ID@Xbox director says Game Pass is "additive," not “disruptive”
ID@Xbox head Chris Charla has addressed comments made by several publishers and developers regarding Xbox Game Pass’ impact on sales and the industry as a whole.
- In a recent interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Charla addressed recent subscription service concerns, stating that it it is "perfectly normal, natural, and healthy" for "business people" to be concerned about how the successful model will affect them in the long run. He went on to compare the concerns to a similar situation that occurred in the past with the rise in free-to-play titles, saying, "When free-to-play came to consoles, there were a lot of people who thought this was going to completely change everything; every game will become free-to-play, and nobody will be able to get people to purchase a video game again," and that while the concerns were "valid, rational, normal, and healthy," free-to-play games never surpassed the traditional sales model.
- Charla went on to say that he does not see Game Pass as a "disruptive" business model, but rather one that is "additive" in a "really positive way." He went on to say that people "still buy a lot of games, and they still buy a lot of games on Xbox," with a significant portion reportedly using Game Pass discounts to buy digital copies of games. Charla also noted that while digital distribution was initially viewed as disruptive to the retail space, particularly as home internet improved and players began to shift away from physical copies, the model ended up being additive because "not every game needed to be of the size to justify being on a disc.”
- According to Charla, Game Pass subscribers are playing more games than ever before, based on metrics that have been consistent since the service's inception. Some developers who have had a title released on the service appear to return to Xbox for future releases of additional games, with Charla stating that studios returning to the company is a "good extrinsic validation about the value of the program" and shows that it is "clearly working for them.” For developers who do not already have a relationship with Xbox, a new process for submitting concepts and projects for a chance to join the list of Game Pass titles is being implemented, which is expected to give more creators a chance to feature on the popular service.
Other recent Xbox news:
- Arkane Studios’ upcoming vampire-hunting FPS, Redfall, will not include any form of in-game store or microtransactions, according to its creative director. Leaked screenshots of an early build of the game featured a menu tab for a cash shop, which raises concerns amongst fans as the title is set to be built on an always-online model, hinting that the game could’ve included some form of in-game premium currency or items.
- A listing for Western Digital's new 1TB WD Black Xbox Series X/S expansion card was discovered on Best Buy's website. The new card will be the first alternative to Seagate's $200 option, which was released alongside the system, and it will also be less expensive, costing $180. More options are likely to enter the market soon, but so far, only Seagate has offered the cards, even in varying capacities.