Phil Spencer: "Microsoft won’t stop selling [retail] games to promote Xbox Game Pass"

All this dumb ass bickering aside, does anyone else wish they had this when they were a kid? I only play a few games now but back as a kid I would burn through a game literally every week from the rental store. This would have been fucking HEAVEN for me.
I service like this would have been great as a kid, but no way my mom would have paid... we didn't have much money back then. But, IDK if it would have been great actually. Think back to how much you KNEW a game because that was the only game you had for awhile. You knew that game back and forth. Also, I feel like games back then were HARDER, they were unfair... so they took some time to "master." Going back and playing games like Mario... it's crazy how hard it is, holy shit you needed to put in all that kid free time just to get good at it LOL
 

Valedix

Member
But you can't play most games without internet connectivity to download day one patches, performance updates, etc. So the fact you need to register to load up an Xbox isn't that much of an issue (and not unique to that specific hardware).

And yeah, it's not DRM.
The "its not a problem for me, so it shouldn't be a problem for anyone else." response.
 

Topher

Gold Member
All this dumb ass bickering aside, does anyone else wish they had this when they were a kid? I only play a few games now but back as a kid I would burn through a game literally every week from the rental store. This would have been fucking HEAVEN for me.

I had the Sega Channel for a while. It was pretty awesome.
 

Valedix

Member
Are you like a time traveler from 1992? Where can you live where it would be a problem to connect your xbox up to the internet ONE TIME. It's hilarious/ridiculous that it in your head you thought this was a good argument.
The problem is not to do with internet not being available, its to do with eventially when the servers will go offline all gamepass, BC, and new retail consoles (again not used) will all become unacessable, the consoles will become ewaste and you won't even be able to play Halo Infinite because there was no disc version of the game lol.
 

Valedix

Member
Are you like a time traveler from 1992? Where can you live where it would be a problem to connect your xbox up to the internet ONE TIME. It's hilarious/ridiculous that it in your head you thought this was a good argument.
Also maybe someone got a console for someone as a gift who doesn't have internet, you ever think about that?
 

akimbo009

Gold Member
The problem is not to do with internet not being available, its to do with eventially when the servers will go offline all gamepass, BC, and new retail consoles (again not used) will all become unacessable, the consoles will become ewaste and you won't even be able to play Halo Infinite because there was no disc version of the game lol.

And this is exceedingly rare, and games like COD have only a small sliver of the game on the disc. It's just not reasonable to consider the fact online installs and access to the internet is a requirement in general.

Anyway - has nothing to do with whether Xbox will sell retail or not - seems evident they will for some but not - just like a huge number of other games at this point.
 
Yes, the graph is wrong in many things. The original data mentions revenue of subscriptions with multiple games available on consoles.

The original source doesn't specify if the revenue listed is only from consoles, but we know the Sony number for all platforms (PS and PC) and all game subs (Plus, Now) because it's public (around $4B+ as I remember) and matches the percentages.

So this isnt' the GP revenue for Xbox, they are counting the revenue in all platforms from all their subs with multiple games that are available on console. So for MS they are counting the revenue from Gold, GP and GP Ultimate on Xbox, PC, mobile and tvs.

But even consider that, the $2.9B data seems wrong, it's too high. Sony has twice the game subs and way less "free months" and "$1 deal" offers, so the MS number should be way under $2B. In fact I don't remember the pricing but as I remember Nintendo has more subs than MS so I don't see why Nintendo would make 3 times less money.

They are counting something else there in the case of MS that the other ones aren't counting.
I explained how they likely came to that $2.9B in the following comment. Although legal, it isn't the true representation of their actual GP revenue:

Not a part of this conversation but wanted to mention 1 important bit that most people don't even talk about.

When recording revenue and expenses, it's a common accounting practice to record revenue at full price (which becomes part of the total revenue -- $2.9B in this case) even if a product is being offered at a discounted price. All the discount is then taken out as "discount expenses" when calculating operating profit (which Xbox doesn't share).

The $2.9B figure doesn't make sense because it amounts to an ARPU of $161 per year, which is absurdly high and is clearly unrealistic.

So, the more likely scenario here is that Xbox calculated all Gamepass revenue at $10 and $15 per month for every user (including the ones who used the $1 upgrade path or $3-for-3-months offers), which inflated the revenue to $2.9 billion.

This revenue will come down when discount expenses are deducted during the calculation of operating profit, but because XBox never shares operating income, we never get to that part.
 

James Sawyer Ford

Gold Member
Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.

GamePass is definitely cheap in years like 2022 when there's nothing to play. Just don't sub!
 

Chronicle

Member
Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.
And game budgets will deteriorate as well as the quality.
 

Mephisto40

Member
Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.
Thing is we've been waiting for these "Big Games" to drop for 5 years now...

And by big games, I mean ones that have been sucessful, not games that are called big games purely because they've got a once great franchise attached to them
 
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Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.
Imagine limiting my gaming options based on a subscription service alone or waiting every month to see what games I’ll be able to play based on ehat a corporation chooses for me. That’s a big no for me but glad so many here like to play that way. It would come cheaper for me for sure.
 
And game budgets will deteriorate as well as the quality.
In 5 years when MS starts releasing for example story driven games in chapters instead of full products in order to make their gamepass more appealing for long term subscriptions and the entire way of releasing their games changes completely, we will talk. People who think Gamepass will keep being almost “free” while MS spends 100 million per AAA title are delusional.

The thing is Gamepass was released almost 7 years ago and even on pc and consoles together they are sweating to hit those 30M subscribers and keep missing their projections. We’ll see how things will go once some of their games are actually released.
 

Chukhopops

Member
In 5 years when MS starts releasing for example story driven games in chapters instead of full products in order to make their gamepass more appealing for long term subscriptions and the entire way of releasing their games changes completely, we will talk. People who think Gamepass will keep being almost “free” while MS spends 100 million per AAA title are delusional.

The thing is Gamepass was released almost 7 years ago and even on pc and consoles together they are sweating to hit those 30M subscribers and keep missing their projections. We’ll see how things will go once some of their games are actually released.
So it’s some kind of pre-complaining about something that has yet to happen or show any sign of happening?

Also GP was released slightly over 5 years ago, not 7.
 
I don't know that this is true. At a certain point with enough subscribers it can become sustainable. If Microsoft were to be able to get 30 million people to subscribe to GPU at current full price, which is admittedly a large lift, that's $450 million in revenue per month. That more than covers the cost of releasing one AAA title per month with hundreds of millions left over. Delivering just 3-4 AAA first party games per year would make the yearly subscription cost well worth it for consumers.

If Microsoft could get their act together and drop a big game every other month it makes a lot of sense at the right number of subscribers to be able to keep the recurring revenue flowing. At scale it works better than the one time purchase model. That's why most major software you buy these days is on a subscription basis instead of a higher cost perpetual license. Surely people here are going to continue to hold on to the idea that somehow video games are different than pretty much every other form of digital entertainment and can't thrive on a subscription model. But as an alternative delivery method Microsoft is betting they can.

The trick is to get enough devices into homes to build the install base to drive subscriptions. That's why Microsoft is selling the Series S for so cheap this holiday and letting other companies offer it as an incentive for things like internet and mobile phone services. They built Series S to drive this subscription model because they're betting that a lot of people are going to prefer to consume games like they consume movies and music.
I really don't see them ever getting it lined up to release a AAA game every other month, the people leading the show so far have had years and still high quality new AAA games are as scarce now as they were when Phil took over if not more so.
 

rofif

Member
Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.
Anyone paying for subs is a fool.
At least I pay for a game and own it on a shelf. I have something. You will have years of spending and have nothing to show for it.
See how it works if you throw statements like that around?!

I will repeat what I always say. GP model leads to gaming and games devaluation. Customers are used to not paying or paying little -> games must be cheap.
I am totally fine with spending 60-70 for a good game
 

rofif

Member
All this dumb ass bickering aside, does anyone else wish they had this when they were a kid? I only play a few games now but back as a kid I would burn through a game literally every week from the rental store. This would have been fucking HEAVEN for me.
WE had this. I was buying monthly game magazine with 15-30 demons each month and 1-2 full versions
 

rofif

Member
Are you like a time traveler from 1992? Where can you live where it would be a problem to connect your xbox up to the internet ONE TIME. It's hilarious/ridiculous that it in your head you thought this was a good argument.
This is idiotic.
It's not about NOT having on-line. Of course everyone is able to connect it one time.
It's about principle, game preservation, hardware preservation. Servers will die in the future.
It's about not being fucked in the ass.
You don't require special activation when you buy anything else... why have to for a console or a game?
 
People who make this shit up for once need to explain the economics to me. Let me get this straight
  • Game Pass barely can't even wrap 10% of the entire catalog of the Xbox Store
  • The entire cartel believes Game Pass does not make any money and Microsoft is just throwing money at it
  • Microsoft takes 30% from all apps and DLC sold from their store
  • Because of this store, Xbox generates more revenue then the entirety of ActiBliz
  • Barely 30 million people have subscribed to Game Pass
  • The entire economy of certain live service games where they keep releasing new expansions and DLC over the years, and Microsoft takes 30% from all of that
Oh and you guys keep telling me that they will never get rid of Gold but somehow take away the ability to buy games? Game Pass as it is does not include DLC or expansion of their own games.
How many subscribers do you think Game Pass needs to wrap the rest 90% of the Xbox Store catalog and generate as much revenue as Xbox Store alone + Acti-Bliz? Kinda funny that you guys made up the exact same fantasy as XboxEra.

Validating your takes with templates like "Its part of their strategy", "It makes business sense", "The writing has been on the wall since 201X" and "Due to Game Pass", are also part of the strategy.
What else is Spencer going to say?
They have an entire gen to go.
 

Ramzy

Member
Phil Spencer "I will say whatever i have to say to get every single government body in every developed nation off my back about this Actishit acquisition".

Microsoft have a long history of massively anticompetitive behaviour and while i get the impression everyone likes simping for wholesome daddy Spencer, i don't believe a word he says. Microsoft is on the back foot, xbox is firmly in third place (4th if you count Apple), and they're going to say and do watever they can to garner support -- this includes all of his comments about CoD on PlayStation.
 
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MarkMe2525

Member
The problem is not to do with internet not being available, its to do with eventially when the servers will go offline all gamepass, BC, and new retail consoles (again not used) will all become unacessable, the consoles will become ewaste and you won't even be able to play Halo Infinite because there was no disc version of the game lol.
Lol, wait... so your worried about new in the box consoles not working correctly in 20 years? I have a question for you, how many new in the box ps2 or gamecubes do you run across? This issue you are describing is completely ludicrous.

This is idiotic.
It's not about NOT having on-line. Of course everyone is able to connect it one time.
It's about principle, game preservation, hardware preservation. Servers will die in the future.
It's about not being fucked in the ass.
You don't require special activation when you buy anything else... why have to for a console or a game?
Tiny mind talk here. Again for the 3rd time, when these servers go offline in 20 years, a xbox will still work. Your game preservation you speak of, not a problem, buy a disc and it will boot.

I mean seriously, how big of a problem are unopened Series X's not being able to activate in 2042 going to be? Like I asked before, how many unopened ps2's or gamecubes do you run across? This scenario you are conjuring up is at best extremely unlikely, and at worst disingenuous.
 
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MarkMe2525

Member
Also maybe someone got a console for someone as a gift who doesn't have internet, you ever think about that?
Where??? In the south pole? Where does this person live where connecting to the internet ONE TIME is going to be a problem. Again, this is just a ridiculous scenario you are coming up with.

I just watched a docuseries about life in South Sudan. Things are so desperate that they eat fish caught out of sewage water. They still have semi regular access to internet.
 

rofif

Member
Lol, wait... so your worried about new in the box consoles not working correctly in 20 years? I have a question for you, how many new in the box ps2 or gamecubes do you run across? This issue you are describing is completely ludicrous.

Tiny mind talk here. Again for the 3rd time, when these servers go offline in 20 years, a xbox will still work. Your game preservation you speak of, not a problem, buy a disc and it will boot.

I mean seriously, how big of a problem are unopened Series X's not being able to activate in 2042 going to be? Like I asked before, how many unopened ps2's or gamecubes do you run across? This scenario you are conjuring up is at best extremely unlikely, and at worst disingenuous.
I don’t understand who you are defending here. All that companies have to do here is. It run these additional security crap.
Believe it or not, imagine if all of this was on snes, ps1 or n64. Retro gaming would not be what it is now
 
Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.
Moronic statement. Subscribe or don't subscribe to Game Pass. It has nothing to do with people wanting to permanently own a game and have it in their collection. Or, if you're really busy and only have time to play one or maybe two major games per year. Your post would be 100% better without your first sentence, FYI.
 
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Swift_Star

Member
Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.
I'd rather pay full price for games like FFXVI and GoW Ragnarok than crappy f2p subscription based games.
 

MarkMe2525

Member
I don’t understand who you are defending here. All that companies have to do here is. It run these additional security crap.
Believe it or not, imagine if all of this was on snes, ps1 or n64. Retro gaming would not be what it is now
I have a ps1 and a Series X. They work the same. When offline, I put a disc in and it loads up and plays. I don't think its worth our time to describe the hardship that a collector, 20 years from now, will have when he/she gets there hands on one of a few hundred Series X consoles that have never been opened before.
 

ReBurn

Gold Member
I really don't see them ever getting it lined up to release a AAA game every other month, the people leading the show so far have had years and still high quality new AAA games are as scarce now as they were when Phil took over if not more so.
Yeah, game output is a big problem for Microsoft right now. I don't see them being able to do it either. To use day 1 games as a selling point they need to release more day 1 games. They'll need a lot more studios to release 6 games per year. They need to get to where they release enough to make the game pass price tag worth it.
 

DaGwaphics

Member
Yeah, game output is a big problem for Microsoft right now. I don't see them being able to do it either. To use day 1 games as a selling point they need to release more day 1 games. They'll need a lot more studios to release 6 games per year. They need to get to where they release enough to make the game pass price tag worth it.

No question they need to get more output. With that said, I think a lot of the current slowdown is/was just a result of Covid and the fact that the new studios they've picked up released their last game either just before or just after the acquisition. If Redfall and Starfield don't get delayed and the Sony deals weren't a thing for Deathloop and Ghostwire, the picture would look quite different already. With the number of teams they have, getting something out ever quarter shouldn't be that much of a problem.

I have a ps1 and a Series X. They work the same. When offline, I put a disc in and it loads up and plays. I don't think its worth our time to describe the hardship that a collector, 20 years from now, will have when he/she gets there hands on one of a few hundred Series X consoles that have never been opened before.

Not to mention there is a good chance that a newer console will be available that can play these games better than the Series X. The beauty of backwards compatibility.
 
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ReBurn

Gold Member
No question they need to get more output. With that said, I think a lot of the current slowdown is/was just a result of Covid and the fact that the new studios they've picked up released their last game either just before or just after the acquisition. If Redfall and Starfield don't get delayed and the Sony deals weren't a thing for Deathloop and Ghostwire, the picture would look quite different already. With the number of teams they have, getting something out ever quarter shouldn't be that much of a problem.
I agree that they would be in a better position if they were able to release more games this year. But they weren't able to. The reasons why may be good, but at the end of the day the why doesn't matter. They just didn't release that many games in a year where their competition released several amazing games.

I agree that with the number of teams they have they should be able to get something out every quarter. It's time for them to start actually doing it.
 

The_Mike

I cry about SonyGaf from my chair in Redmond, WA
1. Crackdown 3
2. Outriders
3. Serious Sam 4
4. Back 4 blood
5. Zombie army trilogy (*)
6. Rage 2
7. Zombie army 4 dead war
8. Nier automata
9. Doom (x360)
10. Doom 2(x360)
11. Greedfall
12. Battlefield bad company
13. Battlefield bad company 2
14. Doom 64
15. Man eater
16. Minecraft dungeons
17. Scarlet nexus
18. Aliens: fireteam elite
19. Dantes inferno
20. Sniper elite 5
21. Crysis
22. Crysis 2
23. Crysis 3
24. Donut County
25. Raji
26. Hades
27. Into the pit
28. Titanfall 2 (*)
29. Watch dogs (*)
30. Max Payne 3 (*)
31. Sleeping dogs (*)
32. Dead Island (*)
33. Dying Light (*)
34. AC Odyssey
35. Prodeus
36. Gears of War Ultimate (*)
37. Gears of War 3
38. Gears of War: Judgment
39. Gears of War 4
40. Oblivion

Games i gave up on
Pillars of eternity
Outcast second contact
Phoenix point
Technomamcer (gold)
Shadowrun
The Ascent
Immortal fenyx

Games marked with * are games i already own, so it saved me alot of money to have game pass.

Also by the games I found uninteresting I also saved alot of money on. I know I could have gotten a refund easy but still saved me the hazzle.
 
I'm not sure where you get that Microsoft needs 145 million Xbox owners to get that many subscribers. Especially when, at least according to what's coming out in the acquisition information, Microsoft has between 25 million and 29 million already. I'm sure a lot of them are on the 3 years for the price of 1 train, but certainly not all of them.

It's a bit of maths. The saturation rate for sub services on consoles seems to be around under 50%, so for any given number of subscribers, you would need a bit over 2x that number of consoles in the install base to provide that sub number.

You mentioned a $450 million monthly GamePass revenue. You would need around 76 million GamePass subscribers to generate that amount of revenue. Meaning you would realistically need about 145 million Xbox devices in the install base to provide that sub count.

PS+ ARPU isn't really relevant to what Microsoft is doing with Game Pass.

It is, because it provides a data point we can use to extrapolate information pertaining to Microsoft's services with some strong degree of probable accuracy. You may shoot a bit under or a bit over, but generally it's going to be helpful in landing at some likely numbers for similar items.

There is a point at which the recurring revenue outpaces the operating costs and the net income curve escalates. Neither of us know what that is but it seems silly to expect that it would take 145 million consoles to be able to get there.

It would if the AARPU per subscriber is at a level where they need 3x as many subs as current to generate $450 million monthly to support the hypothetical budgetary scenarios you mentioned earlier.

Entertainment software has been working on a subscription model for quite some time now. There are people who have paid Blizzard the price of Game Pass every month for years for access to just 1 game. When you talk about maximizing value it seems like there's more value in paying $180 for access to more than a hundred games plus new first party games day 1 than there is paying $180 for only 3 games per year that most people will probably play through once or twice and never pick up again. The reason most people only play a handful of games each year is because new games are expensive and outside of enthusiasts people don't want to spend what it costs.

World of Warcraft is its own MMORPG game and its subscription model is in reference to a singular game. It is not a curated collection of various games providing shared revenue generation for a single specific service. The revenue generated from WoW subs directly benefit to support the continued development of WoW features, content, maintenance, royalties etc. The subscription model for WoW also does not require ABK to pay out for bringing the game, other games or content into the service because the revenue from the service alone can provide the financial compensation needed to sustain what's hosted on the service.

Paying $180 a year for hundreds of games hold no more value than paying $180 a year for three games if you're ONLY playing three games a year in both cases. And at least in the case of the latter, you know that those games will always be available for you to play; they won't be up for rotation out of the service. New games aren't that much more expensive than games in the 5th gen or 6th gen costed, particularly when you adjust for inflation. And they're effectively on par pricing-wise with the typical SNES or Genesis game from 4th gen (those games in particular would cost $140 today adjusted for inflation!).

You act as if games don't get marked down for sales after release (which generally happens unless they're Nintendo games). That various companies don't do seasonal sales promotions for games released at an earlier point. And the truth is, any hobby that's a privilege is going to cost you money if you want the best out of it. Going to the theaters to watch a film can rack you up $50 for tickets to a 2-hour film, snacks, gas etc. If you want that premium expresso from Starbucks then get ready to pay $15 for something you can only drink once and then pay another $15 for a 2nd cup. If you're a film aficionado prepare to spend hundreds, maybe even thousands, on professional AV home theater equipment, physical tapes and discs of films, etc.

There have always been means to afford gaming more cheaply if price is an issue for some people. You wait for a sale. You rent the game. You borrow from a friend. If someone wants to play GOW Ragnarok right now but doesn't have $60/$70 to buy it, they can still play it right now through GameFly! Subscription services like GamePass are just a digital-only version of GameFly, so the issue of affordability you're assigning them have already been getting addressed for years, and with more flexibility at that.

A lot of us here want to believe that video games are magically different from movies and music. But they aren't. Not really. There were people who were never going to subscribe to something like Apple Music or Spotify because it was a waste of money if you didn't own albums, then songs. Yet most people seem to be just fine with it now that the transition has happened. Same with movies. Sure, there are some people who still want shelves full of VHS tapes and plastic discs. But most people are fine with just watching whatever Is on the services they subscribe to or paying Amazon or Apple 4 bucks to borrow it. They don't need to own everything they consume.

It's not about ownership; it's about the difference in time investment games require versus a film or especially a song. You can listen 100 unique songs in the span of time it'd take to beat a typical single indie game. You can watch 2-3 movies in the span of time it'd take to beat a typical single indie game.

You can lower the cost of accessing these games to a penny, but you can never lower the minimum time investment from the player for those games. If the game needs 10 hours to beat the campaign, you still have to invest 10 hours to complete it.

I don't think everyone will subscribe to a service like game pass. But the people Series S is targeted at probably will. It's not you or me that Series S and game pass were made for.

Suppose so, although MS themselves have alluded to GP growth on console having slowed down.

There's no rule that says you have to consume an entire game at once. That's what save states are for. If a game takes 20 hours to complete you can safely do that within a single month of a subscription service. You could play through 4 or 5 games in a month. What you seem to be discounting is that with game pass or PS+ it is now possible to sample games to see what you like and if it's something you really like you can still buy it to keep forever.

You're still not understanding what I mean. You can break up a 20-hour game in multiple play sessions, obviously, but you cumulatively still have to invest 20 hours to complete that campaign when all is said and done. And the people you're alluding to who would play 4-5 games a month aren't the mainstream and casuals that GamePass are targeted towards: they're the core & hardcore players who are less cost-conscious and are willing to buy the games they want to play anyway.

As for the whole "sampling" thing, you can still do that through services like GameFly, which have been around longer than GamePass and are platform-agnostic to boot.

We're too hung up on the traditional sales model. The number of copies an individual game sells isn't nearly as important as how much money Microsoft makes in aggregate. When the purpose changes from selling copies to getting people to pay you every month to play your games the economics change. Not charting in NPD doesn't say anything other than what any sane person would expect. Microsoft has determined that NPD rankings for copies sold is not the most important metric when it comes to their first party games. They are expecting that their revenue will come from subs, not unit sales. Microsoft doesn't seem to be making less money, so it can't be all bad.

You're only speaking in hypotheticals. The truth is, has Microsoft seen in practice that which you speak of hypothetically? No. We know Halo Infinite's revenue generation is very weak because the game has turned away a huge majority of the hardcore/core fans of the IP who would have been among the big spenders in the game. We see the Steam concurrent player count numbers, which are pathetically low, and we can extrapolate that Xbox concurrent numbers are probably on the lower side as well.

Forza Horizon 5 is another game where there's been a massive drop-off in player activity. It's riddled with hacks & cheaters, and that's affected the player counts. Events are glitched out, cars have glitches on them when swapping out parts, the leaderboards are broken, etc. There have been a few Youtube videos from fans of the game and IP detailing the issues and it doesn't sound like FH5's state is that much better than Halo Infinite's, both being service games and all.

Microsoft isn't making less money? As a whole corporation, no, they aren't. I mean they have Azure, Windows and Office after all. If you mean Xbox, then yeah they are generating more revenue. But a bit part of that is is thanks to having absorbed Zenimax revenue into the Xbox division; if/when ABK is acquired and Xbox division sees a big jump in revenue, it'll be due to absorbing ABK's revenue into Xbox division's as well. And don't forget the revenue that Minecraft continues to regularly pull in.

The traditional sales model is still a strong barometer of success, otherwise the majority of the industry would have abandoned it. Stuff like MAU or number of players can be useful metrics to supplement it, but they are not valuable enough to be main metrics. Units sold matters for non-F2P games because a unit sold means a customer generating revenue, and can mean a potential spender into the ecosystem through DLC & MTX purchases, generating additional revenue.

A lot of people can't get past the current model where these companies have to sell 80+ million consoles so that they can sell 10 million copies of a game. The current model and the budgets behind it is going to make gaming less accessible as time goes on. Are most people going to want to pay $80-$100 for each game in the future? At some point the model has to change. Not to mention that these companies have to start over with every generation and it takes years to rebuild that economy of scale. Sony has had to release most of their biggest first party games cross-gen to be able to make enough money on them to recoup their investment. Microsoft, in addition to cross-gen, made the decision to release all of their first party games on PC day 1 and extend GPU to both console and PC to grow that economy of scale.

The problem with escalating budgets isn't the traditional sales model; it's unrealistic budget spending by publishers and lack of dev-focused tech advancements that can significantly accelerate parts of the development process for cheaper costs. That's why people like Mark Cerny have been speaking about AI-powered programming models to assist in accelerating development. It's why Ninja Theory are leveraging a voice AI model for Hellblade II. Make advances in areas like that, cut back on overpaying for some stuff like VA and writers, and budgets for AAA games can be brought under much better control.

People will pay whatever it costs for something they perceive as being valuable. If the direct-sales model for full priced games becomes too much for someone, they can buy those games on sales discounts, rent them, borrow them, buy them second-hand, or publishers can even implement subscription models that are more granular and game-specific, like rent-to-own pay installments on a new release (which various retailers already do, for both games and hardware, provided you're a member of their store program and/or have a membership card through them).

Due to the switch to x86-64 based architectures, Sony & Microsoft don't actually have to "start over" nearly as much anymore vs in the past. In fact one of the big bullet points Series were advertised on at launch was their ability to effortlessly play XBO games with better framerates & resolutions and just being an extension of the XBO UI & OS. So this whole thing about hard resets doesn't exist anymore. PS5 was a bit more of a reset from PS4 but even that has seen a lot of cross-gen 1P & 3P support, you have full BC with PS4 games etc. so it is not a hard reset.

The reason for Sony & Microsoft releasing games cross-gen was partly due to lack of current-gen console supply early on, especially in the case of Sony, to meet demand. Ideally, if you have a huge amount of the prior generation fanbase ready to move on to new hardware, you want to mitigate cross-gen support as much as possible so that game scope can be built around the new hardware and with those games now only available on the new hardware, convinces more players on the old system to upgrade. You both create a value proposition desire, and create a product feeding off natural desire of the customer who wants to upgrade.

The way to avoid the troublesome scenario is to stop treating each game as it's own economy and find ways to get more of the billions of people around the world who play video games into the ecosystem. You're probably not going to grow the console market with $500+ consoles and $70 games. Something disruptive needs to happen.

If that "disruptive" thing ends up jeopardizing and damaging the revenue streams that currently exist, then it's not worth doing. Sub models like GamePass have been training a lot of people, even among enthusiasts, to jump in on the super cheap. However, if you don't have an exponential amount of subscribers to help boost the ARPU, then you're losing money.

Games, especially the big ones, don't need to trade away their individual identities and ecosystems in order to help the console industry grow in revenue. There are models which have existed for over a decade which can be sensibly applied to make gaming more affordable for people who are price-conscious while still ensuring companies get the revenue they need. Installment plans ARE that "disruptive" solution, and they've been around for ages. Amazon, eBay, Best Buy etc. all offer installment plans for games and consoles sold through them. Microsoft themselves have All-Access, which bundles Xbox & GamePass into monthly installment payments.

Truth is, there is no one thing that's going to come along that is "the" disruptive factor to make gaming more affordable. It's a combination of things, like installment plans, rentals, sales promotions, gifting, borrowing from friends, and subscription services, that will gradually provide that net for the price-conscious out there. Those things don't need to be centralized or all provided by a single platform holder, but the various entities providing them can work out shared agreements.

Making sure consoles are more readily available, have the content people are looking for and have the support people expect are more important than some singular "disruptive" element to suddenly make gaming magically cheaper for everyone to an unrealistic scale. Advances in AI-powered programming and content generation models that can help lower production costs are more important than a singular "disruptive" means to hyper-cheap customer spending that can destroy necessary revenue targets. Completely ridding of the traditional sales model will kill the industry, not liberate it for billions of hypothetical players.
 

akimbo009

Gold Member
It's a bit of maths. The saturation rate for sub services on consoles seems to be around under 50%, so for any given number of subscribers, you would need a bit over 2x that number of consoles in the install base to provide that sub number.

You mentioned a $450 million monthly GamePass revenue. You would need around 76 million GamePass subscribers to generate that amount of revenue. Meaning you would realistically need about 145 million Xbox devices in the install base to provide that sub count.



It is, because it provides a data point we can use to extrapolate information pertaining to Microsoft's services with some strong degree of probable accuracy. You may shoot a bit under or a bit over, but generally it's going to be helpful in landing at some likely numbers for similar items.



It would if the AARPU per subscriber is at a level where they need 3x as many subs as current to generate $450 million monthly to support the hypothetical budgetary scenarios you mentioned earlier.



World of Warcraft is its own MMORPG game and its subscription model is in reference to a singular game. It is not a curated collection of various games providing shared revenue generation for a single specific service. The revenue generated from WoW subs directly benefit to support the continued development of WoW features, content, maintenance, royalties etc. The subscription model for WoW also does not require ABK to pay out for bringing the game, other games or content into the service because the revenue from the service alone can provide the financial compensation needed to sustain what's hosted on the service.

Paying $180 a year for hundreds of games hold no more value than paying $180 a year for three games if you're ONLY playing three games a year in both cases. And at least in the case of the latter, you know that those games will always be available for you to play; they won't be up for rotation out of the service. New games aren't that much more expensive than games in the 5th gen or 6th gen costed, particularly when you adjust for inflation. And they're effectively on par pricing-wise with the typical SNES or Genesis game from 4th gen (those games in particular would cost $140 today adjusted for inflation!).

You act as if games don't get marked down for sales after release (which generally happens unless they're Nintendo games). That various companies don't do seasonal sales promotions for games released at an earlier point. And the truth is, any hobby that's a privilege is going to cost you money if you want the best out of it. Going to the theaters to watch a film can rack you up $50 for tickets to a 2-hour film, snacks, gas etc. If you want that premium expresso from Starbucks then get ready to pay $15 for something you can only drink once and then pay another $15 for a 2nd cup. If you're a film aficionado prepare to spend hundreds, maybe even thousands, on professional AV home theater equipment, physical tapes and discs of films, etc.

There have always been means to afford gaming more cheaply if price is an issue for some people. You wait for a sale. You rent the game. You borrow from a friend. If someone wants to play GOW Ragnarok right now but doesn't have $60/$70 to buy it, they can still play it right now through GameFly! Subscription services like GamePass are just a digital-only version of GameFly, so the issue of affordability you're assigning them have already been getting addressed for years, and with more flexibility at that.



It's not about ownership; it's about the difference in time investment games require versus a film or especially a song. You can listen 100 unique songs in the span of time it'd take to beat a typical single indie game. You can watch 2-3 movies in the span of time it'd take to beat a typical single indie game.

You can lower the cost of accessing these games to a penny, but you can never lower the minimum time investment from the player for those games. If the game needs 10 hours to beat the campaign, you still have to invest 10 hours to complete it.



Suppose so, although MS themselves have alluded to GP growth on console having slowed down.



You're still not understanding what I mean. You can break up a 20-hour game in multiple play sessions, obviously, but you cumulatively still have to invest 20 hours to complete that campaign when all is said and done. And the people you're alluding to who would play 4-5 games a month aren't the mainstream and casuals that GamePass are targeted towards: they're the core & hardcore players who are less cost-conscious and are willing to buy the games they want to play anyway.

As for the whole "sampling" thing, you can still do that through services like GameFly, which have been around longer than GamePass and are platform-agnostic to boot.



You're only speaking in hypotheticals. The truth is, has Microsoft seen in practice that which you speak of hypothetically? No. We know Halo Infinite's revenue generation is very weak because the game has turned away a huge majority of the hardcore/core fans of the IP who would have been among the big spenders in the game. We see the Steam concurrent player count numbers, which are pathetically low, and we can extrapolate that Xbox concurrent numbers are probably on the lower side as well.

Forza Horizon 5 is another game where there's been a massive drop-off in player activity. It's riddled with hacks & cheaters, and that's affected the player counts. Events are glitched out, cars have glitches on them when swapping out parts, the leaderboards are broken, etc. There have been a few Youtube videos from fans of the game and IP detailing the issues and it doesn't sound like FH5's state is that much better than Halo Infinite's, both being service games and all.

Microsoft isn't making less money? As a whole corporation, no, they aren't. I mean they have Azure, Windows and Office after all. If you mean Xbox, then yeah they are generating more revenue. But a bit part of that is is thanks to having absorbed Zenimax revenue into the Xbox division; if/when ABK is acquired and Xbox division sees a big jump in revenue, it'll be due to absorbing ABK's revenue into Xbox division's as well. And don't forget the revenue that Minecraft continues to regularly pull in.

The traditional sales model is still a strong barometer of success, otherwise the majority of the industry would have abandoned it. Stuff like MAU or number of players can be useful metrics to supplement it, but they are not valuable enough to be main metrics. Units sold matters for non-F2P games because a unit sold means a customer generating revenue, and can mean a potential spender into the ecosystem through DLC & MTX purchases, generating additional revenue.



The problem with escalating budgets isn't the traditional sales model; it's unrealistic budget spending by publishers and lack of dev-focused tech advancements that can significantly accelerate parts of the development process for cheaper costs. That's why people like Mark Cerny have been speaking about AI-powered programming models to assist in accelerating development. It's why Ninja Theory are leveraging a voice AI model for Hellblade II. Make advances in areas like that, cut back on overpaying for some stuff like VA and writers, and budgets for AAA games can be brought under much better control.

People will pay whatever it costs for something they perceive as being valuable. If the direct-sales model for full priced games becomes too much for someone, they can buy those games on sales discounts, rent them, borrow them, buy them second-hand, or publishers can even implement subscription models that are more granular and game-specific, like rent-to-own pay installments on a new release (which various retailers already do, for both games and hardware, provided you're a member of their store program and/or have a membership card through them).

Due to the switch to x86-64 based architectures, Sony & Microsoft don't actually have to "start over" nearly as much anymore vs in the past. In fact one of the big bullet points Series were advertised on at launch was their ability to effortlessly play XBO games with better framerates & resolutions and just being an extension of the XBO UI & OS. So this whole thing about hard resets doesn't exist anymore. PS5 was a bit more of a reset from PS4 but even that has seen a lot of cross-gen 1P & 3P support, you have full BC with PS4 games etc. so it is not a hard reset.

The reason for Sony & Microsoft releasing games cross-gen was partly due to lack of current-gen console supply early on, especially in the case of Sony, to meet demand. Ideally, if you have a huge amount of the prior generation fanbase ready to move on to new hardware, you want to mitigate cross-gen support as much as possible so that game scope can be built around the new hardware and with those games now only available on the new hardware, convinces more players on the old system to upgrade. You both create a value proposition desire, and create a product feeding off natural desire of the customer who wants to upgrade.



If that "disruptive" thing ends up jeopardizing and damaging the revenue streams that currently exist, then it's not worth doing. Sub models like GamePass have been training a lot of people, even among enthusiasts, to jump in on the super cheap. However, if you don't have an exponential amount of subscribers to help boost the ARPU, then you're losing money.

Games, especially the big ones, don't need to trade away their individual identities and ecosystems in order to help the console industry grow in revenue. There are models which have existed for over a decade which can be sensibly applied to make gaming more affordable for people who are price-conscious while still ensuring companies get the revenue they need. Installment plans ARE that "disruptive" solution, and they've been around for ages. Amazon, eBay, Best Buy etc. all offer installment plans for games and consoles sold through them. Microsoft themselves have All-Access, which bundles Xbox & GamePass into monthly installment payments.

Truth is, there is no one thing that's going to come along that is "the" disruptive factor to make gaming more affordable. It's a combination of things, like installment plans, rentals, sales promotions, gifting, borrowing from friends, and subscription services, that will gradually provide that net for the price-conscious out there. Those things don't need to be centralized or all provided by a single platform holder, but the various entities providing them can work out shared agreements.

Making sure consoles are more readily available, have the content people are looking for and have the support people expect are more important than some singular "disruptive" element to suddenly make gaming magically cheaper for everyone to an unrealistic scale. Advances in AI-powered programming and content generation models that can help lower production costs are more important than a singular "disruptive" means to hyper-cheap customer spending that can destroy necessary revenue targets. Completely ridding of the traditional sales model will kill the industry, not liberate it for billions of hypothetical players.

Holy shit. Did not read.

I think you did say GP will kill the industry. And 5 years later... It's still just fine.
 
the vast majority of people who subbed long term did so through cheap as hell deals that were ongoing for a long while,

This seems more about you making up numbers, while grossly overestimating the average consumer.

One person subbing long-term makes up for 4 people subbing for only a year, We also don't know what additional spending they will do in relation to gamepass, and the games they play on it. If they buy a Series S you almost need Gamepass and you may buy an extra controller, accessories, a Storage card, mtx, dlc, etc.

Most people who buy consoles don't think like you or anyone else on this board.
 

iHaunter

Member
Anyone paying full price for a standalone game is a fool.

With GamePass you get access to everything for $20 a month. Add up that over the course of a year = the price of two fully priced AAA games (this is in NZ dollars lol)

As soon as the big games start dropping for Xbox and the value for GamePass increases even more, less people are going to see a need to buy retail games.
And have to pay for life or you have no game library. You don't own any of those games.
 
I'm happy to pay a subscription fee to access the games I like on the cheap. I don't game that much nowadays so its not a gigantic waste of money to subscribe to these services.

Obviously others feel differently and that's fine too.
Never understood why people were opposed to options. Even if you don't want to use Game Pass there is the traditional retail model sitting right there. Nothing stopping anyone from use whichever they want whenever they want. Options are good.
 

akimbo009

Gold Member
And have to pay for life or you have no game library. You don't own any of those games.

Doesn't preclude you of buying them. I've bought games off GP that were on it before they rotated off or after it did cause I really enjoyed it. Not sure what point your making... Since it's also just a sub renewal away.

Anyway, options are good.
 

Rubik8

Member
The opposite is absolutely the end game. Reach critical mass (whatever they think that is), then shift everything possible to game-pass only, increase pricing as much as possible. I'd love to be wrong, but I'm not.
 
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