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Is Gamepass hurting Microsoft showcases?

SlimySnake

Member
There is no doubt Phil Spencer and Microsoft went above and beyond securing dozens and dozens of Gamepass titles for today's showcase. However, so much of it was non-AAA stuff that it made the show almost impossible to sit through. It reminded me of those 2008 era Wii conferences that had shovelware after shovelware for their casual audience or the VGA award shows that just have random games that you would never ever want to play.

I understand MS studios are struggling to put out games, but I really dont think buying up these smaller titles is the best way to showcase Gamepass. The quality matters. People tune into Microsoft and Sony shows to see AAA games, but I feel Microsoft feels compelled to have SOMETHING to put on Gamepass every damn month since they need to ensure people stay subbed month after month. And this is the result. A lot of games that no one here would feel compelled to ever create a thread about. Not even for Digital Foundry/DJ Khaled Face offs.

I have really wanted to like Gamepass, but my worst fears are coming true. There is not a lot of AAA content for people who became Xbox fans playing Halo, Gears, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Fable... AAA stuff that we have begging for years. The average age of gamer is 33 years old. We dont want to play those quirky and charming titles. Are we still the target audience for Xbox? A lot of the games felt like they were for a far younger audience. Im glad people can have smaller games to play, but no one tunes in to conferences or subscribes to Gamepass to play these games, and yet the conference is full of them, and it's making the conference mind numbingly boring.

A 30 minute conference featuring Redfall, Starfield, Forza 8 and Diablo would've been just fine. Disappointing because of lack of Fable, Avowed, Hellblade and Perfect Dark, but these smaller gamepass titles didnt make up for the disappointment so whats the point?
 
I don’t think so. There's just a lack of games, with most stuff still scheduled for "some day". This was a problem before GamePass and persisted basically all of last-gen.

They already announced their big games for the next 5 or so years, so until those hit, they are a bit dependent on securing third-party games to go to GamePass.
 

StreetsofBeige

Gold Member
Love Game Pass. So much content.

Like all subs, you may get first party media launched on it, but the rest is year old content (or longer). Really comes down to what people expect from a sub plan.

For example, I expect from Netflix, first party content, and year old movies. And considering Disney+ took back their titles and made their own service I know their content is either dead or majorly thinning out. GP is the same. So my expectations are in check. Now if someone expects Netflix to carry all the Marvel and Star Wars movies, they're screwed.

Now if someone expects Netflix to get first party content, and hollywood day one blockbusters like Top Gun Maverick, they'll be disappointed.
 
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ManaByte

Member
Mike Myers No GIF
 

SlimySnake

Member
Love Game Pass. So much content.

Like all subs, you may get first party media launched on it, but the rest is year old content (or longer). Really comes down to what people expect from a sub plan.

For example, I expect from Netflix, first party content, and year old movies. And considering Disney+ took back their titles and made their own service I know their content is either dead or majorly thinning out. GP is the same. So my expectations are in check. Now if someone expects Netflix to carry all the Marvel and Star Wars movies, they're screwed.

Now if someone expects Netflix to get first party content, and hollywood day one blockbusters like Top Gun Maverick, they'll be disappointed.
Netflix does produce a lot of first party content though. They invest almost $12 billion of their $19 billion in first party content, most of it AAA. Stranger things, The Crown, Bridgerton, Ozark, Peaky Blinders, are all shows you can count on year after year. And those are just the tv shows. They produce a shit ton of movies now. Big Budget, expensive, $200 million blockbusters like the Irishman and the new Russo brothers movie. You have them year after year while they cram in the shitty reality tv crap in there to fill in the empty months. But your $180 sub does get you A LOT of AAA stuff every year.

I am just not seeing that from Microsoft. And while the entire AAA industry is taking a fucking sabbatical of sorts, I dont know if they had to go ahead and shove 60 minutes of indies down our throat.
 

MarkMe2525

Member
I can see if someone only wants to see big budget blockbusters, the 95 minute long presentation might be too much. I for one enjoy a lot of smaller titles with focused ideas, so I personally don't agree with you.
 
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icerock

Member
A subscription service needs a LOT of content to keep people subbed. It's almost a necessity for MS to have a consistent supply-chain. And, given the cost of AAA games and time, it's only logical they pad it out with indies, and AA.

For me, the issue is not Gamepass. It's the mis-management, their games are not lacking in funding/or time but that a lot of projects are in disarray due to poor management. Also, MS need to treat their flagship titles better and hold them to a higher standard. I don't need to write anything about Halo's reveal back in 2020, Sony would've never given the greenlight to showcase the game in that state. I was also under-whelmed by many aspects on their biggest game in showcase today i.e. Starfield. I expect a certain Bethseda jank given their engine, but it's kinda shocking how little of a leap they have made when it comes character models/animations. I was listening to XCast and they were positive on the show but also mentioned how the showcase lacked a "wow" factor when showing off a game. Starfield was perfect candidate for it and it fell short.

This is a random NPC in Horizon which gives you a certain side-quest. Like, how can this be a cross-gen game and be of this quality while main characters in MS flagship title which is next-gen only look like how we saw today? I feel that's a bigger problem, despite throwing ludicrous amounts of money, MS aren't seeing the same return on their investment as Sony is.

 
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There is no doubt Phil Spencer and Microsoft went above and beyond securing dozens and dozens of Gamepass titles for today's showcase. However, so much of it was non-AAA stuff that it made the show almost impossible to sit through. It reminded me of those 2008 era Wii conferences that had shovelware after shovelware for their casual audience or the VGA award shows that just have random games that you would never ever want to play.

I understand MS studios are struggling to put out games, but I really dont think buying up these smaller titles is the best way to showcase Gamepass. The quality matters. People tune into Microsoft and Sony shows to see AAA games, but I feel Microsoft feels compelled to have SOMETHING to put on Gamepass every damn month since they need to ensure people stay subbed month after month. And this is the result. A lot of games that no one here would feel compelled to ever create a thread about. Not even for Digital Foundry/DJ Khaled Face offs.

I have really wanted to like Gamepass, but my worst fears are coming true. There is not a lot of AAA content for people who became Xbox fans playing Halo, Gears, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Fable... AAA stuff that we have begging for years. The average age of gamer is 33 years old. We dont want to play those quirky and charming titles. Are we still the target audience for Xbox? A lot of the games felt like they were for a far younger audience. Im glad people can have smaller games to play, but no one tunes in to conferences or subscribes to Gamepass to play these games, and yet the conference is full of them, and it's making the conference mind numbingly boring.

A 30 minute conference featuring Redfall, Starfield, Forza 8 and Diablo would've been just fine. Disappointing because of lack of Fable, Avowed, Hellblade and Perfect Dark, but these smaller gamepass titles didnt make up for the disappointment so whats the point?

Clearly Phil thought that Perfect Dark, Avowed, Hellblade, Everwild, etc. weren't ready to show today. It's a big disappointment, these games should be a lot further along. So he had to pad the conference with GamePass content to sell GamePass for this year because he literally doesn't have much else.

I think it would have been better presented as a 30 minute state of play type event where they just showed off the biggest games. If they had set expectations similarly upfront like Sony did, it would have helped. I just wish we got a little more transparency from them about what in the hell is going on with some of their big AAA games. It really is unacceptable to be waiting as long as we are.

Like you said, back in the early 360 era Microsoft was all about big AAA games and really being competitive with them. They have completely lost their way from the management team they had. Phil may be a great GamePass salesman, but he's a terrible studio guy. And he needs to get the right studio magamenent in place to clean up the mess that he has. There's too much financial resources being poured into these games to have such little to show for it.
 
There is no doubt Phil Spencer and Microsoft went above and beyond securing dozens and dozens of Gamepass titles for today's showcase.
Very perceptive.

However, so much of it was non-AAA stuff that it made the show almost impossible to sit through.
Have you seen Xbox presentations....this is not new.

It reminded me of those 2008 era Wii conferences that had shovelware after shovelware for their casual audience or the VGA award shows that just have random games that you would never ever want to play.
Nah.

I understand MS studios are struggling to put out games, but I really dont think buying up these smaller titles is the best way to showcase Gamepass.
Is the only thing they can make. Even triple trillion dollar company has to allocate budgets.

The quality matters.
Yep.

People tune into Microsoft and Sony shows to see AAA games,
Exactly.

but I feel Microsoft feels compelled to have SOMETHING to put on Gamepass every damn month since they need to ensure people stay subbed month after month.
That's their business model. Their vision depends on it.

And this is the result. A lot of games that no one here would feel compelled to ever create a thread about. Not even for Digital Foundry/DJ Khaled Face offs.
You just said it. Game Pass is not about the games, is about the subscription.

I have really wanted to like Gamepass,
You can still like it. It's an amazing service (if you have the right mind set)

but my worst fears are coming true.
Your 'concerns' ®.

There is not a lot of AAA content for people who became Xbox fans playing Halo, Gears, Mass Effect, Bioshock, Fable...AAA stuff that we have begging for years
Well, that's what you get when a company makes bad decision after bad decision.

The average age of gamer is 33 years old. We dont want to play those quirky and charming titles.
This is dumb.

Are we still the target audience for Xbox? A lot of the games felt like they were for a far younger audience. Im glad people can have smaller games to play, but no one tunes in to conferences or subscribes to Gamepass to play these games, and yet the conference is full of them,
Bla bla bla

and it's making the conference mind numbingly boring.
Is boring because is too much shit. Is not because of game pass.

A 30 minute conference featuring Redfall, Starfield, Forza 8 and Diablo would've been just fine.
Oh..just like State of play or something similar...Interering. Maybe the actual format is outdated then.

Disappointing because of lack of Fable, Avowed, Hellblade and Perfect Dark, but these smaller gamepass titles didnt make up for the disappointment so whats the point?
What's the point of your point?.

You want big AAA shit.....Xbox has not being able to deliver in this regard for YEARS....is not a "Game Pass Issue at all" buddy.
 

SlimySnake

Member
?????
You want less content in the showcase because you don't like indie games? Seems kinda selfish to me.
Yeah, it's selfish. I think Microsoft should cater to the audience that made them big. Grown adults who cannot play half of the games shown during the show. We became MS fans because they were willing to produce mature AAA games. We left them when they focused on kinect shovelware. Now they finally got us back with billions in acquisitions and we are not getting those because MS feels compelled to spread the $250 million they make every month from their 25 million subscribers to cater to the kids and whoever the hell these games are targeted to because they sure as hell arent targeted towards the xbox dude bro that made xbox what it is today.
 
A subscription service needs a LOT of content to keep people subbed. It's almost a necessity for MS to have a consistent supply-chain. And, given the cost of AAA games and time, it's only logical they pad it out with indies, and AA.

For me, the issue is not Gamepass. It's the mis-management, their games are not lacking in funding/or time but that a lot of projects are in disarray due to poor management. Also, MS need to treat their flagship titles better and hold them to a higher standard. I don't need to write anything about Halo's reveal back in 2020, Sony would've never given the greenlight to showcase the game in that state. I was also under-whelmed by many aspects on their biggest game in showcase today i.e. Starfield. I expect a certain Bethseda jank given their engine, but it's kinda shocking how little of a leap they have made when it comes character models/animations. I was listening to XCast and they were positive on the show but also mentioned how the showcase lacked a "wow" factor when showing off a game. Starfield was perfect candidate for it and it fell short.

This is a random NPC in Horizon which gives you a certain side-quest. Like, how can this be a cross-gen game and be of this quality while main characters in MS flagship title which is next-gen only look like how we saw today? I feel that's a bigger problem, despite throwing ludicrous amounts of money, MS aren't seeing the same return on their investment as Sony is.

I agree with everything you said. It just goes to show that money is not the end all solution. Sony has spent years building studios of talented people and culture.
 

reinking

Member
I am not anti-indie games but this show did feel more like a quantity over quality for the most part. Seems to be the new normal though. I think it could be due to a few things. For one, we gamers don't want talking heads and slides so they have to fill the time with something. If they have shows that are too short it creates other issues. I do miss having the big show with smaller indies being shown at other events but I do not expect things to change.
 

Aion002

Member
Season 1 Episode 24 GIF by Martin


Gamepass is the best thing ever for me and I don't really care much about indie games.

I will be able to play P5R this year on my smarphone at work... I won't need to pre order the next Team Ninja game... I probably won't need to buy Diablo 4 or the new Kojima game too.


Also, so many new games to play without having to pay more, having access to so many different types of games is incredible, you can always try new stuff without paying more than you already paid for.


Howie Mandel Fox GIF by America's Got Talent
 

Relique

Gold Member
Netflix does produce a lot of first party content though. They invest almost $12 billion of their $19 billion in first party content, most of it AAA. Stranger things, The Crown, Bridgerton, Ozark, Peaky Blinders, are all shows you can count on year after year. And those are just the tv shows. They produce a shit ton of movies now. Big Budget, expensive, $200 million blockbusters like the Irishman and the new Russo brothers movie. You have them year after year while they cram in the shitty reality tv crap in there to fill in the empty months. But your $180 sub does get you A LOT of AAA stuff every year.

I am just not seeing that from Microsoft. And while the entire AAA industry is taking a fucking sabbatical of sorts, I dont know if they had to go ahead and shove 60 minutes of indies down our throat.
Even if what you are saying it's true, what do you want them to do if the AAA games are not ready? Put the service on hiatus and refund everyone for a year or two until they can put out AAA games?

The service has plenty of AA and Indie stuff and yes they've had to delay a couple of their bigger games, but this isn't strictly a Microsoft problem. It's industry wide. Look at all the big publishers who no longer have a showcase because they have no games. Even Sony who at least manages to have a few big games every year, their output is considerably slimmer than the PS3 and PS4 days.
 

SlimySnake

Member
A subscription service needs a LOT of content to keep people subbed. It's almost a necessity for MS to have a consistent supply-chain. And, given the cost of AAA games and time, it's only logical they pad it out with indies, and AA.

For me, the issue is not Gamepass. It's the mis-management, their games are not lacking in funding/or time but that a lot of projects are in disarray due to poor management. Also, MS need to treat their flagship titles better and hold them to a higher standard. I don't need to write anything about Halo's reveal back in 2020, Sony would've never given the greenlight to showcase the game in that state. I was also under-whelmed by many aspects on their biggest game in showcase today i.e. Starfield. I expect a certain Bethseda jank given their engine, but it's kinda shocking how little of a leap they have made when it comes character models/animations. I was listening to XCast and they were positive on the show but also mentioned how the showcase lacked a "wow" factor when showing off a game. Starfield was perfect candidate for it and it fell short.

This is a random NPC in Horizon which gives you a certain side-quest. Like, how can this be a cross-gen game and be of this quality while main characters in MS flagship title which is next-gen only look like how we saw today? I feel that's a bigger problem, despite throwing ludicrous amounts of money, MS aren't seeing the same return on their investment as Sony is.

I dont know. Starfield wowed me and my friends. We were going OMG wow towards the end when they showed the montage of the planets we can explore.



I think it's a massive leap forward for Bethesda. The problem is that Bethesda has never been a graphical powerhouse. Oblivion looked worse than GOW on PS2 and it was a 360 game. Skyrim looked like shit next to Uncharted and Red Dead. Fallout 4 looked like a PS360 game compared to Witcher 3 which came out after a massive downgrade.

While I agree that part of the problem is MS's inability to get these studios more productive, I am not a fan of all this gamepass subscription money going towards securing indie and cheap looking content. I dont know if you remember, but I came around on Gamepass last year when I realized that if they could get to 25 million monthly subscribers, they could have $250 million in revenue every MONTH. $3 billion every year. Surely they can afford AAA stuff every month. They paid $5 million for Guardians 5 months after release. Pay $50 million for it on day one. SE wouldve taken it in a heart beat. Hell, forget $50, pay the full $250 million if they say no, and skip the rest of smaller titles for that month. Just have ONE big title every month. The quarry is getting great reviews and wouldve been a perfect Gamepass title in a dead month. Pay them $100 million out of the $250 million you are making.

Like I said, no one here wants to play these smaller games. If they did, we would have threads about them. We had a bunch of these games last year and no one has talked about them since.

Even if what you are saying it's true, what do you want them to do if the AAA games are not ready? Put the service on hiatus and refund everyone for a year or two until they can put out AAA games?
This is what I want them to do. Fill in the empty months with AAA games. High quality, high production values, big $70 games. Elden Rings, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy. Resident Evil 8. Resident Evil 4. Day one. Especially when they have so few exclusives this year.
While I agree that part of the problem is MS's inability to get these studios more productive, I am not a fan of all this gamepass subscription money going towards securing indie and cheap looking content. I dont know if you remember, but I came around on Gamepass last year when I realized that if they could get to 25 million monthly subscribers, they could have $250 million in revenue every MONTH. $3 billion every year. Surely they can afford AAA stuff every month. They paid $5 million for Guardians 5 months after release. Pay $50 million for it on day one. SE wouldve taken it in a heart beat. Hell, forget $50, pay the full $250 million if they say no, and skip the rest of smaller titles for that month. Just have ONE big title every month. The quarry is getting great reviews and wouldve been a perfect Gamepass title in a dead month. Pay them $100 million out of the $250 million you are making.
 
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ReBurn

Gold Member
Gaming isn't only about AAA, so no. There are lots of games releasing all the time. Just because you and your friends only want AAA doesn't mean the rest of us don't enjoy indie action between major releases. Gamepass has opened me up to a ton of games I never would have played before. Smaller titles are where the fun is for a lot of us right now and that's ok.
 

Stuart360

Member
i dont think so. Microsoft 'rightly or wrongly' decided to only show games coming in the next 12 months, and we already knew they didnt have many AAA games coming in the next 12 months.
It was a risk by them but everyone keeps having a go at them showing stuff years out so this is what we got.

EDIT. Also some of you really need to widen your horizons when it comes to Indie and AA games. You missing out on some real treats.
 
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peter42O

Member
Unless you're dependent or reliant on Game Pass and/or love Indies, the answer is yes.

I re-watched E3 2018 last night and wow, what a great showcase. First party revealed Halo Infinite at the start and next to last, had Gears 5. Spencer was closing the show and was interrupted by CDPR's Cyberpunk 2077 which was so damn cool. Other AAA third party titles like Metro Exodus, Battlefield 5, Shadow of the Tomb Raider, The Division 2, Dying Light 2 and Devil May Cry 5 were revealed or in the case of Metro Exodus, second year in a row. Showcase gave me 9 games. And they showed games that weren't for me like Ori 2, Sekiro, Just Cause 4, Nier Automata, Kingdom Hearts 3, Forza Horizon 4 and a few others. So it was a great overall showcase and great for me.

I re-watched 2020 and 2021. Both of which were better than what I watched earlier today. Nothing but an Indie Game Pass filler showcase that I have zero interest in. This isn't what I spent $500 on a console for. Also, Redfall and Starfield were visually disappointing to me. Was expecting more. Forza Horizon/Motorsport are still the best visually looking games for Series X. And im like, a racing game is your best visual game? Really? Come on.

Just so damn disappointed. But I now know what to expect moving forward out of Microsoft's showcase which is nothing more than a Game Pass Indie event in which 95% are of no interest to me. Also, Microsoft should have announced a few days before the showcase that this was centered around the next 12 months because hearing that from Sarah Bond after Redfall was shown was so damn disappointing.

P.S. - I know Riot Games will make a lot of money but really, fucking mobile games are now being shown on their major showcase? You've got to be kidding me. UGH and MEH.
 
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