The Game Pass Effect

Mike and Alex return to the concept of “the Game Pass Effect”. Games, the argument goes, designed for consumption on a subscription service alongside dozens of others a month will need to be conformed to this mode of consumption. They will lack the grandiose worldbuilding, demanding mechanics and novel-style writing of the best the medium has to offer. They will, instead, be shallow, light-hearted, toy-like experiences designed for piecemeal engagement, likely with loot-based progression. This (evidently) detracts from the quality of a game.

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Knushwood Butt150d ago

And why are we only seeing this type of article now, when this has been obvious for years?
Is it suddenly OK to kick MS now that they are on the floor?

NLink0714149d ago

Yes. Yes it is. Because MS has the gall to tell players a game will ship with XYZ features (60 fps for example or Campaign split screen coop) only to then back track at the last second, charge 70$ for a game and say “oh we thought it would do well”

All while monetizing every single aspect of the game with loot and battle passes.

But it’s ok, it’s on game pass. You get to try it out for a dollar 🙄

Obscure_Observer149d ago

"But it’s ok, it’s on game pass. You get to try it out for a dollar 🙄"

Pretty much. And that´s the beauty of Gamepass.

oIMyersIo149d ago

*cough* No Man’s Sky Online MP backtrack at last minute *cough*

arkard149d ago

You're comparing what happened to one game vs a trend of MS games. Nice try though

Crows90149d ago

That's not even the worst part. Phil himself stated they don't really plan and raising the quality of games. Phil talks of the vision of a game as if it's the determining factor in quality...it's not.


I think you meant to say "that's the monstrosity of gamepass" nothing beautiful about it.

oIMyersIo149d ago


Actually what I’m doing is pointing out blatant hypocrisy 🤷‍♂️ nice attempt to deflect though.

Asplundh149d ago

"All while monetizing every single aspect of the game with loot and battle passes."

It doesn't have either of those as of yet. It looks like they may have planned on it, but with all this blow back I don't think that will happen, they have a lot of ass kissing to do.

Rude-ro149d ago

The dollar deal is gone now

andy85149d ago

@obscure it's not though is it. That gives them the excuse of putting out an inferior product. Because "it's OK they don't have to pay for it". Imagine there wasn't this service available and people had to pay 60-70. Players would actually be able to make them accountable for putting out trash but they're making excuses for them because they "only have to pay a dollar". Demand better.

BehindTheRows148d ago (Edited 148d ago )


He’s made that nonsensical comparison before. He’s trying to “stick it to Sony fanboys”, even though “he’s a Sony fan”. Meanwhile, he deliberately picks fights with Sony fans while defending people who deflect from just about anything negative you say towards Xbox.

Thus, don’t waste your energy.

OT: Agree with this @NLink0714

Notellin148d ago

@arkard They did it with Sea of Thieves. But you PS fanboys have to do your thing. It makes you feel alive having an antagonist in the console market.

neutralgamer1992148d ago

Anytime we are trying to have a conversation it’s always that other company does it too. Who the heck cares

Not a single gamer can deny the fact Xbox doesn’t have the quality exclusives in comparison to PlayStation and Nintendo and we want them to have those games which are competing for GOTY conversions

Just because no many sky messed up doesn’t give ms a reason to be this bad ever since the end of Xbox 360. That was the last time they were actually competing

+ Show (8) more repliesLast reply 148d ago
Obscure_Observer149d ago (Edited 149d ago )

"And why are we only seeing this type of article now, when this has been obvious for years?"

Well, in 2023 you paid full $70 for day one retail games like Forspoken and Call of the Mountain.

While Gamepass subscribers got Atomic Heart, Wo Long, Hi-Fi Rush, Minecraft Legends, Ghostwire Tokio.

Yeah, I rather stay with Gamepass since I don´t have to pay $70 for trash games like Forspoken and Redfall.

oIMyersIo149d ago (Edited 149d ago )

GamePass has pros and cons.

It’s a shame it gets so much bashing and a lot of the spins are false narratives like GamePass being bad for devs and gamers as a blanket statement.

Whilst there are countless articles over the past few years with developers speaking out about how it has been beneficial for both developers and gamers with long term post launch support being bolstered by the wide playerbase. Though those articles are often glossed over, I wonder why.

To deny GP as sheer value is only kidding yourself. IF you have an Xbox, that is.

I wouldn’t go out and buy an Xbox simply for GamePass BUT if you do have one or a decent PC, it’s a great offer allowing you to try certain titles before you buy as well - especially considering the state of modern gaming and their terrible launches alongside dishonest review outlets.

Great value, but there’s no denying that it’s a bad look given that both Redfall and Infinite are absolute dogshit and putting two and two together, it does look like these projects were rushed as they weren’t worthy of further investment due to going straight to GamePass. If MS isn’t careful, GamePass will become the straight to DVD equivalent in gaming.

Crows90149d ago

Your own fault for wasting money on trash games. I didn't spend $70 on either of those. Instead I spent $60 on Ragnarok.

I also upgraded to ps extra for meager amounts to get access for over a year and it gets me ghostwire as well. Spent less than what I would've on gamepass and also got to beat Stray.

Yeah I'd rather be more specific with my spending and make sure I get quality titles for my money.

ThePacemaker149d ago

Trash games are not obligatory to buy. I can happily skip Forspoken or wait till it drop significantly in price.

However paying $180/year just to try out trash-low quality-games which are flushing the GP right and left?

To me & to every sane gamer, Absolutely Not.

outsider1624149d ago

"Yeah, I rather stay with Gamepass since I don´t have to pay $70 for trash games like Forspoken and Redfall."

Or you know, check out reviews, watch gameplay videos to make your decision. Or wait for a sale. Its what i do.

Vengeance1138149d ago (Edited 149d ago )

You realize Call of the Mountain has a 79% metascore right? That's higher than anything Xbox first party has put out in years.
Also cute how you don't feel confident enough to mention all the top tier $70 games people have paid for like God of War, horizon FW and soon to come FF16 which is going to be all anyone will play and talk about for months.
Did you also just list off a pile of multiplat games that are also on PS5 / PC? Where's all the exclusives?? Xbox has none? Wow
And yet another wow! After defending Redfall with every fibre of your being for months you now outright call it trash! Hahahahaha oh man how quickly you change your narrative when the truth comes out.
I'm curious how fast will you change your tune on Starfield too if it also is revealed to be hot garbage?
Imagine paying for GamePass just to play average to below average titles LOL

oIMyersIo149d ago (Edited 149d ago )


“You realize Call of the Mountain has a 79% metascore right? That's higher than anything Xbox first party has put out in years.”

Forza Horizon 5 - November 5th 2021 - 92.

“Cute” but try harder spreading FUD.
Just one example, only really need one to blow your false statement out of the water.

RauLeCreuset149d ago (Edited 149d ago )


While you are correct, you also realize that comment was made in response to Obscure trying to cherry-pick Sony exclusives to advance a narrative that is contradicted by even MS and Phil Spencer. He chose a PSVR2 launch game for the 1st party exclusive, which already has an uphill battle with reviewers because some of them are skeptical or not fans of the medium itself. Still, that 79 notably beats some high profile Xbox exclusives:

Ryse Son of Rome (60)*
Dead Rising 3 (78) *
Quantum Break (77)
Recore (63)
Sea of Thieves (69)
State of Decay (78)**
State of Decay 2 (66)
Crackdown 3 (60)
Redfall (59)

*Titles it should be noted are launch titles like Call of the Mountain. Call of the Mountain does well when compared to 8th gen AAA launch exclusives for both PS and Xbox. It doesn't hold up as well against PS5 AAA launch exclusives.

**State of Decay is included because Xbox is currently working on State of Decay 3, but Call of the Mountain has a higher score than both entries in that franchise.

Meta's critic reviews aren't the be all, end all to me, but Obscure has been referencing them throughout his comments, so I'll go with that metric for sake of this point. Otherwise, we could be comparing fan reception to Halo Infinite as part of this conversation.

Obscure_Observer149d ago


"You realize Call of the Mountain has a 79% metascore right? That's higher than anything Xbox first party has put out in years."


Call of the Mountain couldn´t even beat a small RPG game made by 13 developers! XD


At least do your homework before expose yourself to such embarrassment

andy85149d ago (Edited 149d ago )

Mate I paid 55 for Forspoken day one, enjoyed it and sold it for 45. I'd rather that than pay a subscription and wait 18 months for a game, and it be even worse than Forspoken. And did you really just trash Call of the Mountain? The game thats rated 79 like it's a bad thing whilst Redfall in the 50s? Jesus.

JackBNimble149d ago (Edited 149d ago )

If I were you observer , i would be a little more concerned with the bigger picture after what Spencer said.

It's going to take a miracle to turn this shit around, and that's not a dig on xbox fans or your console of choice but the leadership and direction Spencer is taking the platform.

How much longer before MS shitcans xbox? And after everything, do you really think a $70Billion acquisition is feasible?
I'd grab a life Jacket because you're on a sinking ship.

Knushwood Butt148d ago

I didn't buy Forspoken, and I played the demo of CotM and enjoyed it. Will probably buy it at a later date. GT7 taking up all of my VR time.

Obscure_Observer148d ago


"If I were you observer , i would be a little more concerned with the bigger picture after what Spencer said."

Dude, Spencer like every executive from big gaming companies talks sh!t from time to time. This is not the first time he says something just to perform 180 next. I wouldn´t worry about Xbox consoles too much right now since R&D for the next console already started.

Besides, I´ll enjoy Xbox while it last, just like I did with SEGA games and SEGA consoles.

The day Xbox is done with consoles I´ll be done with MS.

Binarycode148d ago

Why does anyone buy $70 games,lol.

I don't think many bought Forspoken. Looked rough from the moment I saw real gameplay.You get a feeling it's garbage.

I'm expecting starfield to be garbage as well.

Cussing148d ago

"I would rather pay for a subscription to play half baked first party games rather than buying them outright." What a weird take.

+ Show (11) more repliesLast reply 148d ago
DeusFever149d ago

We aren’t only seeing this type of article now. We’ve long known Game Pass was the land of 6/10 games.

oIMyersIo149d ago

That’s an exaggeration if ever I saw one.

Metacritic scores for a handful of GamePass games:

Oblivion - 94
Forza Horizon 4 - 92
Forza Horizon 5 - 92
Flight Sim - 90
Monster Hunter World - 90
Ori and The Will of The Wisps - 90
Deathloop - 89
Peggle - 89
Doom Eternal - 89
Ori and The Blind Forest - 88
Fallout 4 - 87
Hi-Fi Rush - 87
Age of Empires 2 - 86
Halo MCC - 86
Pentiment - 86
Forza 7 - 85
Gears 5 - 85
Gears 4 - 84
Rare Replay - 84
Gears Tactics - 83
Sunset Overdrive - 83

As you can see, not quite the “land of 6/10” you make it out to be.

Deathdeliverer149d ago


Trust me. You don’t want to play the comparison of scores game with the PS service. Far more games, far more higher scores. Now if you’d put a restriction like only games released in the last year, yeah maybe. Adding those old games puts you in the crosshairs for annihilation.

Northpoint149d ago

Some of those games were made before Game Pass. Some even weren't made for Game Pass, e.g. Deathloop -smh.