Xbox GamePass, the subscription service for Xbox games, is causing financial harm to gaming developers.
Let’s be honest; Xbox GamePass is a pretty great deal for any gamer. For just $10 a month, gamers get unlimited access to Xbox’s gaming library, with many huge titles arriving to the subscription model on day one. However, a good deal for gamers doesn’t necessarily mean a good deal for third-party developers, as some have stated that the Xbox GamePass is hurting game sales.
According to GameSpot, the co-founder of Playdead and Jumpship, Dino Patti, has revealed that Xbox GamePass hurt the studios’ sales for 2022’s Somerville. This isn’t the first time we’ve heard game developers complain that one of the best deals in gaming has hurt the sales of a particular gaming title. In fact, Xbox GamePass hurting gaming sales is a well-known fact across the industry, which somehow hasn’t stopped developers from working with Microsoft.
Many people tend to support the developers. However, the issue could affect the entire modern gaming industry.
Before Xbox GamePass or the internet and subscription models such as the Xbox GamePass, it was up to game developers to actually develop and polish their titles. Around 10-15 years ago, day-one patches were virtually non-existent. If you wanted to sell your game, you needed to attract the public’s attention with an eye-catching trailer, and promise a compelling story and gameplay. Then, you would have to deliver it for approximately $60. $60.
If you failed to deliver, the initial bad reviews of your game would lead to poor sales because you couldn’t patch a game that was released on physical media. With the internet, developers became lazy and started to deliver half-baked, unfinished games. Cyberpunk, 2077 or big disappointments, such as Redfall, while charging a premium price for a gaming title that’s basically worthless. Xbox GamePass fixed this problem. It allowed gamers to try out as many games they wanted at a monthly subscription price.
Now, gamers can get a game at the price of an annual subscription, try it out for 10 minutes and stop it for good if they don’t like it, without spending $30-$70 for a gaming title. This adversely affects the sales of gaming titles, especially since developers now can’t charge individually sold copies. Unfortunately, this might also be a contributing factor in the diminishing quality of games we’re faced in the past decade since developers are losing their incentive to make better games for less money.
We’ll call Xbox GamePass a double-edged sword for the developers. Sony’s attempts to recreate Xbox GamePass in its PlayStation subscription only proves the latter’s popularity. Unfortunately for Sony, the PlayStation Plus model failed to beat Xbox’s subscription, which still remains one of the best deals in gaming, despite the lack of first-party gaming titles and a pretty short list of good releases. Halo Infinite The release of this album has caused a lot of controversy. Starfield A crushing delay led to a decline in Xbox sales.
The good side of Xbox GamePass is that it prevents developers from charging us money for a game that’s really not worth our time.
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