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Former Xbox exec says he’s ‘scared’ of Game Pass’s potential impact (VGC)

Principle of subscription = exclusion. Exclusion of the ones that don't want to commit to a single source.

Movie theater vs Netflix / Disney+/ prime.
A la carte vs buffet restaurant.

And so on.

I know what I choose.

Subcription for games paints a bleak nightmare.
I only sub to ps+ for multiplayer.
It go me hundreds of games...which I barely played except in the PS3 golden age of ps+.
 

Leyasu

Banned
I'm just saying, what's common sense insofar as their multiplatform support, realistically speaking? The average person would assume it extends to PC and limiting any other console support to just certain sports games (like MLB, which wasn't up to Sony but rather the MLB League) and specific live-service titles like Bungie's output in things like Destiny 2.

There is no logical reason to assume, going off their financials from PS division, why they would need to potentially jeopardize their console brand image and marquee status of defining IP, let alone taking on the burden of splitting dev resources among more hardware profiles (meaning less optimizations in similar time frames than if they just focused on their own hardware), by bringing anything that isn't a specific sports title, or certain live-service GaaS titles, to non-PlayStation consoles. Especially considering that in such a case we are at that point talking about PS Studios games, when we do not see the equivalent from XGS titles going to platforms other than Xbox & PC, or certain Nintendo games going anywhere else but Nintendo platforms.

There is no financial situation where Sony would be forced to compromise their console's brand image and selling power by doing such a thing, no wider long-term industry-related situation either (before you say "chip shortages!", they can pay for priority and figure out new product ideas that still keep vertical integration within their own specific hardware line, increasing revenue and profit potentials and retaining independence). So it's rather easy to figure "how much more" they will go multiplatform, you only need to look at the actual trends on their end and be honest about their market position and division results. Which, when you do so, should be easy enough to realize that multiplatform support will very likely remain PS & PC, PC Day 1 only for certain live-service GaaS titles, and Xbox (maybe Nintendo) support only for select sports games and GaaS titles. IF Sony happen to purchase another major publisher who has key IP established on, say, Nintendo, then their multiplatform support would probably extend to retaining those games on such a platform, perhaps with some timing of release changes depending on any internal developments.



25 million people would not be paying for Gold, however. Your calculations are wrong because you're assuming every GP subscriber has converted from Gold, but if that's the case then XBLG subs would be near zero if you take typical install base > subscriber base ratios into account which we can see from PlayStation and Switch.

Now, we don't know what rate of XBLG subs have converted to GPU; it's probably more than 50% but it's definitely not near 100%. Which means you have some amounts of people on GP who are paying month-to-month, but likely aren't paying for the entire year. Then you have others who might be on a free trail and don't sub afterwards, others still who are using MS Reward points to more or less get months for free, etc. Also, in certain territories GP/GPU subscription rates are a lot lower, India for example is one such place.

So no I'm still rather confident in those numbers from the other thread; if those were based on misinformation then you're basically saying not just the article, but several of the websites used that track market data, and even Sony and Nintendo's own fiscal results WRT services, are also misinformation. I did say the calculations weren't perfect because it's extremely difficult to line all that data up in a simple timeline/timeframe, some results have to be extrapolated from guessimates that are reasonable enough etc. But realistically I don't think those calculations in the other thread (particularly the last ones we came up to) are that far off from where GP annual revenue actually sits.
Ok, I should have read your wall of text before replying.

You make some good points. But then it would imply that Microsoft are inflating their numbers to include people who are using trials etc. Also it would mean that the countries with a cheaper service are making up the majority of subscribers.

And yes the websites that you are basing things on don’t have solid numbers to begin with. How could they if Microsoft doesn’t divulge anything?

We’ll agree to disagree. But if the numbers do come out and you were in the ballpark, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong
 
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Hendrick's

Member
Principle of subscription = exclusion. Exclusion of the ones that don't want to commit to a single source.

Movie theater vs Netflix / Disney+/ prime.
A la carte vs buffet restaurant.

And so on.

I know what I choose.

Subcription for games paints a bleak nightmare.
I only sub to ps+ for multiplayer.
It go me hundreds of games...which I barely played except in the PS3 golden age of ps+.
You know you can have a subscription and still buy games. It doesn't need to be exclusionary, it can be supplementary. Unless you are implying that games will stop being sold at some point, which there is zero evidence to back that up.
 
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DarkMage619

Report me if I continue to console war
Free is even better consumer value, hack pay you to take it the best!. Doesn't make it a sound business decision.

Look at the F2P market and how it's shaped game design. GaaS never ending, selling useless bling to kids. Good or bad, doesn't matter - it channeled the game design in a certain way. Many have failed, and still many will, some have seen tremendous success - there is only so much to go around.
Game pass is not free though. It's a paid subscription service just like PS+. Your comparison to F2P games has no relevance to any sub service Sony or MS is making.

Also there is no evidence that either service has more games as a service than anywhere else either. Games as a service games still have to be good to be successful just like a subscription service so I have no idea what your point even is. Nothing you've said has any baring on reality.
 

Panajev2001a

GAF's Pleasant Genius
This is literally the point with the Game Pass analogy. There is no other choice for the music industry, because people stopped buying. If you remember, the answer to piracy was the iPod, and buying your music in an easy fashion. It was the nature of easy digital access vs the dinosaur that was a CD at the time that caused traditional sales to start plummeting. Spotify didn't come into play until 2006, and even then didn't come to the US until 2011. The whole Napster/limeware thing happened in the late 90s.

So again, the solution to this for awhile, was easy purchasing through places like iTunes. Purchasing. Selling music. It Then when Spotify thought, hey we can make a deal with the music industry, and pay per listen to the artists ... it went increasingly downhill for musicians, because people really stopped buying.

So to that effect, I have some relatively famous musicians (in their fields, jazz, gospel etc.) as friends. I know what they think of these services. They aren't good. They don't pay unless you're actually a REALLY big name like Beyonce, Drake, whatever. Those are the people getting millions and millions of listens a day and pulling in cash. But historically those people would have sold millions of albums so it's a wash for those people. But now what about the smaller bands that would have sold 50k cds? That revenue stream is truly destroyed because people, even ones who are really into music like myself, aren't buying anymore. Yeah I have Apple Music AND Spotify and I can't remember the last thing I bought, whereas I used to buy multiple albums a month. So where the smaller artists were able to have a smaller but decent sized fanbase that would support them and buy their music ... that is just gone. People don't do it anymore so you need to be on a sub service for people to hear your music. That's the problem. They have been conditioned to no longer buy.

So if GP "succeeds" and has the same effect on the game industry, that's what's going to happen. Everything will need to go through the MS (or similar) gatekeeper. Innovation will likely die as games are designed to be successful for the service, i.e. keeping people subscribed on a monthly basis. Trying to generate big AAA hits that follow a classic mold just seems like such an obvious recipe for failure.

Ed Fries is not dumb. He knows what goes on behind closed doors. He stated exactly what I've been saying would be the case for years. But I am also in the software industry so this kind of thing is so plainly obvious to me, that nothing he says is surprising. He is just 100% right. It's simply a bad business model for the kinds of games that people on consoles typically want to experience.
Well said, thanks!
 
so again...as a gamer...why do i care if its sustainable for the devs or not? all i care about are my games...so fuck it. its about time we get some pro consumer shit in this industry full of ripoffs.

If it's not sustainable for developers then those developers are either forced to scale back on production costs or shut down...or get acquired and STILL risk those two things still happening depending on who acquired them.

Meaning, at the end of the day, less games for you, the gamer. So that is one reason why it should at least be on the back of your mind.

Ok, I should have read your wall of text before replying.

You make some good points. But then it would imply that Microsoft are inflating their numbers to include people who are using trials etc. Also it would mean that the countries with a cheaper service are making up the majority of subscribers.

That's...exactly what they're doing, though. It's not exclusive to Microsoft though; all companies running subscription services do this, to varying degrees. What I'm saying is that there is always a mixture of all available methods being taken advantage of by the overall subscriber base. Some are paying month-to-month at the full price. Others are basically "converting" XBL Gold subs to GPU sub durations with $1 conversions (which increases GP/GPU numbers, but decreases XBLG ones). Others are using trails. Others still are paying a-la carte via MS Reward points (which you can earn by doing stuff in the MS ecosystem, so not even exclusive to Xbox or GamePass). And yet others still are leveraging free prepaid subs coming with Series S purchases (if they're available).

It's the reason why you simply can't take the peak sub rate, a quoted sub base number, multiply that by the number of months and claim that's the revenue they're bringing in, because that is impossible. Not to mention, there are maintenance and salary expenses, coverage plans for employees etc. that are part of the operating income which will eat into the overall profits made.

And yes the websites that you are basing things on don’t have solid numbers to begin with. How could they if Microsoft doesn’t divulge anything?

Other companies with similar or equivalent subscription services, let alone companies that report financials and numbers for console sales, software sales, division revenue etc. DO divulge their numbers. Agencies like NPD have access to lots of data, as well. Some of the people who write up these reports gather data from these sources and build out their reports from there.

We may not have MS's exact numbers in certain cases, but we can extrapolate a lot of that data fairly accurately by corroborating the other info. If you don't believe me on this, just keep in mind Aaron Greenburg himself quoted VGChartz, an independent industry-tracking website, for their report of Series S/X sales numbers. Him quote-tweeting them gave an air of validity to their reporting, so somehow according to Aaron's own tweet VGChartz were able to get fairly accurate Xbox sales numbers even though MS do not divulge those numbers themselves.

So yeah, if that's the case, I think with some decent work we're able to figure out something like probable GamePass annual revenue in spite of MS obfuscating those numbers.

We’ll agree to disagree. But if the numbers do come out and you were in the ballpark, I will be the first to admit that I was wrong

Fair enough 😁👍
 
In terms of industry impact Is Gamepass really that different to the golden age of physical rental games without all the piracy issues? No it is not. It drives a more industry collaborative framework and reduces a supply chain of margin bumps no longer needed. One could reasonably argue the reduction of all that piracy creates more wealth within the industry.

At the end of the day it's really not the "sky is falling", we've seen that already from Gamepass. Does it have the potential to be a totalitarian walled garden where scraps are handed out to the creators? Sure, like the Apple store you mean. Is that what we're seeing with MS/Xbox/Gamepass/Devs/Indies etc? No we are not.

The money from old school rentals didn't go to the publishers or the devs etc either, it went right into the pockets of the retailer. It also lead to a ton of piracy en masse. Gamepass at least has agreements to share dev costs, percentages, tiered rewards, up front payments and a gamut of NDA stuff we don't know the specifics of but can be negotiated in a time of growth for all. Gamepass has also been a unifier in terms of my Xbox and PC experience, something previous consoles/purchases/rentals never achieved.

For me the bigger concern is the splintering of the subs platforms, we're seeing this with movies and shows where so many streaming services are around now you basically sub one in and one out or you're paying $1,000s each year if you sub to them all. There another element of concern and one that differs from the music industry in that game subscription services don't share the same content. First party or exclusive deals locking content out from other subscription services altogether. We see this more in the movie streaming space.

As with any industry segment it's out with the old, in with the new and a plethora of new services crop up for only a few key dominant players and brands to last the test of time in that segment e.g. Spotify doesn't stand alone, Apple Music, YouTube Music or Disney vs Netflix etc. Gamepass has its competitors well on their way too.
 

Cyberpunkd

Gold Member
“People don’t buy songs on iPhone for example, because why would you? They’re all on your subscription service app. Apple’s said they’re going to take away buying songs because no one’s buying them any more.
Yet people buy vinyls, which are more expensive than subscription and give you pittance of a song selection. Quality over quantity, there will always be a market for that.
 
In terms of industry impact Is Gamepass really that different to the golden age of physical rental games without all the piracy issues? No it is not. It drives a more industry collaborative framework and reduces a supply chain of margin bumps no longer needed. One could reasonably argue the reduction of all that piracy creates more wealth within the industry.

At the end of the day it's really not the "sky is falling", we've seen that already from Gamepass. Does it have the potential to be a totalitarian walled garden where scraps are handed out to the creators? Sure, like the Apple store you mean. Is that what we're seeing with MS/Xbox/Gamepass/Devs/Indies etc? No we are not.

The money from old school rentals didn't go to the publishers or the devs etc either, it went right into the pockets of the retailer. It also lead to a ton of piracy en masse. Gamepass at least has agreements to share dev costs, percentages, tiered rewards, up front payments and a gamut of NDA stuff we don't know the specifics of but can be negotiated in a time of growth for all. Gamepass has also been a unifier in terms of my Xbox and PC experience, something previous consoles/purchases/rentals never achieved.

For me the bigger concern is the splintering of the subs platforms, we're seeing this with movies and shows where so many streaming services are around now you basically sub one in and one out or you're paying $1,000s each year if you sub to them all. There another element of concern and one that differs from the music industry in that game subscription services don't share the same content. First party or exclusive deals locking content out from other subscription services altogether. We see this more in the movie streaming space.

As with any industry segment it's out with the old, in with the new and a plethora of new services crop up for only a few key dominant players and brands to last the test of time in that segment e.g. Spotify doesn't stand alone, Apple Music, YouTube Music or Disney vs Netflix etc. Gamepass has its competitors well on their way too.

This is actually quite thoughtful and does list a lot of advantages to a GamePass-style model. But my question is, why can't we have all of these benefits in a subscription model that doesn't require the platform owner of that service to buy up lots of third-party studios and developers? Why does the centralization seem to always have to lead to acquisitions when it comes to growing or attempting to sustain these type of services?

See, that's my main crux with the entire business model. Every benefit you just listed, can be had without that one specific thing present. But it would require a service that is agnostic of a parent company having complete ownership of it. Think of the ideal model more like a consortium, and multiple publishers being members or partners in that consortium. The traditional paths of funding, i.e banking loans and crowdfunding, would still be possible in this model, and 3P publishers and developers could continue to remain largely independent.

Maybe members could all pitch in some amount of funds for software development that collected to a pool which is regularly refreshed every so often, and any member can borrow funds from that pool, as long as other members don't veto. That helps solve one of the other issues that these acquisitions supposedly claim to resolve, but without leading to actual further rapid consolidation.

That's my big issue with the arguments I see where people say GamePass has to be "fed" content and where the common answer for a lot in the community is that acquisitions are what will feed it. But then you listen to some of MS's other language around what they want to do with GamePass and I just think, you know, if they were really about some of that stuff, wouldn't they start a consortium for some type of open-platform storefront/subscription service that others could use? Maybe in some way they are doing this type of empowerment via lending their Azure services to clients, but that is a different relationship dynamic than what a consortium being proposed here would provide, where no one is really a "client" of anyone else so much as they are all equal partners.

You build out the infrastructure for the storefront with input from other companies (members) and make it open platform, deploy it on as many devices as possible, set some common rules and guidelines all partners follow etc. That way you get all the benefits you list (or most of them) but not in a way where acquisitions leading to rampant consolidation have to come into play.
 
This is actually quite thoughtful and does list a lot of advantages to a GamePass-style model. But my question is, why can't we have all of these benefits in a subscription model that doesn't require the platform owner of that service to buy up lots of third-party studios and developers? Why does the centralization seem to always have to lead to acquisitions when it comes to growing or attempting to sustain these type of services?

See, that's my main crux with the entire business model. Every benefit you just listed, can be had without that one specific thing present. But it would require a service that is agnostic of a parent company having complete ownership of it. Think of the ideal model more like a consortium, and multiple publishers being members or partners in that consortium. The traditional paths of funding, i.e banking loans and crowdfunding, would still be possible in this model, and 3P publishers and developers could continue to remain largely independent.

Maybe members could all pitch in some amount of funds for software development that collected to a pool which is regularly refreshed every so often, and any member can borrow funds from that pool, as long as other members don't veto. That helps solve one of the other issues that these acquisitions supposedly claim to resolve, but without leading to actual further rapid consolidation.

That's my big issue with the arguments I see where people say GamePass has to be "fed" content and where the common answer for a lot in the community is that acquisitions are what will feed it. But then you listen to some of MS's other language around what they want to do with GamePass and I just think, you know, if they were really about some of that stuff, wouldn't they start a consortium for some type of open-platform storefront/subscription service that others could use? Maybe in some way they are doing this type of empowerment via lending their Azure services to clients, but that is a different relationship dynamic than what a consortium being proposed here would provide, where no one is really a "client" of anyone else so much as they are all equal partners.

You build out the infrastructure for the storefront with input from other companies (members) and make it open platform, deploy it on as many devices as possible, set some common rules and guidelines all partners follow etc. That way you get all the benefits you list (or most of them) but not in a way where acquisitions leading to rampant consolidation have to come into play.

For the most part Gamepass does what you say, they don't acquire most of the studios with content in Gamepass. A web like cross-section exists of Indies funded, AA studios, back catalogue discounts, revenue sharing, sales quota royalties and more. You'll never see a non-profit subscription service as your idea suggests, these are corporation behemoths and the walled gardens are what these MBA types are taught from business 101 ivy league schools. Profit is the bottom line but they're seeing gaming and add-on services as beneficial over taking every cent from all segments.

So far Gamepass is close to the best sharing service for devs and gamers. It's likely to change somewhat as competitors enter and the market matures. Hopefully not drastically like the milk/farming/agri industry where the retail chains/corporations basically kill their primary produces to take everything.
 
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