS5 games in their higher tier subscription, to the point where it makes no sense for me to buy most PS5 exclusives as a new PS5 owner.
@BAMozzy Gamepass is a disease that devalues games. You can dress it up all you like but you its true.
Come on stop this nonsense even MS says its nonsense.
And Halo isn't this the game that dropped it 10 year plan already. I am one of the people that rather pays a tenner extra then see any kind of MT in my game.
I'm certain the real Halo fan would rather have a full release of Halo with a expansion for the multiplayer.
That Free to play time wasting stuff. Is the worst ill rather pay and play like I want to play and play what I want. That engagement is one of the worst things around it does not add anything it just wastes my time.
Also you make it sound even worse. Microtransaction to make your game profitable isnt the advertisement to make your point to people who dispise this nonsense already.
I thought push square forgot xbox exists. But here they are talking about xbox exclusively. They don't mention xbox in any other article. So why make a post about xbox?
@CutchuSlow the buyout would/will inevitably remove a lot of game franchises that playstation users have enjoyed over the years, so how it is progressing is relevant.
It was obvious that this would happen. Sony should stick to their current model, and only add older games to the service, ones that had a significant launch sales period. I honestly would have been happier with only retro games on the service in addition to the 2 games a month model, but microsofts aggression forced their hand. These retro or older games aren't always feasible to actually play, you may not have the older console, so this gives the service real value.
It really makes me admire nintendo's subscription model more, but they have the luxury of having an iron grip on most of their retro first party games licenses still.
Ultimately, just buy your games, physical preferably so you actually own it. Call me a dinosaur, i beg you.
@JayJ not the same. Those are games whose sales have already dipped. They didn't go into the service simultaneously at launch.
@StylesT Yeah, I'm sure that is a priority for any major conglomerate.
Gamepass has been great about letting me try games I otherwise would not give a shot like old man's journey, and saving me money on games that turned out to be really disappointing like back 4 blood.
The ones I really like I usually buy later on like destroy all humans. It's saved me from a lot of buyers remorse for sure, wish it was around when the order and dragon age 2 came out.
xbox has 3 systems X/S and pc and no games xbox games look like nintendo switch games lol
simply put, gamespass is not sustainable and has the potential to cause the second crash in the videogame industry. money is no object for microsoft, so it is able to take a loss on the service and foot the bill... but that doesn't mean they aren't bleeding money in the process in exchange for marketshare. nintendo and sony, being more grounded companies that actually have to watch their spending, are unable to adopt such a model and cannot compete directly in this way. instead, they let the games do the talking and have managed to outclass xbox regardless... that said, gamespass is conditioning millions of gamers to stop purchasing games and that will only hurt the industry in the long run. not only that, but it is creating a seflish sense of entitlement amongst the gamespass demographic that isn't healthy for the medium. i.e. after you condition millions of xbox gamers to the subscription model, they will be far less willing to purchase a game the old fashioned way on nintendo, sony and pc platforms which could have a serious impact on the industry. microsoft's greedy agenda is not something sony or nintendo should strive towards and thankfully, i think they understand this all too well.
what about microsoft laying off all those people
I haven’t bought an Xbox game since Forza 7. Signed up for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate that E3 2017, and aside from Forza 7 a couple of months after that, haven’t bought a single game on Xbox. Used to buy about 20-30 a year.
I dont spend any of my own money on xbox they paid for the console they pay for the gamepass
Microsoft rewards free money thank you very much
"But, but all my friends who have an xbx buy games digitally"
@Flaming_Kaiser I think you're coming at it from a strong "I hate Microsoft" and "I don't trust new business models" bias. A lot of people here do. Ironically, it was PlayStation that had a subscription program first. I know you personally don't trust it and it's possible that doubt turns out right, but I don't think you're really thinking the whole business process through. I don't mean that I don't also worry about the problems it could cause, but I also worry about the problems of the existing industry as well.
Bottom line is the current industry isn't sustainable either. Too much supply for demand, only the biggest players grow. And it's not quite right to say "it devalues"games. That assumes ever escalating prices are a good or sustainable thing as supply keeps rising.
People, myself included may say "free on game pass" but what we mean is so no additional cost than we've already paid. It's a paid service. Watching frozen on Disney plus isn't free, you've just paid a fixed price to watch it. Same for cable tv. Season passes to theme parks and season tickets for sports. The business model isn't new, is just new for games. Clearly MLB isn't out if business despite season tickets at every team right? The model is proven. Applying it to games is somewhat new, but again, Sony did it first.
I took "devalues" is a slippery slope though. If we go all the way down that path we should say Don Matrick was right 9 years ago. Used game sales devalue games. For that matter retailers devalue games. Psn store sales devalue games (just ask Nintendo, they staunchly resist sales for exactly that reason!). How deep down the rabbit hole will we be willing to go to uphold the "value"of games? Digital only, direct sale only, no sales? Because anything else devalues games. We can go full Nintendo, hzd for $60 on ps6. Gt7 for $70 on ps7! No resale, no used sales...
Not trying to argue with you, we get along fine 😉 but food for thought. Something on the business model needs to change. If gp isn't the answer something else is. Indies seem to love it and thrive though. That's not nothing.
This is a slur,an outrage!😱 Gamer Phil would NEVER lie!!🤯😋
I mean,Bobby Kotick & his Activision cohorts have been quite vocal recently advocating for the Xbox buyout & gamepass growing the Activision player base but for that dastardly Sony paying for marketing & timed exclusive dlc rights (& Bobby Kotick's 3rd mansion in the Bahamas)! 🤣
Yet in private,no surprise like Take-two with GTA, they rather like premium price points & premium live services to go with it!!😂
@get2sammyb Lost count of the times I've seen indie game launch announcements on twitter & Xbox players insisting they'll play it..."so long as it comes to gamepass"...the narrative/delusion is very real as is the disbelief that Microsoft's bankrolling of Gamepass & the AAA publisher buyouts aren't about muscling Sony out its current gaming space.
Competition is good for gamers as is choice. Not a great fan of Playstation's disdain for services like its lack of classics range & cheap emulation efforts of ps1/2 etc.,gaming accessibility.
But when you're old enough to remember the Computer & OS wars & Microsoft's bully boy tactics then,& compare how much more invasive their services like Windows 11 are,it serves as a warning that big corporates are not your friend, & be even more wary when they desperately want deals like Activision Blizzard to go through!
Been saying that COD was never going to be on gamepass because you would leave alot of money on the table.
I wonder what this does to gamepass? Raising prices? Because I dont see myself paying $20 a month for it. $14-17.99 seems right, any higher it no bueno for me.
Although as a consumer I see services like the Game Pass as absolutely beneficial, I must concede that perhaps the fanboys on Team Blue are right after all.
Microsoft - "You'll own no game's and be happy."
Anyone with a braincell knew this about GamePass.
@Rob_230 Not forgetting the other often repeated hypocritical lie heavily pushed on gaming news sites & socials of "Sony pays to keep games off gamepass!",whilst conveniently overlooking several indie games appearing on gamepass as timed exclusives with PS versions months later (if at all),or ones like Octpath Traveller never appearing,(yet here PS is getting the sequel!).
Or how Bethesda RPG's suddenly went from AAA to being more akin to niche market indie titles when they successfully making their case to Brazilian authorities,justifying the lack of future Elder Scrolls,or planned PS Starfield versions etc!🙄
So bizarre that Pure Xbox still don’t have a story on this…..
It’s massive news to Xbox.
I’ll give credit to push square…. Even when it’s bad Sony news…. You run it.
Looking at the Xbox defenders here and their twisted justification for defending a company they have no affiliation to, maybe they just knew everyone would be in denial.
Cult like following.
I say this as someone who own every gen of Xbox and fully GPU subbed up….
It’s a plastic box like all the other plastic boxes I have no loyalty I just want good games.
This is not news to those with common sense. The Xbox fanboys took that comment of Phil/Aaron Greenberg saying GamePass is profitable to be gospel. MS has been hoping that GamePass would go far beyond Xbox subs and become more sustainable, but that clearly isn't panning out. Not sure how anyone thought that paying all these dev's cash to put games on gamepass day one, etc while people are paying $1 and getting 3 years converted would be sustainable.
All that, and GamePass has trained Xbox fanboys to not only not buy games, but to brag about how they don't have to buy games. All they have been doing is announcing revenue with no expenses...this is only surviving on MS's money hoping that one day they can reach those unicorn 2 billion gamers.
@get2sammyb ironically it worked for Stray. It's almost like PlayStation have got the balance right between subscription and premium releases.
What Xbox need to do is take the hit and say, okay so the games like Starfield, that we bought the publishers of just to be exclusive, rather than put in the ground work ourselves, will actually be available on PlayStation I believe the sales they could make on PS would significantly trump the new subscribers gained to gamepass anyway.
Xbox really needs to rethink their "kill PS" strategy and just use them for increased sales instead.
It's good for the players and also for the companies becouse Sony and Microsoft paying alot to include those games.
So less people buy the games but still those companies get enough income to making the next game.
This is no surprise. Why buy a game that you can play on the service? However, fewer sales does not necessarily equate to less income for the developers. It just might be that, firstly, they gain more income through the successful inclusion of a game on the Game Pass, and also that much greater exposure to that game, may in turn lead to people buying their previous games, which may not have otherwise happened. Plus, this does not take into account that for those playing on the Game Pass, a good deal of money can be saved.
As much as people want to knock Game Pass, and maybe even see it or/and Xbox fail, whilst the headline of 'cannablising sales' may look bad on the surface, below the surface, the facts could be vastly different. There must be some reason why so many companies are vying to get their games on the service, and that includes Developers that have done it more than once...
@get2sammyb I must be old now, 40 cough, but I never check to see what's being played on mixer or twitch or elsewhere.
I’m not suprised with this news. Only reason Xbox could do game pass was of Microsoft’s deep pockets. Also it’s funny seeing that purexbox have not put an article up about it, suppose it shows who the Xbox shills are. The fact that people on there are not even mentioning it shows just how brainwashed Xbox turned them into.People will knock push square but for Sony news good & bad they post articles about it. With this news, I’m also thinking that a year after starfield is out-it’ll be announced for ps5, to bring in more money. Also game pass is just a repackaged drm plan from 2013.
If I recall, most of the early quotes about GamePass increasing sales came from indie developers and smaller games. There’s a difference between doubling sales of a game set to distribute 50,000 copies, versus affecting sales of a AAA $70 game which is set to sell 10 million copies.
I think the indie developers (and perhaps AA developers) have been really pleased with the increased exposure that the services provide, but extending the logic beyond that to AAA games isn’t quite the same thing. Games like Halo, Forza, or Spider-Man, The Last of Us, these games don’t really need increased exposure and “free advertising” of being on a service. I think most of the excitement a couple years ago about “GP increased game sales” revolved around these smaller games that would have otherwise been buried and died in the sea of other more popular releases.
@Bagwag82 I think its more of a public consciousness; not necessarily looking at those sites/services specifically. The more people that are playing a game, the more that game is talked about, written about, and just generally everywhere. People that were on the fence would likely be convinced to try it, and people that never heard of it, might want to see what all the talk is about. Its a real phenomenon. There are enough gamers that just try and play whatever is popular at the moment; however I don't think it can come close to making up the lost sales unless the game is littered with micro-transactions.
I think it's mostly the former than the later. Lets face it, if (when?) Sony added all their games day one to their service (likely the Extra tier) all these same individuals will praise it as the greatest thing in the planet and "the true best deal in gaming."
Any time XBox gets something that can be seen as a strong selling point, they feel the need to do all they can to stomp on it and argue why its bad, as highlighted with all the Skyrim/Fallout fans that, post Zenimax acquisition, went on a campaign about how terrible all Bethesda games are at launch, and recently have insisted that HiFi Rush is a bad looking game, and what not.
At the end of the day, though, the more people buys all these headlines (game pass is bad, we lose money, we have no games) the narrative will just help the Activision deal go through, so I welcome this take.
Well, of course. But this is obvious, and really doesn’t give anyone new information. Game sales isn’t the important figure it once was. With f2p games, dlc, etc, it’s just not as important.
You need to look at profit for a game. I’m not saying this isn’t being hit by gamepass, as it seems it still would be, but they didn’t actually say it. A company would get $ to have their game on gamepass, presumably all upfront (actually I have no idea if that’s how it works).
It would be interesting to get more data on this, though I doubt that will happen.
@TheLotteryMan1 I see this all the time too, so much so that some Xbots call the console PayStation.
@mattesdude best article ive read which kind of touches on your points was this one from Eurogamer a year or so ago:
As many many others... I said it more than 100 times here and everywhere.
@GamingFan4Lyf But does Ms lose money on that for now? Eventually they won’t be able to just reach into deep pockets and they’ll need a return. I’m which case, those smaller games start to disappear.
Wow the stench of desperation is overwhelming in this echo chamber
@Tharsman I don’t subscribe to the other Sony subscriptions beyond Essential and wouldn’t still if they did that. I think it’s bad for gaming in the long term and so I don’t participate. I think essential is the only model that’s good for subscriptions in the long term.
So how is MS counting their exclusive game sales then? Everybody who has a Gamepass subscription is a counting buyer of the game or what? Poor devs then. It is like Spotify and so on... you can ask every musician what it means to their income. Grave digger. Also results in rushed and unpolished products.
Microsoft do deals to compensate studios/publishers that add titles to Games Pass in a way they wish. Just like Sony does with studios/publishers that will loose sales on other platforms if they become PlayStation exclusive.
@Wheatly Yup. I love Gamepass, the value is astonishing for us the consumer but it simply isn't going to get Xbox anywhere near PlayStation. It's basically keeping Xbox in the competition but barely. Microsoft needs competitive first party exclusives in the near future otherwise they will simply become the next Sega and publish only.
@TJ81 I'm starting to wonder whether that might be where MS are heading too.
Software is their forte after all.
But gamepass is the platform now and they are getting stomped in the hardware business - which isn't profitable anyway.
The games are already on Steam and some of their stuff still sells on PS.
Seems like it is all heading that way.
@ORO_ERICIUS My suspicion has always been that each download or 'engagement' with a game will count as a 'sale'. I also assume that Microsoft write into the contracts with individual devs that if their game achieves 'x' number of downloads, they will get 'y' bonus payments above the upfront cost. I have absolutely nothing to back this up, its just how i have always assumed it must work to make it profitible enough for devs
why do PlayStation fans care so much about how Microsoft are doing?
@Rob_230 Thank you for your answer. Thought of this too. Very strange business to be honest. And not transparent etc.
@trev666 Probably because the gaming industry is a competetive market where the biggest participants determine parts of where the industry will be going. That aside, just because this is a PS centric website, doesn't automatically mean there are no multi-console owners here.
@dschons i have both and dont care how much money either of them make.
@Wheatly I agree, I've had the Series X since launch and have enjoyed countless indie titles as well as the occasional day one AAA. I've only actually bought two games, Resident Evil 2 and 3 for $10 on sale. If Xbox is to survive then I think they do need to be much more competitive with AAA exclusives and not have them on Gamepass day one if at all. Unfortunately the precedent has been set and if Microsoft are not to go the way of Sega and become a publisher only, then something revelatory needs to happen this generation or next.
@trev666 I agree to an extent. That said, how much money they make impacts the products they make. And this is a cause of concern to some, to others not so much as it is highly dependent on individual preferences. But yes, none of them deserve a blind following and one should make use of where they feel their money is well invested in.
"I'm curious where the quote about "leading to more sales of the game" comes from"
It was actually from Phil himself.
@Jaz007 I don't disagree. Is the cost of subscriptions outweighing the cost to maintain? Unless we work in Microsoft's finance department, we will never know.
Despite the massive amounts of money the company makes from basically existing, I can't imagine the company would continue to maintain Game Pass if it's just a giant money pit.
Time will tell on the sustainability.
I know I am enjoying Game Pass for what it is; but business is business and things can always change when money is involved: whether it be that Game Pass has significant negative ROI or developers simply stop providing games for it due to undesirable financial losses and the service loses its appeal.
If there is one thing no one can claim with a straight face, is that XBox is rushing games. They keep delaying games left and right.
@Wheatly Yep and the Gamepass app, although exclusively on Samsung TVs at the moment, will undoubtedly be on most smart TVs in the near future as internet connectivity improves for more people and loss making hardware inevitably gets dropped altogether - by Microsoft at least.
Long time ago I listened to an interview with Phil Spencer where he went on about the deals they make. He stated there was no one model, they work with every publisher and every deal slightly differently. At the start they tried to just offer an engagement fee/share (similar to how Spotify pays musicians based on song plays) but many publishers were skeptical of this model and didnt start jumping on board until they started also offering a flat up-front fee.
At the time, he noted they might still do either or a hybrid, or some other things (not specified.)
Sadly I don't remember what podcast I listened to that interview on so its hard for me to track it down again without simply looking up every interview available out there and listen to every single one again (that's how I originally bumped into it, as I was jumping to the Xbox ecosystem and philosophy and wanted to hear more about Xbox's vision before actually jumping on board.)
But at the end of the day: there is no one single model, and they negotiate with every single publisher, for every single addition.
@Tharsman It's always worst when there's a grain of truth in things. Some of the concerns people have with subscription is warranted. We don't know what effect it has on game sales (2K Games, and current ABK's view), we don't know if 1st party games are a loss leader and if that affects quality, and we don't know if that leads to a push for more mtx.
OTOH, there's a lot of knee-jerk tribal nonsense that amplifies those ideas within the PS community, an automatic "A-HA I was looking for proof that my desire to dislike a thing are valid and see it here!" Then a projection of that tribe's behavior onto the opposing tribe. It gets ridiculous. It's not everyone, some are having a reasoned discussion of what they dislike about it, but there's enough doing otherwise to make the discussion painful. This particular story is one of them. I said it above, but the specific statement reflecting a dip in sales tells us right away we're NOT talking about day 1 releases (2K, ABK, Jim's issue with it), but we're talking about existing games that enter the service.....which would be the same exact issues Plus deals with but is clearly fine with it. That one detail tells us we're not even looking at an issue specifically but with GP but an endemic nature of services that includes the PS service. But no, people already decided what direction they wanted the story to go and here we are.
Meanwhile everyone's fixated on what the corporations say is best for them without even considering different business goals (Sony/Nintendo is bent on extracting every cent of value from every transaction, MS is looking to just show steady profit, doesn't have to be maximized, which is a luxury of being that huge. Walmart vs Sears, basically.
There's a LOT of subtlety in how all these contracts work. Both for how money is made on subscription services, and how even Sony's deal making works. Few companies are better at deal making than Sony, you don't become a music publishing monopoly otherwise. But for services there's a lot of indirect money involved. It's not just $70 vs $15, oh look it doesn't make money. There's the add-on profits, there's the behind the scenes investments (imagine if all GP funds are moved through investment vehicles, futures, etc, secured as guaranteed revenue, and are grown from their face value before we even consider outside costs? Can't do that with retail sales, too unpredictable. That's a very indirect, invisible line of funding that nobody outside their financial department will see. Look at terrestrial television and radio. It's all totally "free", customers never pay a dime, they're funded by selling ad space. MS has ad space. They also have data collection which is worth a lot more. Is that good or bad? There's discussion there. But no, we get stuck with "1988's business model is the only good one forever!" in every thread. )
I want to like gaming communities, but each of them makes it so hard to sometimes. There's so much discussion about the industry, the good, the bad, preferences that could exist, and every conversation descends into 70% of posters falling into "MY BRAND IS BEST BRAND, EVERYTHING THEY DO IS ALWAYS BEST AND ALWAYS WILL BE!"
@NEStalgia even if we ignore the platform loyalist arguments, there is also the opinions like "the business model is terrible for the industry" as if somehow the success of Game Pass would mean that no one can buy games anymore.
All games in Game Pass can also be purchased. All music in Spotify is also available for purchase (most likely all in iTunes and Amazon, or some other storefront.) Hell, you can still buy vinyl (interesting vinyl outsold cd sales last year in the UK.)
Back to games... both things can be true: Game pass exist, ownership exist. I feel like some of these people would stand in front of a Blockbuster store and protest that those renting movies and games don't "own" anything...
You mean it 😜 almost everyone on this site already said that. But of course those are Playstation fanboys who support Jim
It CAN cannibalize. But it can also boost users and brand / serie awareness too….
Both are not a given…
@uptownsoul We do not have good data yet. Microsoft hasn’t put many big exclusives in game pass yet.
@NEStalgia We already paid is something i really dont disagree with how cheap where the subscriptions?
Yeah i think that pie is to small share around and make it a sustainable practice. The same with a lot of other streaming services with music you won't make money unless you are famous and can bargain.
@Rob_230 Using purely downloads would be a terrible metric as many people may download a game to have a look at as a glorified demo and then decide it's trash and delete it after 5 minutes. It's why I don't buy into a lot of the stats where they say x amount of people have played the game on game pass as without any significant info on how long they actually played the game for it's meaningless. It would need to be x amount of people have played the game for over y amount of time to have any merit.
@Tharsman That's an important mention of Spotify in a few ways. Some of the fear of the model definitely comes from the Spotify precedent. Spotify was often cited as destroying the music publishing industry by reducing the revenue on recorded music significantly, and people are somewhat rightfully worried about the same thing happening to games, where games don't have live shows to fall back on like music does.
However that ignores 3 important points about Spotify:
1: Just because Spotify's business model insufficiently monetized their content providers, does not mean the business model itself must operate that way. That was Spotify's position because of how dominant they were/are in the space. Instead of squeezing consumers (PlayStation's route), they squeezed vendors (music publishers), more akin to the Walmart/Amazon route. There are other competitors, also thriving that have not had that issue, such as Tidal, or even Apple Music (you know, that company worth more than MS?) that are more symbiotic with both vendors and consumers.
2: The music recording industry is clearly far from dead or dying as so many interested entities wanted us to believe. Even Taylor Swift eventually capitulated, has not had to sell any yachts, and Sammy has not had to find a new idol.
3: A lot of noise in that space was made by the RIAA and publishers fearing lost profits in their otherwise secure business. The same RIAA that threw everything they had at trying to stop digital music distribution from existing at all and replacing physical album sales 20-25 years ago. The same RIAA that at the time was spearheaded by a certain Sony/BMG Music Group that went to absurd lengths to combat digital music's existence and went as far as directly damaging consumer hardware to combat piracy. Funny how a particular company always seems to be involved any time a media distribution business model is threatened by tech competition, isn't it? Last I checked despite losing that war handily, despite the rise of mp3s, digital music, individual song sales, the monopolization of said industry by Amazon and Apple, and the rise of Spotify........that same Sony/BMG Music Group is still making quite a bit of profit as one of a triopoly (Sony/BMG, Warner Music Group, Universal Music Group) of music publishing worldwide......
For all the resistance, litigation, millions and millions of dollars spent trying to prevent competition and tech, competition and tech happened anyway, and their bottom line did not fall out from under them in music. Or in video when they tried to stop that. But now we're to believe this time in games it will be different and the end of published video games is nigh!
@Flaming_Kaiser Current GP sub price is $15/mo ($180/yr). Comparable in positioning to Plus Premium at $10/mo ($120/yr.) Definitely a more premium service in features, but also in cost. If it's "free", can I have my $180 back?
Other comparable services (though the FULL services for now are PC versions, the console versions are watered down or lower tiers only probably in part because they compete with Game Pass and Plus Premium directly or as partial inclusions):
Ubisoft +: $15/mo ($180/yr), or $18/mo ($216/yr) to include cloud streaming via Amazon Luna.
This is a PC only service (a lesser version exists on console, and is partly included in PS Plus Premium) (but streaming is PC versions of games, thus the higher price). Includes the full Ubisoft PC library, includes all day-1 games, and one thing that separates it from Game Pass and Plus Premium subscriptions is it includes all DLC/premium versions of games (including early access etc.)
EA Play (PC): $15/mo (or discount if paying up front $100/yr) -
Includes full EA library, including early-access to day 1 launch games (where available), including the annual sports titles (which is really a no brainer, for $30 more than ONE annual sports title you get ALL of them, plus the publisher's entire catalogue, all with day 1 release and early access to titles that offer it.
There's skepticism about MS, but they're hardly alone in the subscription space. Video companies (notably except Sony, though Sony keeps partnering with Netflix and HBO) are falling all over themselves to entrench in the market. It's fair to say Ubi hasn't been great at making money lately, but nobody will accuse EA of not knowing how to make money, and they're the cheapest of all. On the video side is anyone going to accuse Disney of failing to profit on their IP? Do we need ANOTHER Star Wars spinoff to convince us?
Music is an interesting one since it seems to forget how music sales used to work. Yes, Spotify puts unknown artists out there in discovery that aren't making any real money. Let's roll back to 1975 for a moment (actually, can we just stay there?) How would an unknown band make money? How would they get a record publishing contract at all? The answer is most simply they didn't. They'd play local gigs and get money. Maybe they'd get spotted by a scout, maybe they wouldn't. Maybe they knew someone that could get them an in. Maybe they didn't. If you weren't played on top 40 radio, nobody knew you existed. Local cult following fans built word of mouth and paid, no record label involved. Bootleg tapes might sell. How did people find the album at the record store, shuffling through bins by genre, A-Z, assuming a band was even published by a label and in the record store at all? If it was a good record store they might browse shelves for unknowns and throw it on an in store record player (or 8 track player) to try it out (no subscription necessary!) We're conveniently forgetting the flaws of the old model here to condemn the new one.
It's not that you're wrong about the music business, it's that you're forgetting that that isn't actually worse than what came before, and is arguably marginally better. It's actually the BIG names that stand to lose the most. Swift, Metallica, etc. Same in gaming. 2K, Actibliz, CoD, GTA, big names that sell mega volume at any price on their own don't want to be reduced to commodity pricing. It's the no-names that are clambering to be on these services to get noticed and find their day in the sun rather than disappear unnoticed into the ever growing pile of ignored content.
If there's really an argument to be made against the concept of these services it would be more along the lines that it's an almost marxist concept, of bringing the top down and the bottom up, giving a microphone to the nobodies, and reducing the mega stars to commodity pay. GTA would not make as much money on GP as it would sold by itself. Forspoken on the other hand....probably could do better there. Returnal almost definitely could have had a bigger impact on Plus (or at least cut massively in price.) Or Knack or Gravity Rush, to say the least of indies. With subscription consumers aren't paying to license a PRODUCT. They're paying for TIME in the library.
Of course once upon a time, book publishers railed against the creation of public libraries. Movie publishers railed against rental stores. Music publishers railed against subscriptions. Now games publishers rail against subscriptions. They're still here, and still making money. Some things never change, whether it's the 19th century or the 21st.
Again, I'm not negating the concerns you have, they're valid concerns and it's a space to watch. But I don't know that the knee-jerk rejection of it is really solid, either. There's a lot of history to this progression, and so far it's all ended up positive, on the balance. And while there is discussion to be had about it, I don't think listening to the traditional media companies that stand to lose, apart from the industry at large, is the right way to question the effect. Especially when that very company has been on the wrong side of the argument in every other media industry for decades.
why do people care if Microsoft are making money out of gamepass?
as long as it makes financial sense for the devs and its a bargain for consumers who cares if if Microsoft doesnt get to put more money in the profit column
Surely this kills the Blizzard deal?
@NEStalgia I know you're a big Microsoft fan, but even you have to realize that claiming that a gigantic tech company attempting to consolidate large chunks of the industry in order to hook people onto a subscription service is the realization of the communist dream in action is about as absurd as you can get, right? I mean, I know you don't own anything in either scenario, but presumably Karl Marx didn't have subservience to massive corporate entities in mind when he was penning Das Kapital.
The service works well in terms of boosting awareness of smaller and independent Western-developed titles, though, for sure. If Microsoft hadn't made moves to snap up multiple multiplatform publishers and instead had opted for the less aggressive approach of creating a subscription service for new notable independent games, expectations and dialogue surrounding the service would be far healthier, and you wouldn't have as vicious a reaction from people who are frustrated by Microsoft starting an acquisition arms race.
@uptownsoul show me please.
And as I said, there aren’t many big exclusives on game pass yet.
@Jacko11 why would it? To the contrary. Sony is afraid the actiblizz deal kills them. Especially because of game pass. Apparently that’s not the case some people think.
@trev666 Xbox/MS isn’t a charity. If it’s making a loss it won’t last. They didn’t get where they were by accepting massive long term losses.
I know personally I want choice.
I want more third party games not less.
I want more choice of consoles.
I want more exclusive games.
I don’t like anything that hurts the industry and forces companies to chase a quick easy buck.
I want good solo player campaigns. Good sports and good racing games.
I sub to GPU and I’d rather pay for exclusives over the last three years it’s clear the model doesn’t work. It’s stifled Xbox exclusives and compromised the ones we did get.
Even the excellent Forza games were flooded with live service elements to fit the keep them on the hook subscription model.
'For developers, that means creating another option for how they monetize their games.' in other words more paid dlc & microtransactions lol
@Friendly halo infinite had one of the biggest budgets of any game ever & that launched on gamepass so yes Microsoft have had a big first party game launch as part of gamepass aswell as Forza horizon 4 & 5 , gears of war 5 etc
I mean "compensate" is the keyword there. They admit.
@Ralizah LOL I'm neither a Microsoft fan nor a Sony fan. I like Xbox, I like PlayStation. Both corporations can go do something to themselves, however...
But yeah, I don't mean it's ACTUALLY marxist specifically, and I wasn't talking MS in particular, actually more toward Spotify, but broadly about subscriptions as a whole. It was an example.
As for the acquisition arms race...They literally had nothing and had to build, so I get it for sure. Is ABK too big? Probably, but it's not like they could wait until the PS7 to have built up suitable studios to be a real player, while Sony would have another 15 years to just lock down the whole industry into a nuveau Yamauchi-era Nintendo. None of it is clean. Life would be better if Matrick hadn't effed things up and Nintendo didn't go totally another direction, in terms of competition (both in the Nintendo, and the Sony market) but here we are.
As for the industry in general, I'm not so sure MS gets total credit for the arms race. A lot of it was that 2020 inflated the value of all gaming companies, briefly, and investors want to cash out while the cashing is good, combined with EVERY publisher overextending on budgets with unrealistic profit goals. They're all failing or looking to sell. EA tried to sell to Comcast (probably still looking for buyers), Ubi's going who knows where, ABK dug their hole and was looking to sell, Square sold half the company......it's a mess. Even without MS buying things I'm not sure the outcome would have been different other than that nobody in their right mind would be looking to pay that kind of money for ABK The graphics arms for "OMG REALISM" in general (and we can blame nVidia and AMD there too) gets a lot of the blame.
At any rate, I hope PS Plus extra is sustainable because I enjoy it quite a bit.
@uptownsoul this doesn’t mean adding a game to game pass is a bad business move for any party.
@Would_you_kindly that’s why I said many.
Also, game pass is on pc too, we don’t know those numbers either.
@GunValkyrian nah they're different. On push square, when they talk about a multiplatform game, they make it sound like it's only on playstation. Pure Xbox I believe mentions that it's multiplatform.
You guys are way too concerned with what Xbox get up to. If Xbox shut down tomorrow I'm sure the Tumbleweeds would be flowing down the streets, then gaming would continue as usual.
Keep it playstation guys😉
This gamepass thing is a failed attempt to get fools believing in the best deal of gaming (it kind of is), then get them accustomed to getting less when they take the bait, because it feels like free. But it failed, because ultimately people can have fun for a whole year with just 2 or 3 games, because the games aren't bombshells of massive appeal and xbox's management sucks. Half of the xbox series x gamers must be so used to not paying, that there is no going back for MS.
The ones that think this is a good thing and ms will do good are short sighted. Even some are still in the denial phase. Can't believe some of them believe this would have reached 3 billion gamers, or 100m. Ps plus is a requirement to play online and that caps at 50m. Something that is a necessity for most that own a console.
I'm glad sony and nintendo didn't pull this, because they can actually make games that can sell and move units.
ABK won't kill anyone. A single franchise can't do that. The series might stop selling if it's not on PS, maybe. We have no clue how many will jump ships just for cod, and that's for next gen. This gen is another big loss for ms already and cod wonn't change that. Older and present cods will be enough for people not to jump.
Even then the deal should not be approved, even if I don't care about ABK, but because it really doesn't fix MS horrible management at making games. They have more studios than sony, more money to back those studios and still it is not enough, so please let us buy AB because we made multiple mistakes?
AB is also bad at managing games because they have all their studios making cod now... and diablo 4.
One random out of nowhere fps could come in and kill cod and that is that. Look at pubg, fortnite, apex legends. Anything can happen. It took fortnite a few months to become the most popular game... and still is.
At this point MS is still just trying to make Gamepass awesome. The actual negative effects don’t come until later when the platform starts treating users like Netflix treats its users.
MS has deep pockets and there it ends. When they wouldn't have Windows then XBOX was already been history. Literally Windows keeps XBOX a float
@koffing Netflix I moved on and never looked back.
Some enterprising young litigator needs to start a class action suit against Microsoft's purchase of Bethesda because it will limit consumer choice by not allowing a port of Skyrim for PSVR2. Not because I want to play Skyrim again, but because it would be freaking hilarious to see it get ported to a new system. Skyrim: the Game that Would Not Die Edition.
@uptownsoul no, it claims that in cases it CAN lower sales. It’s a case by case basis. Not a given.
But those developers do get a big cheque op front too btw.
No ***** sherlock.
@Would_you_kindly how is it more dlc & micro transactions. Until Microsoft provide details on deals we have little to go on. As most third party games release on other platforms so if Microsoft pays full price to get it ported then any sales on xbox is pure profit.
@StylesT That's the way I do it haha.
Only the lazy ones haven't said that game pass economic model is not sustainable, and here we are. Even MS itself were forced to admit this.
I'll keep buying games, either by full price or on sales, but I don't see why I should subscribe to PS premium or Deluxe, while I have my backlog.
In the end, by subscription you rent a pack of games, so why rent them if you don't have time to actually play them?
I'll consider subscribing on higher tires, when I will run out of my games, but, honestly, that'll never happen. I'm 99% confident in this.
@StylesT It is good for consumers in the short term. In the long term the games will degrade to remain profitable on subscription.
@uptownsoul yeah, so that’s an average. Which makes sense….
You’re paying for the subscription after all…
Not every game is affected by it though.
Your update is a properly biased response, @Quintumply. Xbox have openly stated that sales are affected, but that is likely mostly on the Xbox. Sales can be considerably lifted by exposure on Game Pass. Take Hi-Fi Rush, as an example. It was a resounding success on the Xbox, yet probably sold way more games on Steam. So yes, Game Pass cannibalised sales on the Xbox, but highlighted its quality to the rest of the community. Had the game simply released amongst the plethora of games that release weekly, how well would it have actually sold? Obviously we do not know. It may have done very well regardless, but then it may also have sunk into the oblivion.
I said this yesterday on this article, but there are some that are wilfully (and gleefully) taking this comment as de facto, rather than taking into consideration all the other facets of putting a game on to the Game Pass, such as exposure, sales of other games from the same Developer directly linked to that game, and also that whilst sales maybe harmed on the Xbox, they are compensated by Xbox (they don't put their games on to the Game Pass for free). As I said before, there has to be some reason why Developers queuing up to put their games on to the Game Pass, many having done so before.
Out of curiosity, @Blacksmith1985, are you able to show me where (and to whom) the Game Pass business model is unsustainable?
I found a good interview from 2020.
Speaking to the Verge Xbox boss Phil Spencer said Microsoft makes all different types of deals with developers, depending on their unique situations.
"Our deals are, I'll say, all over the place. That sounds unmanaged, but it's really based on the developer's need," Spencer explained. "One of the things that's been cool to see is a developer, usually a smaller to mid-sized developer, might be starting a game and say, 'Hey, we're willing to put this in Game Pass on our launch day if you guys will give us X dollars now.' What we can go do is, we'll create a floor for them in terms of the success of their game. They know they're going to get this return."
In some other cases, Microsoft will completely fund the production cost of a game. In this situation, the developer can make money from retail sales, while Microsoft may also allow these games to release on PlayStation, Switch, and PC, with the developers taking in that revenue, too. Microsoft uniquely benefits in these types of situations by having a game launch day-and-date on Xbox Game Pass.
"For them, they've protected themselves from any downside risk. The game is going to get made. Then they have all the retail upside, we have the opportunity for day and date," Spencer said. "That would be a flat fee payment to a developer. Sometimes the developer's more done with the game and it's more just a transaction of, 'Hey, we'll put it in Game Pass if you'll pay us this amount of money."
Other agreements are different. Developers have come to Microsoft asking for deals based on "usage and monetization."
People might want to read this for a different perspective from a dev.
@uptownsoul you said:
‘Turns out Jimbo may have been right after all not to cannibalize his own software sales’ and you said ‘But all I've ever claimed is that there is a negative sales impact from Game Pass.’
And I said we do not have enough data yet … to conclude game pass isn’t working (ergo, that Jimbo is right). For all we know the check developers get from Xbox for putting a game on Game pass might exceed the otherwise made profit. And we do not know how much xbox makes from the subscribers of game pass.
So to conclude: We can’t know whether Jimbo is right or not. We lack the data.
@uptownsoul I say you can’t tell if it’s the right move or not. Because there are other factors and ways to make money than ‘sales’.
I don’t understand you don’t seem to understand this point I’m now constantly trying to make….
Oh geez really, who could have predicted this? lol
And where was and is the outcry about ps plus that you all desperately asked for to compete with gamepass ?
Until you speak out and campaign for PS Plus to be shut down or simply refuse to use it none of your words mean a thing it's nothing more than childish hate born from jealousy of a far better service
A Sony and Fanboy demonstration of hypocrisy at its finest
@NEStalgia $180 how many games a year and how many developers.
@uptownsoul you read whatever you want to believe mate.
You draw way too easy conclusions with what Microsoft said in court because they want to seem small. ‘Less sales’ does not mean less money nor less attraction, exposure or double dipping of the franchise.
So we don’t know that Jimbo was right at all. You started with that speculation in your first post. And I corrected you with it.
1 is a number but not every number is 1. Logic.
@Flaming_Kaiser That's somewhat the wrong question for subscriptions. It's advertised as a changing library of over 100. Currently there's over 400. But for all subscriptions (video, music, season tickets, etc.) That's not the important metric business is based on.
Not all of an available library will appeal to all players. Most won't have time to consume more than a fraction of it. And different contracts mean some publishers get an up front payment. Others get royalties based on metrics, time share, etc.
A player that spends 180 in 2023 but spends 8 months playing starfield for example basically spent 120 to rent starfield. But also got to try lots of other games. Someone that plays 100 games gets subsidized by the player overpaying on starfield rentals. Etc. The average player is playing no more than one big or several small games a month at most. The library size, then, isn't really the meaningful figure for the business. It's the engagement hours per user, and the amount of unique content per user that determines where pricing needs to be to both offer perceived value to consumer and smart generate sufficient margin.
Is $180 a year too cheap? Maybe. But it depends how much content AVERAGE users (not enthusiasts) consume and how many unique titles the interact with and how the payment model works.
For a more traditional example of that type of data driven pricing on Sonys end think bank to Epic v Apple and the discussion around Sonys contract that if Fortnite players spend most hours playing on PS but buy their mtx on Apple, Sony gets a cut off apples revenue. These contacts and engagement metrics used for payment get pretty complicated.
@uptownsoul all of this still doesn’t mean Jimbo is right. Because we don’t have the whole picture.
And therefore your statement is premature.
@uptownsoul you can say the same thing 100 times over.
You don’t know whether Jim is right or not because of one metric. And whether he’s right or wrong in all cases.
So your comment remains premature.
And a metric I could use against you would be that Microsoft is already making profit out of Game Pass while still investing a ton in it. We do not know how much but for all we know it could be more than Sony is making in 10 years. We just don’t know.
Ah well. I will keep on enjoying Game Pass next to a few playstation exclusives. I know I will never pay full price for any game as long as Game Pass exists, I can wait for a price drop or for the moment Sony puts their games into their subscription service because I already have so much to play if I want. You know Horizon Forbidden West is in PS Plus Extra from next week onwards, right? Did you pay full price for that one less than a year ago?
So with Xbox you get exclusives day and date. With Sony you have to either pay full price or wait a year. I know which service is best for the consumer.
@uptownsoul it’s impossible to discuss with you because of the lack of simple logic in your comments and the lack of respect as well.
Enjoy your unnecessarily inflated attitude.
@Balosi If you mean Activision, they have nothing I like, so I don't care about Activision. The most popular game is cod and that would be multiplatform still. And I'm sure crash n spyro will be too. Don't know what other franchise they have. I know there's a lot on pc only, n I think xbox will try to get them on consoles.
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