Xbox Game Pass, anyone who says it's bad for developers doesn't understand a thing, for Mike Rose

Xbox Game Pass, anyone who says it's bad for developers doesn't understand a thing, for Mike Rose

Xbox Game Pass

Mike Rose, the head of No More Robots, has once again explained why anyone who says Xbox Game Pass is bad for developers doesn't understand how the video game industry works. The topic had already been dealt with, even on these pages, but regularly someone comes to hypothesize apocalypses caused by the success of Microsoft's service, so obviously there is a need to explain it again.

Rose: "I've said it before, but I repeat: the Game Pass guarantees success for dozens of developers every month, paying them the full development cost (and even more) from the day of Anyone who writes that Game Pass is bad for developers does not understand how this industry works and should go away. "

" We explain: Normally you launch a game that cost X to develop and you hope that, along with marketing, it works enough for you to get X back so you can start making profits. If you're on Game Pass at launch, chances are you've got X back since launch day. What would you choose? "

In this sector even what is self-evident and logical is questioned when it becomes the subject of console war, unfortunately. Thus such a trivial truth, such as the fact that the Game Pass is loved by independent developers because it allows them to immediately recover all development costs, becomes the subject of debate.

Sure, the model is not without its flaws, but continuing to retort on points that have already been widely discussed and disproved is starting to get quite cloying.

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Of Course You Might Cancel Xbox Game Pass Right Now



Yesterday brought with it a Very Stupid Discourse about Xbox Game Pass, one that has sparked yet another series of console war flame battles online. The chain of events was:

A few high profile gamers, including the Washington Post’s Gene Park, casually mentioned they were cancelling Xbox Game Pass as they weren’t using it much:

Then, Kotaku wrote an entire piece citing these announcements and viewing them as part of a “trend,” calling it a burnout after years of hype.

Then, the official Xbox Game Pass account responded to Kotaku’s piece on Twitter with a rare brand dunk on a media outlet, suggesting they’re not valuing indie games enough:

They “ratioed” Kotaku with that reply, and that made Game Pass trend even harder.

Okay, this is all very stupid, but raises some real points. First, at least elements of the Kotaku piece are correct. I don’t know if “burnout” is the right term, or if trying to paint this as some widespread cancellation trend is accurate, but it is the case that for those people who subscribed to Xbox Game Pass for big AAA releases, we have not had many of those on the service this generation, and now will not have many to come for a while, given the delay of both Redfall and Starfield out of this year.

But past that, the debate over the fact that people would or would not cancel Xbox Game Pass when they are or are not using it is…absurd, in this day and age of subscriptions. Everyone does this all the time now! In the streaming age, there are countless subscription services you need to have in order to be able to watch “everything.” Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, Paramount Plus, Apple TV Plus, HBO Max, Amazon Prime Video, Peacock, the list goes on and on.

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So what do people do? If the service gets a really attractive show or string of shows, they subscribe. When those offerings have come and gone and there’s not much they need the service for, they cancel. And yet this does not trigger big “fanboy wars” between the streaming services like we’re seeing here, with the notion that someone would dare cancel Xbox Game Pass when there aren’t any huge releases on it for a while.

Xbox’s own tweet dunk actually…reinforces the idea that it does not have new AAA offerings on it at the moment, implying people should be playing indies instead. But while sure, there are many great indies there, I think you have to consider people subscribe for different reasons. Some want the whole package, the AAAs and the indies and the giant library. But yes, I can definitely see others subbing to Game Pass mainly for the promise of day one launches that are included with the membership. And so if those big, promised titles are delayed, the “library” aspect of other games they are less interested in may not be enough to get them to stay. This is not terribly controversial, and yet somehow, it is.

Xbox Game Pass was sold on the promise of a lot of big-name releases launching on the service. So if those big name releases are not coming for a while, I would expect to see a slowdown in subscriber growth, if not a reversal. It’s just basic logic, not some bold declaration against game subscription tyranny. Calm down.

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