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REPLACED Devs: Microsoft Partnership Has No Cons “They Actually Care About the Indie Market”

Vasto

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Speaking with Sad Cat Studios last week, the team behind the incredibly good-looking upcoming cinematic platformer REPLACED, which is launching exclusively on Microsoft platforms via Game Pass, I was keen to get a sense of why the team opted to partner with Microsoft and what their experience has been like so far. Studio co-founder Igor Gritsay explained:


“The biggest part of the partnership for us is that Microsoft actually cares about the indie market. Otherwise, well, there would be much fewer games on all platforms. They really give a chance to small studios to actually produce something and provide marketing awareness to people. I would say that for indie studios, I can’t even think of a con (with partnering with Microsoft) because they provide funding and marketing reach.”

Notably, the team also sees Game Pass not as a missed opportunity to sell individual copies but as a platform to gain more exposure and, in turn, a better return on their investment. Igor continued:

“As for Game Pass, it allows more people to learn about the game, and actually play the game! Because there is frequently this situation for many players where they will see a game in the store and they want it, but at the same time it is $30, $60, or even more, and so you maybe Wishlist it, and then you usually forget.”


However, with Game Pass you just press a button and install. Of course, sometimes the possible con of this is that, you know, people might be too overflowing with games and so each game gets less attention. Still, equally, it is a chance for those games to shine. In other situations they might otherwise be drowned by thousands of other games. Game Pass allows us and many other developers to actually deliver our project to people. Also, from what I heard, Game Pass also boosts sales, but we’ll see about that! To summarize, it’s a win, win situation for us.”






REPLACED is set to launch in 2022 on Xbox and PC platforms.
 

godhandiscen

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Dude every dev that partners with a platform holder will sing the praises of said company, it's part of the agreement.
“They gave us money to afford proper meals and a decent sleeping schedule while we finish this game for them. They really care about indie devs!!”
 
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CitizenZ

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MS is like.....being saved.
 
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Best 2.5D game of the conference for me, hands down. I know a lot of this is influenced through, well, Microsoft assisting them with funding and resource support, so there's some built-in bias there.

However even aside of that, it does appear that for indies as a whole, especially in light of some recent revelations, Microsoft would seem easier to work with and more readily available, friendlier than a platform holder like Sony these days, when it was the inverse at the start of last generation.

That being said, relative position of strength of the platform holder in the market plays a role too; right now Microsoft is in a restoration of brand trust/loyalty and momentum gain like how Sony was in 2012-2013 through 2014, and in those cases you'll be a lot more open to the little guys helping you out.

The test for Microsoft will be, will they still be this friendly with indies if and when (moreso when) their gains and momentum in the market put them in a position where they don't need to rely on them as much? Hopefully they will, and don't go the way Sony did in that type of relationship (while I do also give Sony credit for working with and growing devs like Housemarque, that one came with a string attached in the form of an acquisition. Which ultimately benefits Housemarque, I just hope people are as receptive of Microsoft if and when they potentially acquire some of these indie devs they have been working with for a while now, or if they'll try to boogeyman those into the tired "consolidation, anti-competitive!!" talking points again :S)
 

Vasto

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I am starting to see developers go with Game Pass because it allows their game to be experienced day 1 by the millions of gamers already subscribed to Game Pass. The more subs Game Pass gets the more of these types of deals we are going to see.

 
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Kagey K

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I am starting to see developers go with Game Pass because it allows their game to be experienced day 1 by the millions of gamers already subscribed to Game Pass. The more subs Game Pass gets the more of these types of deals we are going to see.

But Gaf told me that devs were going to stop making games for Xbox because UK physical sales splits are all that matters. 🤪
 

Topher

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No I wasn’t because MS actually seems to care about the indie market. Just go have a look what Gamepass has done for these type of devs, it’s literally a gift from God.

A "gift from God" would mean I could play any game I wanted whenever I wanted for as long as I wanted. Game Pass is not a "gift from God". Not to me, anyway. If Game Pass is a gift from God for you, then ok, no problem. For me, except for Greedfall, I haven't played a game this year that was included with Game Pass. I want to choose my games. Not have them chosen for me.

Xbox is still lacking. First party games are coming, I know, but games like this don't cut it. Sorry. Still waiting.
 
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It looks great, but it reminds of this other game that also pumped Microsoft’s conference, but still hasn’t released.

I feel like the last night's development troubles were completely unrelated to MS though. If MS is giving Odd Tales the time they need to finish the game the way they want to and not rushing them, that's a good thing. Which would seem to support the sentiments in the article about MS caring about indie devs. Or at least that MS is learning that forcing anything in the game development world usually doesn't work or end well.
 

Fredrik

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I am starting to see developers go with Game Pass because it allows their game to be experienced day 1 by the millions of gamers already subscribed to Game Pass.

Yeah it’s awesome.
But I still don’t understand the economics. Is Gamepass essentially like advertising? The more popular Gamepass becomes the more people talk about the upcoming games, the more play them on streams, and with that more games gets sold.

But… more Gamepass subscribers also mean less people left among those who buy games. I’m trying to think of the last time I bought something on Xbox… But I can’t remember.
 
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Papacheeks

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I am starting to see developers go with Game Pass because it allows their game to be experienced day 1 by the millions of gamers already subscribed to Game Pass. The more subs Game Pass gets the more of these types of deals we are going to see.


Let's see how healthy it is for that developer in the long run in terms of studio growth. If you get a bunch of day one people playing your game but fall off, then are you going to have enough clout or sales from the gamepass exposure to make a sequel and make it bigger or improve as it needs to?

We have no seen or heard of any developer who is now larger working on a much bigger project via gamepass thats indie. But have tons of success stories with Nintendo and Sony.

Too early right now to see what the long term effects on smaller developers is.
 

MrFunSocks

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Why wouldn't they care about indies? Its basically farming for potential acquisitions.
Ask the ones that Sony don’t care about, or did you miss that giant thread on here a few weeks ago?


Yeah it’s awesome.
But I still don’t understand the economics. Is Gamepass essentially like advertising? The more popular Gamepass becomes the more people talk about the upcoming games, the more play them on streams, and with that more games gets sold.

But… more Gamepass subscribers also mean less people left among those who buy games. I’m trying to think of the last time I bought something on Xbox… But I can’t remember.

Game Pass gets your game in people’s hands, people that likely never would have bought your game in the first place. Some of them like it so much they buy it using the game pass discount, some of them then buy dlc and microtransactions, and they’ll tell their friends about this game they like, or their friends will see them playing it on Xbox and wonder what it is. People that like the game are then also more likely to buy the devs next game and so on.

It’s why things like free trials of services work. You use it, you like it, you end up paying for it, and you tell people about it who then pay for it too.
 
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Kagey K

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Got any links?
Post in thread 'UK weekly physical sales: 77% of sales of Metro Exodus Complete Edition were on PS5'
https://www.neogaf.com/threads/uk-w...te-edition-were-on-ps5.1611125/post-263969213

Post in thread 'UK weekly physical sales: 77% of sales of Metro Exodus Complete Edition were on PS5'
https://www.neogaf.com/threads/uk-w...te-edition-were-on-ps5.1611125/post-263970165

Heres the first 2 I found. There’s plenty of them in the UK sales threads but I’m not investing my time looking for them.
 

Hawke502

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A "gift from God" would mean I could play any game I wanted whenever I wanted for as long as I wanted. Game Pass is not a "gift from God". Not to me, anyway. If Game Pass is a gift from God for you, then ok, no problem. For me, except for Greedfall, I haven't played a game this year that was included with Game Pass. I want to choose my games. Not have them chosen for me.

Xbox is still lacking. First party games are coming, I know, but games like this don't cut it. Sorry. Still waiting.
Why does every gamepass related thread has to have a post like this? Its not even related to the matter this time. Ok, you never play games that are on gamepass, we got it.
 

Dr Bass

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Post in thread 'UK weekly physical sales: 77% of sales of Metro Exodus Complete Edition were on PS5'
https://www.neogaf.com/threads/uk-w...te-edition-were-on-ps5.1611125/post-263969213

Post in thread 'UK weekly physical sales: 77% of sales of Metro Exodus Complete Edition were on PS5'
https://www.neogaf.com/threads/uk-w...te-edition-were-on-ps5.1611125/post-263970165

Heres the first 2 I found. There’s plenty of them in the UK sales threads but I’m not investing my time looking for them.
Interesting.

I personally don't think the links you posted encapsulate the sentiment you expressed in your first post, but ok.

Also, I think this game looks great.
 
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93xfan

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Do you honestly expect them to say anything else?
No, because there is a pattern of praise towards MS. Do you know that Double Fine was able to add in deleted content for Psychonauts 2 and really take their time due to the partnership?
 

eyesabitdull

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Look, it's all fun and games to laugh it off when a dev says something like this.

But, I do feel like MS might actually have turned their approach around since the "we NEED multiplayer built in" days.

Granted, those days were a mere few years ago, but who knows - maybe they flipped the script, so to speak.

If that's the case, good. MS needs to change their approach because they need the partnerships required to get GP situated onto a position that is firm, and undeniable to competitors.

So lets hope it is the case and not just another round of bullshit from devs this time.
 

Dr Bass

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So neither of those imply devs are going to stop making games for Xbox due to the sales splits?

👌
Your phrase was " because UK physical sales splits are all that matters."

And that's not what they said.

Of course they did say sales percentages matter, and they do. You don't think sales numbers matter?

My point after seeing your links was, you were exaggerating their sentiment by a decent amount in order to make a point against them that they weren't even making, i.e. physical sales in one region "are all that matters."

MS needing to subsidize development because the sales wouldn't be there otherwise isn't great for business either. It's cool if we get games we would otherwise not get, but it's also not sustainable, not even for Microsoft. So this idea they are doing everyone a big favor just doesn't hold up in the long term.

Sales do matter.

And like I've said before, I want this game. Which is why I will buy it.
 
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No doubt Xbox values indies. They have consistent coverage over decades of shows, had that giant 3000+ game XBLIG, and Game Pass has no problem doing indie stuff if the deal works for both sides.

Sony is opposite. They'll promote indies when they are desperate for filler. But when the big first party games come out, all those indie games and montages get tossed in the garbage. You all saw the transition during PS4. Now with PS5, they are all about showcasing third party games and some indie games again as many of their top first party franchises havent even been disclosed yet. But give a few years when Sony has all their top first party games launching or coming soon and you might get zero mention of small scale games again.
 

vaibhavpisal

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Do you honestly expect them to say anything else?

 

TheMay30thMan

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Can you imagine if they said the complete opposite? In a public setting? Like, how funny would that be?
 

Heisenberg007

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Some very nice indies have come to Xbox recently, and more are coming. Just finished Death's Door. Now looking forward to Sable and Twelve Minutes.

It's always good to see that all three platforms support indies as much as they can. More games for us.
 
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Heisenberg007

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Ask the ones that Sony don’t care about, or did you miss that giant thread on here a few weeks ago?
Meh, that was more like whining. Sony promotes indies as well. They do round-up blog posts as well as fund indie games.

You can't blame them for not supporting indie games that they don't think are good enough to be promoted.
 
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Three

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Post in thread 'UK weekly physical sales: 77% of sales of Metro Exodus Complete Edition were on PS5'
https://www.neogaf.com/threads/uk-w...te-edition-were-on-ps5.1611125/post-263969213

Post in thread 'UK weekly physical sales: 77% of sales of Metro Exodus Complete Edition were on PS5'
https://www.neogaf.com/threads/uk-w...te-edition-were-on-ps5.1611125/post-263970165

Heres the first 2 I found. There’s plenty of them in the UK sales threads but I’m not investing my time looking for them.
Isn't this actually proof of the first guys comments?

From this thread and indie dev quote

"because they provide funding and marketing reach.”

🤷‍♂️
 
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MrFunSocks

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Meh, that was more like whining. Sony promotes indies as well. They do round-up blog posts as well as fund indie games.

You can't blame them for not supporting indie games that they don't think are good enough to be promoted.
I mean the thread had links full of indies saying Sony are literally no help to them at all, but whatever, I'm not arguing this with you.

Support should be provided to all developers making games for your system, it's as simple as that.
 

Kagey K

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Isn't this actually proof of the first guys comments?

From this thread and indie dev quote

"because they provide funding and marketing reach.”

🤷‍♂️
You ignore the second part where he suggests everyone is going PS only unless funded, which we have seen is not the case.
 

Three

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You ignore the second part where he suggests everyone is going PS only unless funded, which we have seen is not the case.

You are kind of trying to misconsture the guys point there

"it's going to get worse for 3rd party publishers on xbox unless MS pay them to release on gamepass

might make it even easier for Sony to get more exclusives"

Then you use this thread where an Indie dev is getting funded by MS to release on gamepass as some contradiction. I'm not seeing it to be honest.
 
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longdi

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Gamepass is the perfect place for Indies, and Phil has also shown care for Indies since taking over. I am not surprised to hear this.
 

Kagey K

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You are kind of trying to misconsture the guys pount there

"it's going to get worse for 3rd party publishers on xbox unless MS pay them to release on gamepass

might make it even easier for Sony to get more exclusives"

Then you use this thread where an Indie dev is getting funded by MS to release on gamepass as some contradiction. I'm not seeing it to be honest.
We are going to never see eye to eye on this.

Guy asked me for links and I just picked the first 2 I found, there are a lot more, but I have better things to do with my time then arguing on the internet about this.

See it how you want, I don't give a fuck in the end.
 
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