Sony Had 'No Involvement' in Death Stranding Deal with PC Game Pass

Lunatic_Gamer

Gold Member


Sony had “no involvement” with Death Stranding’s release on PC Game Pass, despite the platform holder owning the intellectual property and funding the development of the title. “Matters relating to the PC release of Death Stranding are managed by Kojima Productions and 505 Games,” a spokesperson told us. “SIE has no involvement in this promotion.”

It raises the question: how has the Japanese giant managed to negotiate a licensing deal where it has zero control over where its product is ultimately distributed? Obviously, we’ve seen a similar situation unfold with MLB The Show.

It’s perhaps worth pointing out that the PC Game Pass version of the release will be based on the original Death Stranding campaign, and not its expanded Director’s Cut. The latter was alsopublished by 505 Games on storefronts such as Steam, so it’s possible a different licensing arrangement may have been drawn up for that particular version of the game.

 
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Fredrik

Gold Member
It's already on PC, what would be the point of blocking it from gamepass on PC?
Gamepass is the end game boss for Sony and Sony fans. At least that’s what I’m getting from the Gamepass talks.
It’s already up on PS+ so being free on a subscription service is not the issue.
 

Infamy v1

Member
It's already on PC, what would be the point of blocking it from gamepass on PC?
Resident Evil 8 is on Xbox/PC and Sony blocked it from both Game Pass services.

Your unrelated anecdote aside, Sony had no involvement with this negotiation. It was between Xbox, Kojima and 505. It's in the OP. 505 owns the PC publishing rights and Xbox didn't have to go through Sony for anything here, just like MLB.
 
Had Sony not been pushing PC gaming, I think they might have caused a fuss but honestly I don't think they mind as long as it brings people into the PlayStation ecosystem. If it was coming to XBOX then I'm damn sure they'd have had words.
 

RCU005

Member
But then Microsoft is saying that Sony pays to get the games away from GamePass.

Microsoft paying 600k for Kitchen simulator give some perspective about how much money Microsoft is throwing developers and publishers to make GamePass seem to work.

There is no way Game Pass is financially viable. Microsoft just have too much money and it’s betting on something so risky. Games are not like movies where you just have a file that needs to buffer while watching it. Games need updates, stable connection every time, and much more investment.

I believe that not even Microsoft with PS2 levels of market share would make Game Pass viable.
 

Denton

Member
I don't get how Sony can fund a game's development, and then leave PC version publishing to someone else.

I guess given their own PC publishing business now, they are regretting that decision. Death Stranding should have been Sony published game on both platforms.
 

Reallink

Member
But then Microsoft is saying that Sony pays to get the games away from GamePass.

Microsoft paying 600k for Kitchen simulator give some perspective about how much money Microsoft is throwing developers and publishers to make GamePass seem to work.

There is no way Game Pass is financially viable. Microsoft just have too much money and it’s betting on something so risky. Games are not like movies where you just have a file that needs to buffer while watching it. Games need updates, stable connection every time, and much more investment.

I believe that not even Microsoft with PS2 levels of market share would make Game Pass viable.

You realize that with over 25 million subs, Gamepass generates several hundred million dollars a MONTH (somewhere around 3 BILLION a year), and for the development budget of Halo Infinite alone, they could "buy" like 900 Kitchen Simulators for the service. As it stands, Gamepass revenue could fund a $100+ million AAA first party game every month, add 166 Kitchen Simulators every month, and still have like $100 million dollars left over for profit/operating expense every month.
 
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Leyasu

Banned
But then Microsoft is saying that Sony pays to get the games away from GamePass.

Microsoft paying 600k for Kitchen simulator give some perspective about how much money Microsoft is throwing developers and publishers to make GamePass seem to work.

There is no way Game Pass is financially viable. Microsoft just have too much money and it’s betting on something so risky. Games are not like movies where you just have a file that needs to buffer while watching it. Games need updates, stable connection every time, and much more investment.

I believe that not even Microsoft with PS2 levels of market share would make Game Pass viable.
600k is a mere drop of what they are most likely earning a month from gamepass. You are sort of right about how much it would cost to big games day one on te service though. The costs involved when they aren't the publisher or getting them exclusively doesn't make sense. Plus ther is no guarantee that the pubs would be wiling to put any sequels on there. But more than that, they are at the whim of the publisers who would have a hold on them with their own service.

They obvioudly crunched the numbers and decided that it would be better in the long run to buy the I.Ps and get the talent to work on theit games. As to a stable connection, updates etc, not only do they have their very own azure network, but you can also download the games and play them locally. So I don't know what point you are trying to make there.

Unless you have the exact amount they are making each month and what they are spending the money on, then you or anyone else doesn't know just how viable it is.

on topic though, of course sony had nothing to do with this coming to gamepass, if they were the publisher on PC, then you could bet any money that it wouldn't be coming to gamepass at all.
 
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Godot25

Member

It's funny to be honest. Of course this was done without Sony (as is MLB). But it is strange, that they can't make contracts that prevents such things from happening.
Especially when they are "blocking" games with marketing rights from entering Game Pass.
 

Robb

Gold Member
With DS and MLB going places Sony don’t want them to go I get the feeling they will become less likely to allow other publishers to publish their games/IP going forward, given the opportunity.
 
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Jaybe

Member

It's funny to be honest. Of course this was done without Sony (as is MLB). But it is strange, that they can't make contracts that prevents such things from happening.
Especially when they are "blocking" games with marketing rights from entering Game Pass.
Klob’s a devout console warrior so not a good source of content to post.

All this blocking rights has been spun up by a sad podcaster who was crying about Cult of the Lamb not being on game pass and the I suppose being a third-rate podcaster doesnt afford the income to purchase games.

I would expect Sony to write in first rights to their subscription service should the publisher wish to pursue that avenue within a certain timeframe as part of a marketing deal. Makes sense. It’s not blocking.

 

SLB1904

Member
Death stranding deal with kojima was made before Sony get in to PC gaming. So yeah

Klob’s a devout console warrior so not a good source of content to post.

All this blocking rights has been spun up by a sad podcaster who was crying about Cult of the Lamb not being on game pass and the I suppose being a third-rate podcaster doesnt afford the income to purchase games.

I would expect Sony to write in first rights to their subscription service should the publisher wish to pursue that avenue within a certain timeframe as part of a marketing deal. Makes sense. It’s not blocking.


Some of these clowns don't think that developers might not want to put their games on a subscription service.
 
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Godot25

Member
Klob’s a devout console warrior so not a good source of content to post.

All this blocking rights has been spun up by a sad podcaster who was crying about Cult of the Lamb not being on game pass and the I suppose being a third-rate podcaster doesnt afford the income to purchase games.

I would expect Sony to write in first rights to their subscription service should the publisher wish to pursue that avenue within a certain timeframe as part of a marketing deal. Makes sense. It’s not blocking.

I mean. He was making a joke. So is his "fanboy status" important?
And about Whitta and Cult of Lamb. I was not referring to him. I was referring to games like RE: Village, Hogwarts Legacy etc etc. which won't be on GP because Sony's marketing deals are preventing it. Or. Why Deathloop and GhostWire are not on PC Game Pass despite being released on PC platform? Isn't that Sony's doing?
 
But then Microsoft is saying that Sony pays to get the games away from GamePass.

Microsoft paying 600k for Kitchen simulator give some perspective about how much money Microsoft is throwing developers and publishers to make GamePass seem to work.

There is no way Game Pass is financially viable. Microsoft just have too much money and it’s betting on something so risky. Games are not like movies where you just have a file that needs to buffer while watching it. Games need updates, stable connection every time, and much more investment.

I believe that not even Microsoft with PS2 levels of market share would make Game Pass viable.
I'm sure you know better than Microsofts cost analysis.

Even if they were taking a loss on game pass, they're drawing people into the Xbox market, where they get 30 percent of 3rd party purchases that they wouldn't get if purchased in sony's.
 
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Jaybe

Member
I mean. He was making a joke. So is his "fanboy status" important?
And about Whitta and Cult of Lamb. I was not referring to him. I was referring to games like RE: Village, Hogwarts Legacy etc etc. which won't be on GP because Sony's marketing deals are preventing it. Or. Why Deathloop and GhostWire are not on PC Game Pass despite being released on PC platform? Isn't that Sony's doing?

Sony is doing basic first rights to distribute a product via a subscription service. Same Microsoft does with likely most marketing plus day 1 (or later) game pass deals they make. These are the deals both companies make and somehow now console warriors have gravitated to using ‘blocking’ to refer to it in Sony’s case for some odd reason.
Microsoft wanted to usher in a Netflix-like subscription model, and what’s transpired? Netflix-like buying of exclusive content for the subscriptions that Microsoft and Sony are now engaged in. This was always going to be the outcome of this path and we shouldn’t be surprised (or upset) by it.
 

Infamy v1

Member
But then Microsoft is saying that Sony pays to get the games away from GamePass.

Because Sony does, but that is irrelevant to the OP. Try reading next time. Again, Sony had no involvement with this negotiation. It was between Xbox, Kojima and 505. It's in the OP. 505 owns the PC publishing rights and Xbox didn't have to go through Sony for anything here, just like MLB.

Microsoft paying 600k for Kitchen simulator give some perspective about how much money Microsoft is throwing developers and publishers to make GamePass seem to work.
The fact that you think 600k is alot of money for development shows your lack of understanding for anything regarding game development, publishing or Game Pass. Probably gaming in general. Talk about a backfire.
 
You realize that with over 25 million subs, Gamepass generates several hundred million dollars a MONTH (somewhere around 3 BILLION a year), and for the development budget of Halo Infinite alone, they could "buy" like 900 Kitchen Simulators for the service. As it stands, Gamepass revenue could fund a $100+ million AAA first party game every month, add 166 Kitchen Simulators every month, and still have like $100 million dollars left over for profit/operating expense every month.
Game pass is certainly not making 3 billion a year that's even assuming 25 million are all paying 10/15 a month which they clearly aren't.
 

Topher

Gold Member
I mean. He was making a joke. So is his "fanboy status" important?
And about Whitta and Cult of Lamb. I was not referring to him. I was referring to games like RE: Village, Hogwarts Legacy etc etc. which won't be on GP because Sony's marketing deals are preventing it. Or. Why Deathloop and GhostWire are not on PC Game Pass despite being released on PC platform? Isn't that Sony's doing?

That's just as much Bethesda's, Capcom's and Warner Brother's doing as it is Sony's. Clearly these companies are wanting to maximize sales and that is what marketing deals are designed to do. If anything these companies were completely willing to "block" themselves from the possibility of being on any subscription service for the exact same reason: game sales.

You realize that with over 25 million subs, Gamepass generates several hundred million dollars a MONTH (somewhere around 3 BILLION a year), and for the development budget of Halo Infinite alone, they could "buy" like 900 Kitchen Simulators for the service. As it stands, Gamepass revenue could fund a $100+ million AAA first party game every month, add 166 Kitchen Simulators every month, and still have like $100 million dollars left over for profit/operating expense every month.

Ok.....but that pretends Microsoft is pocketing all that money rather than having to redistribute it to all the publishers who have games on the service. Sorry......but they ain't do that for free.
 
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reinking

Member

It's funny to be honest. Of course this was done without Sony (as is MLB). But it is strange, that they can't make contracts that prevents such things from happening.
Especially when they are "blocking" games with marketing rights from entering Game Pass.
Thought someone like him would be onboard with Sony not blocking a game coming to Game Pass regardless of the reason.


Sony might have tried and was denied or the cost was too high. Who cares? Game is coming to PC Game Pass. It should be celebrated instead being weaponized.
 
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Leyasu

Banned
That's just as much Bethesda's, Capcom's and Warner Brother's doing as it is Sony's. Clearly these companies are wanting to maximize sales and that is what marketing deals are designed to do. If anything these companies were completely willing to "block" themselves from the possibility of being on any subscription service for the exact same reason: game sales.



Ok.....but that pretends Microsoft is pocketing all that money rather than having to redistribute it to all the publishers who have games on the service. Sorry......but they ain't do that for free.
I would be willing to bet that any publishers would put any game on any service day one if the money demanded was met.

I don’t think that he was saying that Microsoft are pocketing the money and that the 3rd party games are there for free.
 
Sony out there signing some weird contracts where they have no say where their own games end up and it looks like MS jumps at those opportunities the first chance they get.

This seems like an oversight from Sony's part and weird that 505 Games would risk souring their relationship with Sony over something like this.
 
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jaysius

Member
Klob’s a devout console warrior so not a good source of content to post.

All this blocking rights has been spun up by a sad podcaster who was crying about Cult of the Lamb not being on game pass and the I suppose being a third-rate podcaster doesnt afford the income to purchase games.

I would expect Sony to write in first rights to their subscription service should the publisher wish to pursue that avenue within a certain timeframe as part of a marketing deal. Makes sense. It’s not blocking.

Good for the dev if true, the game is pretty overhyped and mediocre arena type that we've seen a hundred times.

It can run on a potato so instead of getting gamepass money and it'll just get pirated by people on PC.
 

Topher

Gold Member
I would be willing to bet that any publishers would put any game on any service day one if the money demanded was met.

Sure, but that would be a massive amount of money. RE V has sold 6 million copies in a year. That is a far more relevant reason why RE V isn't on Game Pass than any clause in Sony's marketing contract, imo. Phil Spencer has made it clear he isn't going to burn through a ton of money for Game Pass. That's why smaller games and games that didn't perform well sales wise are quick to be on Game Pass but not blockbusters like RE V. And that's wise. Game Pass needs sustainable growth.

I don’t think that he was saying that Microsoft are pocketing the money and that the 3rd party games are there for free.

Perhaps, but this doesn't sound like he was accounting for the 3rd party games at all.

"Gamepass revenue could fund a $100+ million AAA first party game every month, add 166 Kitchen Simulators every month, and still have like $100 million dollars left over for profit/operating expense every month"

That's pure hyperbole to me.
 

Leyasu

Banned
Sure, but that would be a massive amount of money. RE V has sold 6 million copies in a year. That is a far more relevant reason why RE V isn't on Game Pass than any clause in Sony's marketing contract, imo. Phil Spencer has made it clear he isn't going to burn through a ton of money for Game Pass. That's why smaller games and games that didn't perform well sales wise are quick to be on Game Pass but not blockbusters like RE V. And that's wise. Game Pass needs sustainable growth.



Perhaps, but this doesn't sound like he was accounting for the 3rd party games at all.

"Gamepass revenue could fund a $100+ million AAA first party game every month, add 166 Kitchen Simulators every month, and still have like $100 million dollars left over for profit/operating expense every month"

That's pure hyperbole to me.
Well yeah it’s obvious that it would cost a lot, that is why they are not there. It obviously works out better to own the I.Ps hence the spending spree.

I agree with you about his figures though.
 

Topher

Gold Member
Well yeah it’s obvious that it would cost a lot, that is why they are not there. It obviously works out better to own the I.Ps hence the spending spree.

Exactly. Piers Harding-Rolls made that same point in his presentation on gaming services this year. Microsoft's reliance on third party content is temporary until their studios are up to speed. Acquiring studios to pump out first party content is obviously the primary strategy. That's why Phil Spencer is just biding his time and not throwing a ton of money around to third parties for Game Pass.
 

rofif

Member
You realize that with over 25 million subs, Gamepass generates several hundred million dollars a MONTH (somewhere around 3 BILLION a year), and for the development budget of Halo Infinite alone, they could "buy" like 900 Kitchen Simulators for the service. As it stands, Gamepass revenue could fund a $100+ million AAA first party game every month, add 166 Kitchen Simulators every month, and still have like $100 million dollars left over for profit/operating expense every month.
You realize I've paid 1$ every 3 months for past 3 years for gamepass ?
 
Had Sony not been pushing PC gaming, I think they might have caused a fuss but honestly I don't think they mind as long as it brings people into the PlayStation ecosystem. If it was coming to XBOX then I'm damn sure they'd have had words.
GamePass is an Microsoft ecosystem whether the games are played on PC or an Xbox console. This is undoubtedly a big win for Microsoft and a big loss for Sony, especially considering Sony is actively trying to introduce a PC launcher in the near future.
 

reinking

Member
GamePass is an Microsoft ecosystem whether the games are played on PC or an Xbox console. This is undoubtedly a big win for Microsoft and a big loss for Sony, especially considering Sony is actively trying to introduce a PC launcher in the near future.
I htink people are reading too much into this. Especially the people that want Sony to make a mistake.
 
GamePass is an Microsoft ecosystem whether the games are played on PC or an Xbox console. This is undoubtedly a big win for Microsoft and a big loss for Sony, especially considering Sony is actively trying to introduce a PC launcher in the near future.

Good lord lol. It's a three year old title. It was already on a Microsoft ecosystem. (Hello Windows)

if Sony seriously cared they would have stopped it.
 
I htink people are reading too much into this. Especially the people that want Sony to make a mistake.
Not publishing one of your own IPs on PC, and then a couple years later going all-in on releasing all your gaming franchises on PC is a mistake. Having that game then release on a rival subscription service without you being able to do anything about it is an epic fail.
 
Good lord lol. It's a three year old title. It was already on a Microsoft ecosystem. (Hello Windows)

if Sony seriously cared they would have stopped it.
The game was published by 505 Games on PC. This was back when Sony was still unsure about releasing their blockbuster franchises on PC. 505 Games can release PC Death Stranding on any service they want whether Sony allows it or not.
 
The game was published by 505 Games on PC. This was back when Sony was still unsure about releasing their blockbuster franchises on PC. 505 Games can release PC Death Stranding on any service they want whether Sony allows it or not.

This isn't an MLB situation. What kind of leverage do you think 505 have over Sony that they can't control their own IP?

Think a little
 

Reallink

Member
That's just as much Bethesda's, Capcom's and Warner Brother's doing as it is Sony's. Clearly these companies are wanting to maximize sales and that is what marketing deals are designed to do. If anything these companies were completely willing to "block" themselves from the possibility of being on any subscription service for the exact same reason: game sales.



Ok.....but that pretends Microsoft is pocketing all that money rather than having to redistribute it to all the publishers who have games on the service. Sorry......but they ain't do that for free.

Do huh now? Who do you think the $100 million dollars for "166 Kitchen Simulators" in my example is going to exactly?

You realize I've paid 1$ every 3 months for past 3 years for gamepass ?

I do and so does MS,. You are a very small minority of nerds who live on the internet, representing a loss they're willing to eat for your word of mouth marketing, and an addicted customer who'll likely pay full price when they turn off all the discounted samples. Making new accounts every 3 months is an even smaller percetage than people who stack annual discounted Gold cards. Make no mistake the critical mass of everyman's is doing neither and is gladly paying the full monthly fee.
 
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This isn't an MLB situation. What kind of leverage do you think 505 have over Sony that they can't control their own IP?

Think a little
They don't need any leverage other than their contractual agreement. Sony controls publishing rights for the game on consoles while 505 controls publishing rights for the game on PC. If the game had released under current PlayStation leadership, Sony would have published the game on all platforms.
 
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This isn't an MLB situation. What kind of leverage do you think 505 have over Sony that they can't control their own IP?

Think a little
Maybe they just have a contract saying they have the rights to publish the game on PC and that opened the door for it to be included on Gamepass. I doubt that Sony is happy with it but also no mad enough to do anything against 505, maybe 505 just had nothing to lose by taking the deal if they were offered good money.

Exactly. Piers Harding-Rolls made that same point in his presentation on gaming services this year. Microsoft's reliance on third party content is temporary until their studios are up to speed. Acquiring studios to pump out first party content is obviously the primary strategy. That's why Phil Spencer is just biding his time and not throwing a ton of money around to third parties for Game Pass.
Then third-party devs are left hanging if MS strategy of expanding Gamepass is successful. Good luck trying to convince people that got used to getting your games "for free" to pay $60 or $70 and good luck selling games on Xbox when it's entirely marketed around gamepass.
 
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They don't need any leverage other than their contractual agreement. Sony controls publishing rights for the game on consoles while 505 controls publishing rights for the game on PC. If the game had released under current PlayStation leadership, Sony would have published the game on all platforms.

You can end or amend contractual agreement in case you didn't know, and yes, they need leverage if they wanted to fight Sony here.
 

Topher

Gold Member
Do huh now? Who do you think the $100 million dollars for "166 Kitchen Simulators" in my example is going to exactly?

Ok, I misread that part. Even with that, I don't think that represents the amount of money being distributed to third party. How many games are on the service? Over 500? Not sure how that equates to "166 Kitchen Simulators" which is probably on the lower end. Aaron Greenberg has said Game Pass was not "a big profit play" yet. The loftiest word Phil Spencer has said is that it is "sustainable". So no, I don't think your claims about what the money from Game Pass could fund is realistic.
 
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