Tunic’s publisher expresses concern regarding gaming subscription services

by Danny Craig  · 
Tunic’s publisher expresses concern regarding gaming subscription services

Bekah Saltsman, CEO of Finji, the publisher behind the Zelda-inspired indie hit Tunic, is worried about the impact gaming subscription services are having in indie gaming.

The details:

  • In an interview with GamesIndustry.biz, Saltsman discussed the cycles that the indie gaming scene goes through, including "boom cycles" where developers are able to receive large amounts of funding until the cycle contracts and the complete opposite happens with far less money on the table.
  • Saltsman currently believes we are at the start of the contraction stage of the cycle, but the recent focus on subscription services such as PlayStation Plus and Xbox Game Pass is going to lead to "really weird things." She adds that her concern stems from the fact that many companies are now practically owned by subscription services and that "libraries are so big and the companies are so prolific with huge user bases that they won't need us."
  • The CEO stated that she finds subscriptions "both awesome and terrifying at the same time." As the gamers that currently buy games move towards paying for subscriptions, studios will now need to rely on subscription fees and buyouts to stay afloat. She adds, "Subscription buyouts don't pay for that many years of a team's development, unless your team is very small."
  • Discussing investments from huge companies, Saltsman noted that nobody can ignore the fact that the biggest companies are currently being run by "lots of people looking at spreadsheets," who might neglect smaller teams such as Finji due to their numbers not being comparable to those of bigger studios. Tunic, despite being one of 2022’s breakout hits, hasn’t managed to produce "numbers that compete" with the top dogs.

Other notable Game Pass news:

  • Xbox Game Pass could receive a new, ad-supported tier in the future. A survey shared with some EU customers asked for their thoughts on a hypothetical extra tier of Game Pass that would play ads before games are launched from the service. At just €3 a month, users would also be unable to use Xbox’s cloud gaming service and receive delayed exclusive releases.
  • January’s Game Pass additions include two hugely popular JRPGs, with both Persona 3 and 4 joining Persona 5 on the service. Monster Hunter: Rise is also being added, with Dangaronpa and We Happy Few being a couple of the titles leaving this month. You can find the full list of what’s coming and going over on Eurogamer.
  • 15 minutes of gameplay footage from Mundfish’s upcoming FPS RPG Atomic Heart has recently leaked ahead of the game’s launch on February 21. The game will be immediately available on Game Pass, with players currently being given the ability to pre-load the game.
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