Xbox Game Pass has been referred to as one of the best consumers deals on the market for people looking to get the most bang for their buck. With consistent deals allowing new members trying the service for $1 and more recently Microsoft allowing people to stack their Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass time into Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. It is safe to say Xbox Game Pass has been a huge success for the Xbox brand. However, the concern among the general gaming public has always been a concern that the developers would lose sales. The sustainability of the Game Pass model for developers has been constantly questioned, however today we learned some interesting new information on how Xbox Game Pass can actually help developers move more copies
In in an interview by gamesindustry.biz Mike Rose who works for Indie publisher No More Robots. No More Robots is the publisher behind Indie games such as Not Tonight, Descenders, and Hypnospace Outlaw. Descenders launched into Xbox Game Preview in the Summer of 2018, and then fully released day and date to Xbox Game Pass on May 7th, 2019. Mike Rose who was openly vocal on social media of his concern over developers well being in an Xbox Game Pass model had some surprising things to say about the service.
“Being on Game Pass means that you basically have constant featuring on Xbox. You’re game is on the dashboard all the time… People are seeing our game every day.”
Anyone who games on Xbox sees the Xbox Game Pass sidebar and advertisement on their home screen when booting up the system every day. The advertisement usually features the most recent addition to the service no matter the size of the developer. For example, Descenders had a large banner ad on the store for both the game and Xbox Game Pass at launch. This led to more player awareness of the title, and the kind of titles that can be found on Xbox Game Pass. According to Mike Rose, this translated to an impressive boost in numbers for the title.
“And because of that, during launch month, our Xbox sales — we didn’t do any discounts on it or anything — quadrupled, and have now settled to about three times as much as before.”
While this is a very specific situation, it is good to hear a developer experience large success through Xbox Game Pass. If this is what it takes for Indie developers to get more exposure in a very saturated market, this is a great thing. While I personally remain skeptical, more and more evidence is showing that Xbox Game Pass could ultimately be a huge part of the industries growth going forward.