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Game Pass’ Massive Growth Is Bringing Developers Some Surprises

Bernd Lauert

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Apr 15, 2018
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidt...growth-is-bringing-developers-some-surprises/

On average, according to Bond, Game Pass subscribers spend 20% more time playing games, play 30% more games, play 40% more genres and, crucially, spend about 20% more on gaming overall.
All No More Robots’ games have had a different experience when they hit Game Pass. Online multiplayer game Descenders, he says, was perfectly tuned for the service, and it exploded as soon as it dropped both in terms of overall play and traditional sales, which he says quadrupled.

“The effect that we see is that people are playing on Game Pass, they're telling their friends: ‘hey come play this game with me’, they don't want another subscription, so they just go buy the game. We end up getting a ton of players on Game Pass, and we sell a ton as well.
“The main thing for us is that sales didn't go down,” says Rose. “ You worry that you make the thing free and no one will buy it anymore: that didn't happen.”
“We get so many people telling us that they bought their games as well as playing them on Game Pass. Other people saying they feel like they don't own it if it's just on Game Pass. So they buy it! That, to me, seems crazy!”

Looks like this business model might be profitable after all. Papa bless.
 

Jigsaah

Gold Member
Jan 31, 2018
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Alot of gamepass games are hidden gems with DLC to buy. It makes sense that if you download a game for "Free" and you enjoyed it, you'd be inclined to purchase the DLC.

Prime example was Stellaris. I was really pleasantly surprised by this grand strategy game so much that I bought all the DLC for it. Granted it was on Steam because the PC version of Stellaris is much different than the console version.
 

bender

Bending Rodríguez (22, 1,729)
Apr 12, 2010
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Alot of gamepass games are hidden gems with DLC to buy. It makes sense that if you download a game for "Free" and you enjoyed it, you'd be inclined to purchase the DLC.

Prime example was Stellaris. I was really pleasantly surprised by this grand strategy game so much that I bought all the DLC for it. Granted it was on Steam because the PC version of Stellaris is much different than the console version.

And if you buy DLC and the game gets delisted, I'm sure those same users are inclined to purchase the game outright.
 

Diddy X

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Jan 7, 2018
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I see this is working similar to F2P, just that MS is still charging for it, the 1$ thing could be part of the plan after all, it's all about bringing in people to try it.
 

Clear

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Feb 2, 2009
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https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidt...growth-is-bringing-developers-some-surprises/






Looks like this business model might be profitable after all. Papa bless.

Objectively, how many games were these guys (No More Robots) going to sell anyway?

Just saying sales went up doesn't mean much when you're expecting to shift a few thousand units at best. Its a very big difference when you're betting on selling millions to cover costs, because the sort of buyer who might use GP as a try-before-you-buy sort of deal on a relatively inexpensive niche indie is not the typical punter who's thinking about spending $70 on the latest AAA blockbuster.

And as always the experience of first-movers is always quite different to that of later-arrivals who need to compete in a mature, established marketplace.
 

Stuart360

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Sep 9, 2018
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I bet Indie devs in paticular are profiting from this because i could imagine a lot of gamers playing certain Indies on Gamepass, games they would never usually buy, end up loving the game, and buy it because of that.
I know i have bought 3 or 4 games from Steam after loving them on Gamepass (Carrion for example).
 
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TaiLopezFan

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Feb 5, 2021
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Yep, indie Games like Destiny 2 and Outriders. Not to mention every EA game.
Destiny 2 already free to play, Outriders made by some unknown developers who’s last game was a switch port, definitely not a AAA game. Every EA game will come to EA Play after it has been dried out. Not day 1. Good example is FIFA 21 NOT ON Gamepass, but will come right before FIFA 22. Also EA Play is available on Playstation.
 

Fashionably Late

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Nov 23, 2020
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Gamepass keeps me using my Xbox more, and the more time I spend on there means I’ll be checking out what’s on sale on the Microsoft store, seeing their ads, etc. I’m sure Microsoft is thrilled with the engagement numbers on Gamepass because it means you’re deep in their ecosystem. Seems like everyone is happy with the deal so far (users, devs, and MS); I know I am.
 

Jaysen

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Mar 19, 2021
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Destiny 2 already free to play, Outriders made by some unknown developers who’s last game was a switch port, definitely not a AAA game. Every EA game will come to EA Play after it has been dried out. Not day 1. Good example is FIFA 21 NOT ON Gamepass, but will come right before FIFA 22. Also EA Play is available on Playstation.
That’s BS about Destiny 2 and Outriders. The version of D2 on GP is not the free to play version. And imagine thinking People Can Fly are an unknown developer.
 

ThisIsPrfct

Neo Member
Sep 30, 2020
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it was rhetorical.
Hey, I was surprised too... I live in Argentina and games are expensive, Game Pass is really helping and I would NEVER buy a "free" game... I was very surprised when I recommended Game Pass to friends who are better off and they started spending a lot more money than me on games + DLC they tried in Game Pass and liked... people that before would never had played nothing but FIFA or COD now are trying a lot of different genres and buying what they find enjoyable, I think the gist of it is people enjoy buying things and spending money.
 

The Pleasure

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Jan 8, 2019
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Another gamepass voost?
 
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Jaysen

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Gamepass keeps me using my Xbox more, and the more time I spend on there means I’ll be checking out what’s on sale on the Microsoft store, seeing their ads, etc. I’m sure Microsoft is thrilled with the engagement numbers on Gamepass because it means you’re deep in their ecosystem. Seems like everyone is happy with the deal so far (users, devs, and MS); I know I am.
Yep, thanks to GP, the X is now my main console.
 

Alright

Banned
Mar 5, 2021
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Hey, I was surprised too... I live in Argentina and games are expensive, Game Pass is really helping and I would NEVER buy a "free" game... I was very surprised when I recommended Game Pass to friends who are better off and they started spending a lot more money than me on games + DLC they tried in Game Pass and liked... people that before would never had played nothing but FIFA or COD now are trying a lot of different genres and buying what they find enjoyable, I think the gist of it is people enjoy buying things and spending money.
Who has time to buy games?

There are so many hits on GP that the need to buy them to play them again, over playing more new games, confuses me.
 

Griffon

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Oct 28, 2017
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Maybe for MP games with DLCs (and GaaS games), which could've been F2P anyways.

Short SP games that are complete experiences aren't gonna bring the same results.
 
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JeremyEtcetera

Unconfirmed Member
Destiny 2 already free to play, Outriders made by some unknown developers who’s last game was a switch port, definitely not a AAA game. Every EA game will come to EA Play after it has been dried out. Not day 1. Good example is FIFA 21 NOT ON Gamepass, but will come right before FIFA 22. Also EA Play is available on Playstation.
That makes it more accurate to the Netflix comparison then. Netflix normally doesn't get shows on a per week basis(unless it's a special case) but instead gets them either when the season is over or when the next season is starting. A lot of people seem to be fine with that.
 

ThisIsPrfct

Neo Member
Sep 30, 2020
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Who has time to buy games?

There are so many hits on GP that the need to buy them to play them again, over playing more new games, confuses me.
Funny you mention that... a lot of the games they buy they don't play after that first hit, they just buy to keep. People is weird like that, they don't even have a concept of "backlog", they just enjoy knowing that if they want to they can play that game they had fun with, independently of it being on Game Pass or not. Game Pass is like an "all you can eat buffet"... there will always be people who go in and eats as much as possible to get their money worth and there will always be people who go in and eat a lot less of what their like, the service costs the same for everyone but those who play less and buy games are basically keeping the lights on. Internet works on the same principle, if we all used 100% of our bandwidth the service would collapse. It's interesting and it works.
 
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G-Bus

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If Microsoft continues to curate GamePass with great new games and partnerships with large 3rd party publishers like EA and Take Two, then within 5 years GamePass will be the definitive Netflix of gaming. Those who take the "wait and see" approach will become Blockbusters.

Yea but if it does turn into the netflix of gaming don't you think sales will inevitably start to drop with the more subs you have.

This anecdote of liking a game in gamepass and telling a friend who turns around and instead of buying gamepass, just buys the game. Doesn't sound right to me.

The more popular this service gets will eventually keep people from purchasing, no?

Can developers survive in gamepass alone?
 

Jaysen

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If you never got a deal on Game Pass, MS will let you convert all of your current XBL subscription to Game Pass Ultimate for a dollar. I had three years of XBL on my account, so it converted all 3 years to GPU for the 1 dollar special price.
 

Gods&Monsters

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May 11, 2018
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It's profitable to devs because MS is paying all of it and giving cheques left and right to devs directly (like Epic). Square Enix got a fat cheque too.

I just did 1$ trick again until 2024. I'm glad the devs will get my penny lol
 
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CatLady

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Jun 12, 2018
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I need to shill again while we at it, play Observation on GP. Especially those who want that Alien: Isolation experience.

Already played like the first week it was on Game Pass and I really enjoyed it. I wouldn't have even known this game existed without GP.

Deliver the Moon another game I would never have played because I didn't know it existed came to GP about the same time and I really liked that one too.
 

Kagey K

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Dec 18, 2013
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Can you please explain clearly how you do that?
Buy 3 years of gold (do not use the bonus months as it maxes at 36 months) convert to Game Pass Ultimate for 1.00 if the offer is available to you. All your remaining gold time converts to GPU.
 
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