Game Pass Purportedly Quadruples Sales of Descenders

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#1 Posted by lundy86_4 (53598 posts) -

GP being a detriment to gamers and companies is seemingly a whole load of hot air. Link.

Microsoft are pushing hard on the Xbox Game Pass front, with the service becoming central to their strategy going forward – especially where their ever-growing portfolio of first party studios is concerned. And while there have been a few outlying voices that have questioned the validity of its business model for other developers and publishers, there has been evidence time and again that has suggested that being on Game Pass actually boosts games’ actual sales, while the visibility that gives to smaller indie devs is also a huge bonus.

One such indie dev who has benefited greatly from their game being on Game Pass is Mike Rose of No More Robots, whose title Descenders seems to have seen a huge boost in sales because of the visibility being in the Game Pass catalog has given it.

“Since Descenders came out on Game Pass, the thing I did not realise would happen — because you’d assume that you put something on Game Pass and sales tank, right?” Rose said while speaking with GamesIndustry. “I had assumed that: why would anyone buy the game when they can literally see it on Game Pass?

“We were like, should we do this Game Pass thing? But we did it, and 1.0 came out, and I think it the launch was about three times as big as the Steam Early Access launch… You could say it was putting the multiplayer in, or it was not being Early Access any more, so more people bought it. But the biggest surprise for me was Game Pass.”

The extent to which Descender’s actual sales on Xbox One have been helped by being on Game Pass is, in fact, quite impressive. According to to Rose, Xbox sales for the game have quadrupled thanks to being in the service’s ever-growing catalog.

“Being on Game Pass means that you basically have constant featuring on Xbox,” he said. “Your game is on the dashboard all the time… People are seeing our game every day. 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. It’s essentially an advert; a straight up advert.”

Microsoft’s insistence that the plain and simple visibility of being on Game Pass would boost actual game sales was something that drew a healthy amount of skepticism in the service’s earlier days, but as time has gone on, it seems like we’ve seen quite a lot of evidence that it’s actually true. Indie devs especially have benefited from it greatly, and third party publishers have also bee hopping onboard more willingly. If Microsoft can keep Game Pass moving in the direction that it has been moving since it went live, I wager it’ll be a massive winner for them in the coming years.

This isn't a guarantee, but it seems that Game Pass can actually help devs achieve (and possibly surpass) sales goals.

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#2 Posted by DaVillain- (37409 posts) -

I see Game Pass (and Xbox Play Anywhere) being more supported on PC since you don't need Xbox consoles to play their games and while on PC, PC gamers will support Game Pass whenever something new release coming from MS. If this helps sales from Indie developers alike, I guess I'm also helping by sub to Game Pass :)

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#3 Posted by Heirren (2179 posts) -

Smells fishy.

One developer. Microsoft. A service being developed to control content, in effect giving a monopoly to the service provider.

No doubt Microsoft has potential deals lined out for developers, but this case in question; if all games are on gamepass it then becomes a hodge podge(i think those are words) like nintendo eshop.

So what i am taking from this is a scenario made just to push a service and thats it. Microsoft and publishers/developers want this level of control. What costs $10/month now, might cost $30/$40 a month tomorrow...........and then extra microtransactions and adds and account logins for everything amd your phone number so you can get more telemarketer calls.

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#4 Posted by Archangel3371 (28342 posts) -

I don’t find this surprising myself as Game Pass certainly gives more gamers the opportunity to try out games they may not have otherwise tried.

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#5 Posted by lundy86_4 (53598 posts) -

@Archangel3371:Very true. I've tried a few through the PC GP. I'm currently playing Metro Exodus, and i'll be buying again once the Steam version releases.

@davillain-:I grabbed PC GP myself. Well worth it, as i've put a number of hours into metro Exodus myself.

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#6 Posted by ProtossRushX (5591 posts) -

Descenders?

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#7 Posted by Evil_Loli (174 posts) -

I been using Game Pass alot lately and it's only because I can't go and buy games at full price and by doing this, I get to play as many games as I please for a lowly low price and I'm not interested buying physical games anymore, so there's that. I'm just waiting for Game Pass to be bundle with XBL so I can finally pay all in 1 price.

At least I'm helping MS & Developers at the same time!

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#8 Posted by AJStyles (1001 posts) -

Never heard of this game but yes, every once in a while a game becomes successful when featured on game pass or PS+.

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#9 Edited by lundy86_4 (53598 posts) -

@ProtossRushX: You can also check out Rocket League, as that also benefited from GP. That's linked above in the article.

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#10 Posted by SaltSlasher (1227 posts) -

I would never know what this game is, nor ever play it, had it not been plastered all over my Game Pass Menu.

People have known that PS+ helps boost sales, even for launch games, Game Pass is same thing but don't have to give it away for free forever.

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#12 Posted by sakaiXx (5878 posts) -

Cool, gamepass actually helped 1 indie dev to profit.

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#13 Posted by blueinheaven (4523 posts) -

I think Gamepass is great for gamers but I call BS for the claim it has quadrupled sales for this indie dev. The whole point of Gamepass is you pay a fee and don't have to pay anything at all for the games.

Even if you only buy a month that's more than enough time to complete a game and even if it isn't it's almost definitely going to be cheaper to just get another month of Gamepass than buying the game outright. I just don't see any incentive at all to buy a game you are currently playing for free.

Also the fact this guy is talking about how they put the game out on 'early access' which is synonymous with unfinished garbage that you are paying for up front makes me not want to trust a single word he says.

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#14 Posted by Fuhrer_D (914 posts) -

I could see that, especially for games that come off the service.

If Below was to be coming off the service soon, I'd purchase it. That is a perfect game for Gamepass; little direction, takes a series of the same loop to really progress, difficult. Had it not been on the service, I would have fell off of it early, and been disappointed with my "purchase" (would have used Microsoft points).

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#15 Posted by Pedro (35374 posts) -

I see it working both ways. In some cases it would boost sales in other cases it would cannibalize it.

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#16 Posted by Ant_17 (12695 posts) -

@Pedro said:

I see it working both ways. In some cases it would boost sales in other cases it would cannibalize it.

Much like demos where back in the day.

This isn't news.

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#17 Posted by drummerdave9099 (4130 posts) -

Would anybody know what Outlast was if it hadn't been a "free" PS+ game early in PS4's life? Same for Rocket League.

I don't think this really proves anything.

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#18 Posted by R-Gamer (406 posts) -

I could see it working for smaller indie devs. That's about it.

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#19 Posted by Zero_epyon (13318 posts) -

I have a 4 month trial thanks to AMD and my Ryzen 3800X. So far it's ok but I thought there would be more games in the PC catalog.

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#20 Posted by lundy86_4 (53598 posts) -

@Zero_epyon said:

I have a 4 month trial thanks to AMD and my Ryzen 3800X. So far it's ok but I thought there would be more games in the PC catalog.

It does need more. I grabbed the first month for a buck, but I am enjoying playing Metro Exodus and a few other games.

@Pedro said:

I see it working both ways. In some cases it would boost sales in other cases it would cannibalize it.

For sure. It's not a sure-fire guarantee. More just an enlightening nugget of knowledge for people who strictly think GP gains devs nothing and costs MS mulah.

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#21 Posted by Zero_epyon (13318 posts) -
@lundy86_4 said:
@Zero_epyon said:

I have a 4 month trial thanks to AMD and my Ryzen 3800X. So far it's ok but I thought there would be more games in the PC catalog.

It does need more. I grabbed the first month for a buck, but I am enjoying playing Metro Exodus and a few other games.

I've always wanted to give Halo Wars a try so I've been playing that mostly. Started playing Wolfentein, but kids are constantly around me when I try to play it so I haven't done much there. Tried Gears 4, but I never liked Gears and this one doesn't change my mind. I'll try 5 when it comes out.

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#22 Posted by lundy86_4 (53598 posts) -

@Zero_epyon said:

I've always wanted to give Halo Wars a try so I've been playing that mostly. Started playing Wolfentein, but kids are constantly around me when I try to play it so I haven't done much there. Tried Gears 4, but I never liked Gears and this one doesn't change my mind. I'll try 5 when it comes out.

I still have to try Halo Wars. Gears is just "decent" at this point... Nothing much else.

Considering the PC GP is so new, it'll be interesting to see how it grows. It allowed me to play Exodus without paying a dime to Epic, so there's that benefit.

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#23 Posted by Subspecies (660 posts) -

It'll never be a success for most devs. At best it's a roll of the dice for devs. Sometimes you'll win, and often you'll lose. Nature of the service. For the sake of devs there has got to be a more beneficial business model than GP.

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#24 Edited by cainetao11 (36672 posts) -

@davillain- said:

I see Game Pass (and Xbox Play Anywhere) being more supported on PC since you don't need Xbox consoles to play their games and while on PC, PC gamers will support Game Pass whenever something new release coming from MS. If this helps sales from Indie developers alike, I guess I'm also helping by sub to Game Pass :)

I get your point but I don't need a PC to play their games either. I can tell you what one will need: a payment method, ISP, an MS product be it console or Windows OS on their PC. As far as a PC goes you're gonna need one that can run games to be able to play anything on GP. The argument works either way.

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#26 Posted by briguyb13 (3116 posts) -

At this point I really wish I had stuck with Xbox One instead of selling it and buying games on PS4 instead. I need to re-buy one before Cyberpunk 2077 comes out because Sony might censor the game on their platform.

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#27 Posted by NoodleFighter (10441 posts) -

@lundy86_4 said:
@Zero_epyon said:

I have a 4 month trial thanks to AMD and my Ryzen 3800X. So far it's ok but I thought there would be more games in the PC catalog.

It does need more. I grabbed the first month for a buck, but I am enjoying playing Metro Exodus and a few other games.

I hope more Epic Store exclusives get on gamepass. Not waiting a year for them to get on steam

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#28 Posted by Pedro (35374 posts) -

@Ant_17: Except these are full games not demos. Besides, exposure can lead to more sales.

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#29 Posted by getyeryayasout (12382 posts) -

I tried the game out on GP a couple months ago and it was pretty cool. I went from zero interest in buying to, interested in buying at a steep discount.