Xbox Game Pass is a huge gamble for developers and it doesn't always pay off

Xbox Game Pass is a huge gamble for developers, and it doesn't always pay off.

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purple10124d ago

'doesn't always' , -has it ever?

Cacabunga24d ago

Stupid media have been praising it for quite sometime and made it sound like the best deal..

babadivad24d ago

It's the best deal for people who play games, I.E. the gamers.

Obscure_Observer24d ago


"It's the best deal for people who play games, I.E. the gamers."

Well said

Jingsing24d ago

You couldn't go anywhere without the media praising it and part of the reason for that is their lifestyle, Many gaming journalists just want free games to review and using the gaming industry as a jumping off platform to move up in the media world. In other words it is good for people who are not invested in the hobby but bad for people who are.

Christopher24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

***It's the best deal for people who play games, I.E. the gamers. ***

A good deal for the consumer doesn't mean that's what is best for them. This is ignorant and how Walmart and Amazon have the control they have on the market.

S2Killinit23d ago (Edited 23d ago )

No it is not. My god the arrogance and ignorance of people who bought into the marketing of gamepass is intense. It is a service whose selling point is day one releases, but in its history it has only release a small number of those. In fact, since its inception people have paid into it without getting much in terms of “day one” which is the whole reason why people continue to repeat the MS marketing phrase “best deal in gaming”. In reality is is not the best deal, especially if you are the type of person who likes to choose games that my not be available on gamepass’s rather small ratio of games compared to what the industry has to offer at any given time. One may actually
end up paying more FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF GAMING. That is not the “best deal in gaming” it is a bad deal.

Cacabunga23d ago


Imagine also when you subscribe and the game get taken off due to agreement reasons.. you go buy the same game next to 😹
For casuals and people with no gaming knowledge it might seem like a good deal because didn’t matter what they play.. for the rest big time no.

It’s the best deal for pigeons.

PhillyDonJawn23d ago

Cause it is. Don't see how anyone can say it's not

+ Show (4) more repliesLast reply 23d ago
lodossrage24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

The only way it pays off is if a dev gets enough of a payout from MS that it can cover either the cost of development or loss of potential sales (sometimes both)

If you know your game can sell well it more than likely not worth it. Even if you're a decent selling indie, you may find out it's not worth it.

Think about Cuphead when that first came out on Xbox. They would have lost a ton of sales had that been a day one game

Cacabunga24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

See, problem with this is that the game does not get enough hype.. if the game ends being good and the dev is willing to make a sequel, it’s starting from scratch for the dev..
and honestly how much can an indie dev get from MS for a game.

Jingsing24d ago

Game dev is effectively rolling a dice because they lack faith in their own game. That is fundamentally the wrong thinking and attitude. Ironically this works out bad for Microsoft too. Because if Microsoft are willing to pay for your game and you are willing to sell it because you don't think it will sell then that's two idiots.

Abear2123d ago (Edited 23d ago )

The only way it works for devs is if there’s enough micro transactions in their game then they can get money out of people through free exposure to their micro transactions

MrBaskerville24d ago

Sometimes it pays off in exposure. There are games that have succeded because of gamepass. Maybe partly because being on gamepass also usually gives you marketing from Microsoft.

But it can probably be a double edged sword.

lodossrage24d ago


Games haven't succeeded because of gamepass. They just gained an audience. If a game can't financially sustain itself it's not going to be successful.

Being on gamepass can get you a player base sure. But if they aren't paying for your game and getting it for pennies on the dollar along with every other game on the service, how successful can it really be?

Jingsing24d ago

In a sea of video games, lets just say hypothetically Microsoft has paid for 20 or so game pass titles they can't all get equal exposure. It is a faulty premise. In the gaming world there is only room for a couple of games at a time for massive exposure. We see some games fail to sell because another game stole its thunder. Microsoft can't promise thunder for everyone. dumb model, dumb proposition.

MrBaskerville23d ago

Some indies have claimed that they sold more on other platforms after they got discovered on gamepass.

I had a game on gamepass and I think our player count was a lot higher than it would have been under normal circumstances. Sales haven't been that impressive, but the player count helped greenlight a succesful spin off.

lodossrage23d ago


Yeah I know some devs did claim that. But many of those same devs are now talking about how they're having a hard time because gamer's "purchase behavior" has changed.

I'll take you at your word on your project being greenlit because of gamepass exposure. But that's just a house of cards. Is your next game going to be subsidized by Microsoft like the first one was? Numerous devs already said MS, Epic, nor Sony pay as much as they once did to be on their sub services

To each their own I guess. I just know that when bills come due they don't get paid off in exposure.

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DarXyde24d ago

It depends on who we're talking about. It helps to give some games exposure that otherwise wouldn't. I'm of the opinion that Persona games couldn't break 20K on Xbox otherwise so there's some benefit there.

As for who it benefits, that's an interesting question. Gamers primarily we would think... But it must create entitlement among the consumers. And the quality of titles launching on the service seems lacking, often missing some feature(s) one expects at launch. I'm not even convinced Microsoft really benefits from this strategy. Without sub growth, I don't see how this works, honestly.

Frankly, I think it's killing Xbox. Not because the strategy doesn't work, but because it isn't growing fast enough to justify what they're doing to Microsoft proper.

Jingsing24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

I just wouldn't put Persona on Xbox as there is no audience for it in the first place, which is how it was in the past. No one on Xbox is complaining about a lack of Japanese games. They have conditioned a player base to do without them.

DarXyde24d ago


I would say it works (or worked) if the Xbox is the only place to play those games. Xbox 360 did surprisingly well (relatively speaking) in Japan thanks to Blue Dragon, Lost Odyssey, and timed exclusivity of Tales of Vesperia.

However, where I think it left Japanese gamers a bit furious was Tales. Blue Dragon and Lost Odyssey were great games, but they were new IPs. Toriyama and Sakaguchi were behind them, but I'm not sure that on its own encouraged people to buy into those titles. But Tales is a long running series and I think those gamers were pissed to realize they didn't even have to buy an Xbox to play it. After the PS3 announcement, I recall a Japanese gamer posting photos of them breaking their Xbox disc. Don't know how indicative that is, but clearly, they are quite resistant to buying Xbox. If it was truly that upsetting, they've torched that bridge.

So to your point...I think there was a time when it worked. Now? Nah. I agree with you.

Obscure_Observer24d ago

"'doesn't always' , -has it ever?"

Well, the fact that Phil went all the way up from head of studios to CEO of MS gaming and Xbox is now MS´s third biggest business ahead of Windows since Gamepass got released, should give you a clue.

Also, despite previous rumors, we´ll continue to get AAA first party games day one on Gamepass! COD *INCLUDED* (not that I care about that franchise, mind you).

Bathyj24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

Phil got promoted because they had no one better not because he was good.

You get games on Game pass because no one was buying xboxes and now they nurtured a whole generation of gamers to not want to buy a games and have painted themselves into a corner.

It's not good for developers, it's clearly not good for Microsoft, and it's not even good for gamers in the long run as the platform is dying and will be forced to be third party soon.

Face it, game pass was an Experiment and it has failed if you weren't so short-sighted and could see further than I get games for so cheap then you could see that

Chevalier24d ago

Cool. 4 studios closed and counting! Going to be crazy saying we told you so again

purple10124d ago (Edited 24d ago )

suppose I fanned the flames a little, while I agree it could be a very good deal, if your the type of guy/gal who sits and constantly plays games everyday, plays multiple titles per month, is interested in smaller games, spends a large amount of their free time gaming, then YES, is it a good deal, but, thats NOT the vast population of gamers, we all know it, not by a long way.

They totally f**ed up by categorising every gamer as a hardcore gamer, were not, thats a very small niche, so gamepass was never going to work, vs buying a few games a year and selling them / gifting them on when your done, this way, is STILL cheaper, for the vast majority. Thats the cold hard truth

obviously, this gaming news site, is skewed slightly more towards there hardcore gamer, as the bulk of the gamers are not deep in gaming forums, this is why you see people sticking up for microsoft, their practices, their gamepass,
when this is not an accurate reflection of the masses.

Profchaos24d ago (Edited 24d ago )

Sure when you know your game sucks and won't sell positioning it as a day 1 title gets a garunteed paycheck look at payday 3 that was a stinker would not have sold and did not sell on its own merits but they development team still got a payday because it launched on gp.

There's also games like palworld that exploded in short term popularity became the flavour of the week spent a obscene amount on servers because of it which may have been a bad long term plan but still without gp it's likely that game would have released and faded fast.

So yeah it has its place but it's mainly for games that can't stand on their own merits which is why unless you're a first party low budget game like GTA trilogy or indie Dev you won't go to gp day 1

glennhkboy23d ago

Being exclusive to a single platform "doesn't always pay off for developers". SE, anyone? So what is the point of this article?

ChasterMies23d ago

Microsoft literally pays studios an upfront, flat fee. This removes risk and fills the studios bank account immediately instead of over time. For some games that would never sell well, this is a no risk option at launch. But it all depends on how much Microsoft is willing to pay. If anything, Game Pass and $80B in studio purchases has given Microsoft too much bargaining power over studios and publishers.

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GamingSinceForever24d ago

That’s what gambling is. You win some, but you lose more often than not. 😂