Report: Microsoft paid Big Cheese $600,000 to bring Cooking Simulator to Game Pass

Lasha

Member
I think there is little appreciation for how much money Microsoft has on hand and continues to make. 600k for Cooking simulator or 6,000k for a AAA game is chicken feet for Xbox which generates 16,000,000k in annual revenue which belongs to a company which has at least 100,000,000k cash on hand.

Microsoft will always need to pay for games that it doesn't produce regardless of how good game pass is for sales. Microsoft puts games on Gamepass to make money and third parties deserve a proportional cut of the action in exchange for the rights to their IP.
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
Probably because there simply aren't that many of such games on the market. And if so, you have to be extremely quick and seize the opportunity right before they blow up. MS haven't necessarily shown the best of such timing in that regard, they seem to try going for stuff after it's actually gotten pretty popular, like with Minecraft.

OTOH, Sony got Fall Guys on PS+ right as it was gaining a bit of steam, and right before it blew up into a phenomenon. You gotta have people at the upper management with the eye to spot that type of stuff and between Phil Spencer & Matt Booty I don't think Xbox have had people like that for the past few years, but maybe that can change in the future.



It wasn't solely for GamePass, but GamePass was definitely a big factor. Phil Spencer said it himself at the roundtable shortly after the acquisition was approved.

"You'll find Bethesda games wherever GamePass exists" or something to that effect, those were basically his words. So GamePass was a factor into the acquisition.

Microsoft literally says in the acquisition announcements that Game Pass is the purpose.

https://news.microsoft.com/2020/09/...ia-and-its-game-publisher-bethesda-softworks/

Microsoft mentions Game Pass 5 times in this news release announcing the Bethesda purchase. How important Game Pass is from the language is unmistakable.

https://news.microsoft.com/2022/01/...ty-of-gaming-to-everyone-across-every-device/

The level of importance Microsoft places on Game Pass again here in the Activision acquisition news release again puts it to rest.

Microsoft bought these publishers because they're confident in the potential for Game Pass. Game Pass is a master stroke that allows Microsoft to change how they compete in the game console and larger games business in a way that's more to their liking.
 

Clear

Member
Acquiring content isn't cheap! Why do you think they are building out their first party?

Basic calculation when negotiating a payment for inclusion on GP is going to involve mitigating for any loss of sales on other platforms as a consequence. If you think of it from the perspective of the content supplier they need assurance that any deal is going to be cash positive for them, they are lending their IP to drive revenue on MS' service offering and therefore the party exposed to risk.

Right now MS' needs content to increase marketshare so its a seller's market, but the concern has to be that the larger the marketshare of the service then the more the balance shifts in favour of the buyer.

What's worse a larger service market only works in favour of the third-party provider if they have some sort of long-tail secondary revenue stream. Meaning that if your product is a "one and done" sale then you are far more exposed than if you have extensive mtx.

It incentivizes prioritizing f2p-style monetized product for both supplier and service provider alike. All micro-transactions occur within a shared ecosystem so its more profitable for both parties, creating a secondary incentive structure in the long term to preferentially spotlight such product on the service.
 

sainraja

Member
Someone is seriously trying to say that Microsoft didn't buy Zenimax for Game Pass!? Why haven't people caught on yet that Game Pass is the reason Microsoft is so comfortable dropping massive chunks of money on acquisitions like Bethesda and Activision Blizzard? People keep thinking that this is all about Xbox, and what Xbox has to do to be profitable on its own to make back this or that money, etc. Xbox NEVER has to make back the money spent on Bethesda or Activision Blizzard.

Those purchases are about the entire company as a whole. Activision brought in $8.8 billion in revenues last year with an operating income of $3.2 billion, what was considered basically a "weak" year with an underperforming Vanguard.

Microsoft cares about what will boost their revenues and, by extension, boost their stock. They are $2.15 Trillion company because of how all their businesses perform as a collective. What do you think Microsoft quarterly and fiscal year reports will look like with Activision Blizzard rolled in? It's pretty much a guarantee that they will experience record breaking revenues and profit.

Microsoft as a company combined with Activision Blizzard + Bethesda together with COD + Starfield + Elder Scrolls 6 and Fallout will easily become a $3 Trillion company over the next 3-5 years is my best guess. Definitely by 2030.

Microsoft's big purchases in gaming are 100% all about Game Pass. They are one of the few companies who can do such a thing as day one launches into Game Pass with big AAA and even some 3rd party games due to the kind of money they bring in. Microsoft is creating a gaming Office 365. And it's working.
Yeah, it doesn't make sense to spend the kind of money they are if it wasn't being done to drive another aspect of their business.
 
I mean he has to say they, they were already doing day 1 on Gamepass for 1p for years lol. He can't say those new 1p studios are going to release games not on gamepass.

As for Microsofts having people who can spot a potential blow up game before it becomes big, I get what you're saying, but in this case we are talking about a cooking game and while I do believe that there's a market for this since the game sold 700,000 as shown in the article I don't think there's ever going to be massive mainstream acceptance for a cooking game like Minecraft or Fortnite.

At least not without NFT's grinding, create a character, crafting's, lasers, and guns somewhere in it. But not a simulator lol.

This just looks like the most confusing decisions I've see Microsoft make. It's completely out of character.

If you're comparing their strategy to 2021's, then maybe it does look out-of-character. Last year they got games like Outriders into the service Day 1, and made some negotiations for late additions like Marvel's Avengers. This year, in light of a very sparse 1P lineup, they've seemingly done none of that and don't have any big 3P additions to make up for it.

There were even supposed rumors they nabbed stuff like Gotham Knights or (very recently) Elden Ring for GamePass but the former was always a stretch and the latter seemed like an even bigger one considering how that game's been selling. Either one would've also required a lot more than the $10 million MS spent for GotG, especially if they wanted Gotham Knights Day 1.

So they're pretty much left to turn to smaller quirky indies and hope one of them is a good enough hit. What MS really need, is to do what Sony did during PS3 if they want the best means of pushing their platform's growth (platform in this case being GamePass): they need to rely on their own 1P titles. Which, right now quite a few are up in the air as to their status, and others like Starfield were delayed seemingly out of nowhere.

So the soonest MS can start to expect any measurable, maybe-longer-term GP growth, is when they can start getting 1P games out with a regular cadence, so that at the earliest will be towards the end of 2023, and that depends on how good Starfield and RedFall end up being (Forza should end up pretty strong quality-wise, those games usually tend to).

I think there is little appreciation for how much money Microsoft has on hand and continues to make. 600k for Cooking simulator or 6,000k for a AAA game is chicken feet for Xbox which generates 16,000,000k in annual revenue which belongs to a company which has at least 100,000,000k cash on hand.

Microsoft will always need to pay for games that it doesn't produce regardless of how good game pass is for sales. Microsoft puts games on Gamepass to make money and third parties deserve a proportional cut of the action in exchange for the rights to their IP.

How much money MS has won't matter as much going forward because they have already sunk ~ $80 billion over the past four years to grow Xbox and GamePass as well as their gaming division revenue as a whole. At some point, they're going to stop investing so much and try getting what money they've already put in, start to benefit in the longer term with increased revenue and profits...and clients.

See, because these acquisitions of Zenimax & ABK weren't just for Xbox, or even "just" for GamePass IMO. They are probably really for Azure cloud clientele. The other markets that Azure's grown in during the past, it's growth in them has slowed down a lot because those sectors are basically saturated. However, gaming provides a "blue ocean" of sort for new Azure clients, like what we saw with the Sega announcement. And to reach more game developers as clients for Azure cloud, MS have to leverage the Xbox brand, especially with non-Western game developers (again like what we saw with the Sega announcement).

I'm thinking that if MS feel they can get enough game developers as long-term Azure clients using their cloud services, that with a good enough mix of outright revenue and profits from game sales from the acquisitions through Xbox and GamePass will be enough for them to justify what they've been spending. However that's a very tough thing they're trying to do; Google hasn't completely abandoned Stadia (in fact they are trying to push its cloud infrastructure for game developers), and Sony are probably at least somewhat aware of this and what long-term implications it could have towards their own ecosystem, hence that interview from Haven Studios that talked up remote cloud game development.

Microsoft literally says in the acquisition announcements that Game Pass is the purpose.

https://news.microsoft.com/2020/09/...ia-and-its-game-publisher-bethesda-softworks/

Microsoft mentions Game Pass 5 times in this news release announcing the Bethesda purchase. How important Game Pass is from the language is unmistakable.

https://news.microsoft.com/2022/01/...ty-of-gaming-to-everyone-across-every-device/

The level of importance Microsoft places on Game Pass again here in the Activision acquisition news release again puts it to rest.

Microsoft bought these publishers because they're confident in the potential for Game Pass. Game Pass is a master stroke that allows Microsoft to change how they compete in the game console and larger games business in a way that's more to their liking.

Lol I know all of that, I'm saying that GamePass is a reason for the acquisition. However, I've been looking at more lately as it's less about Xbox and even GamePass, and more about gathering up new Azure cloud clientele. I think that's MS's real goal in these acquisitions.

They get their hands on new tech (iD Engine, the Origin streaming tech, etc.) they use to bolster GamePass-centric Azure cloud backend, and use that as a means to attract more game developers as clientele. I think that's what they're really trying to do. And I don't think that's escaped companies like Sony (or Google or Amazon for that matter), they obviously want 3P devs prioritizing their own game development tools (therein benefiting their own products and services ecosystems primarily) rather than maining Microsoft's.

When it comes to this subscription stuff in the gaming space, I'd say actually look at the moves WRT backend cloud services, software development tools and the like.
 

Lasha

Member
How much money MS has won't matter as much going forward because they have already sunk ~ $80 billion over the past four years to grow Xbox and GamePass as well as their gaming division revenue as a whole. At some point, they're going to stop investing so much and try getting what money they've already put in, start to benefit in the longer term with increased revenue and profits...and clients.

See, because these acquisitions of Zenimax & ABK weren't just for Xbox, or even "just" for GamePass IMO. They are probably really for Azure cloud clientele. The other markets that Azure's grown in during the past, it's growth in them has slowed down a lot because those sectors are basically saturated. However, gaming provides a "blue ocean" of sort for new Azure clients, like what we saw with the Sega announcement. And to reach more game developers as clients for Azure cloud, MS have to leverage the Xbox brand, especially with non-Western game developers (again like what we saw with the Sega announcement).

I'm thinking that if MS feel they can get enough game developers as long-term Azure clients using their cloud services, that with a good enough mix of outright revenue and profits from game sales from the acquisitions through Xbox and GamePass will be enough for them to justify what they've been spending. However that's a very tough thing they're trying to do; Google hasn't completely abandoned Stadia (in fact they are trying to push its cloud infrastructure for game developers), and Sony are probably at least somewhat aware of this and what long-term implications it could have towards their own ecosystem, hence that interview from Haven Studios that talked up remote cloud game development.

Why do you think Azure is facing difficulty? Azure remains the key driver of growth at Microsoft. Azure doesn't need Xbox to sustain its growth. Xbox benefits from Azure by having a cloud provider which can be tailored to its needs. Can you clarify what 80 Billion you are referring to? I also would like know why you chose a 4 year window instead of the 20 or so years that Microsoft has been pushing Xbox.
 

XXL

Member
money GIF
 

Jennings

Member
$600k is 40k GPU subscriptions. As long as about that many people subscribed or renewed GPU in order to play Cooking Simulator then the deal worked out. Keep delivering the goods like this all the way through till Starfield's release and players will have nothing to complain about.
 
I've bought 2 games this year so far, Elden Ring, and Cult of the Lamb. I've played a metric shit-ton more than 2 games this year.

If you can't find something to play on Game Pass then I don't know what to say to you.
 

Nautilus

Member
Microsoft got a ton of money to spare, so this is like you give 5 cents to somebody, or even less
I mean, if these paychecks happens once every blue moon, I would agree..But since they are paying such a "niche" game to enter the service, you have to imagine how many 5 cents Microsoft is throwing around.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
I mean, if these paychecks happens once every blue moon, I would agree..But since they are paying such a "niche" game to enter the service, you have to imagine how many 5 cents Microsoft is throwing around.

As another post above has pointed out, 600k is equal to just 40k GPU subscribers' 1 month fee. This is a minuscule amount in context.
 
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HAYA8U5A

Member
I feel like this is one of those games more enjoyable to watch somebody like Daz fail miserably at than actually playing yourself but will probably give it a chance at some point.
 

adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Simulation games are a different market and MS is trying to capture that. I know a lot of people who use their xbox + gamepass as simulator machines.

This is true varied library, you can get out of your comfort zone and try it instead of beating that 3rd person action adventure title #500.

One of my favorite parts of game pass is experiencing unique things like Coffee Talk, that I would not normally buy. Those kind of games coming with AAA stuff like Fenyx Rising and all the others coming later this year like Plague Tale, keeps me pretty happy as a user.
 

Kagey K

Banned
I bought and played through a ton of Fenyx Rising when it came out, but dropped it for something else.

Reinstalled it tonight because of this thread and I'm fucking lost.

It's not really a game you you can put off to the side and come back to later apparently.
 
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Kagey K

Banned
One of my favorite parts of game pass is experiencing unique things like Coffee Talk, that I would not normally buy. Those kind of games coming with AAA stuff like Fenyx Rising and all the others coming later this year like Plague Tale, keeps me pretty happy as a user.
Hopefully as PSPass gets better, the ppl shitting on the idea playing more games outside thier bubble will dwindle and they will realize there is real value outside of the AAA stale gaming space.

Until then it is what it is.

You can already see it shifting when they talk about the new additions on Extra as the best thing ever even though Gamepass has them already.
 
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Ozriel

Member
I don't think they meant they wanted to support the devs making shovelware though....

$20 on Steam, with 84% positive reviews.

‘Shovelware’ indeed.
If I ever needed a reminder that gaf is out of touch, this thread sure has provided it.

I remember the thread with sneering comments about Powerwash simulator. And now it’s one of the most played games on Gamepass, and has 3679 concurrent players yesterday on Steam.

For an enthusiast gaming forum, many here are weirdly ignorant about gaming in general.
 

Kagey K

Banned
I remember the thread with sneering comments about Powerwash simulator. And now it’s one of the most played games on Gamepass, and has 3679 concurrent players yesterday on Steam.

For an enthusiast gaming forum, many here are weirdly ignorant about gaming in general.
If they gave Kratos a spray mechanic and made him wash tombs before he could read the relics it would be heralded as a triumph in gaming around here.

It's bias, nothing more.
 
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adamsapple

Or is it just one of Phil's balls in my throat?
Why do they have to pay them? I thought it boosts game sales.

They're paying to host the game on game pass for 1 to 2 years, people buying the game after trying it on the service to support the devs and/or buying extra content for it is what boosts revenue for the developer that would not exist otherwise. This "gotcha", that has already been used multiple times within this thread, is extremely weak.
 

mxbison

Member
They're paying to host the game on game pass for 1 to 2 years, people buying the game after trying it on the service to support the devs and/or buying extra content for it is what boosts revenue for the developer that would not exist otherwise. This "gotcha", that has already been used multiple times within this thread, is extremely weak.

How many people buy a game after having played it on GamePass? Come on....
Isn't "I'll never buy games again" everyone's favorite reason to hype the sub services?

Yes, it boosts dlc/mtx sales, which is the reason this will be an even bigger focus for devs than it already is. This is the direction sub services will be heading.
 
Microsoft paid "Big Cheese" $600,000. The money itself is "Big Cheese" you see, slices of cheddar.

https://game-news24.com/2022/08/15/microsoft-paid-600000-to-bring-chef-simulator-to-game-pass/
https://www.aroged.com/2022/08/16/microsoft-paid-600000-to-bring-chef-simulator-to-game-pass/
https://wtftime-ru.translate.goog/a...tr_sl=ru&_x_tr_tl=en&_x_tr_hl=en&_x_tr_pto=sc


This makes me wonder what they are paying for to bring other games to Game Pass that don't join voluntarily? Especially AAA games? $6 million? $60 million?

I know they want to have a large library but if they are paying that kind of money for small indies I think they may be going about this the wrong way. Cooking Simulator isn't the type of game to attract a large audience to sub to Game Pass, and it's not a console seller either.

Of course, this depends on how reliable this information is but given that Big Cheese is a polish studio and all the links are European related gaming sites, there is a high likelihood on their accuracy but always use caution.

I think Microsoft needs to be a bit more careful with what companies they throw their money at, the game isn't bad but $600,000 could have been used to grab a game that would be a bigger drive to the service or the Xbox console at large. That's a lot of money for a game that may bring in less interest to Game Pass than Luckys Tale.

And they paid them 22% of their revenue, talk about overkill.
Overcooked it?
 

SenjutsuSage

Halo TV Series Promoter - Live from: Reach
Lol I know all of that, I'm saying that GamePass is a reason for the acquisition. However, I've been looking at more lately as it's less about Xbox and even GamePass, and more about gathering up new Azure cloud clientele. I think that's MS's real goal in these acquisitions.

They get their hands on new tech (iD Engine, the Origin streaming tech, etc.) they use to bolster GamePass-centric Azure cloud backend, and use that as a means to attract more game developers as clientele. I think that's what they're really trying to do. And I don't think that's escaped companies like Sony (or Google or Amazon for that matter), they obviously want 3P devs prioritizing their own game development tools (therein benefiting their own products and services ecosystems primarily) rather than maining Microsoft's.

When it comes to this subscription stuff in the gaming space, I'd say actually look at the moves WRT backend cloud services, software development tools and the like.

Slowly they'll make that transition is my guess, but in the immediate and also long term future they want that association of the best selling videogame franchise associated with Game Pass and the Xbox brand. It will make Game Pass even more absurdly popular. Having hits like Diablo, Overwatch and regular Call of Duty releases will be huge for Game Pass and for Microsoft's overall bottom line. Microsoft is after the total players and all that engagement, and they will certainly be getting that with Activision combined with those Bethesda RPG epics as well as the heavy hitters coming from the Xbox Game Studios side. It's really crazy how stacked they are.
 

Wohc

Banned
Sounds not too unreasonable. If they spend 10-15 million Dollar each month on new games and have 25m subscribers, that should work out even if they all only spend the 1 Dollar warriors keep talking about.

How many people buy a game after having played it on GamePass? Come on....
Isn't "I'll never buy games again" everyone's favorite reason to hype the sub services?
One of the reasons is that you can play games you never heard of or you would have never bought without the service. Some games are such a surpirse that people want to own them forever or just support the devs. Some examples from me or my friends are the Subnauticas, the Turtles game, Streets of Rage, 12 minutes or the Psychonauts, I takes Two, Two Point Hospital (Campus will follow) and so on.
 

Griffon

Member
If I ever needed a reminder that gaf is out of touch, this thread sure has provided it.
Yep

And actually 600k sounds like a very low price. Only reasons the devs are happy with it is because the game was already pretty successful before, and gamepass is just a bit of extra money on top.
If gamepass was the majority of their playerbase they'd be firing their employees and closing down in a few months.

IMHO they should've negotiated for more. Much much more. Studios wont survive on shitty deals like that.
 
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phil_t98

Member
The game is $20. So basically Microsoft paid the devs for 30,000 copies across Xbox and PC. Why’s everyone acting as if it’s a crazy sum?

For Gamepass to work, it has to have variety and diverse content for multiple audiences. can’t call a game ‘shovelware’ because it’s one you won’t play.


That’s one month sub from 40000 people. To keep the game on PC and console Gamepass for at least a year.

Exactly that and how long is it on for, lets say its 6 months then that is really cheap
 

Leyasu

Banned
Guardians of the Galaxy is on PS+ too. I doubt Sony paid nearly that amount.
Of course, because they just let Sony have it for free because it is Sony..

I’m sure that square just ignored the fact that Sony reported making billions in revenue from their subscription service and instead of getting a little slice of that to put it on PS+ to help recoup dev costs or just for profit, they let Sony have it dirt cheap. Yep, seems totally reasonable
 

Ceadeus

Member
Let's say there's at least 5 million people paying the current GP ultimate price. They're making all these millions each month, that 600k is nothing but an investment.
 

T-Cake

Member
Wow, that's serious dough. I'll get my coat.

The funny thing is, I found it really difficult to play with a gamepad as well. I was all over the place doing a simple task like chopping a tomato. I'm going to try it on PC later with a mouse.
 

azertydu91

Hard to Kill
Surely spending $1m for A Hat in Time, Blue Fire, even Kao the Kangaroo would be better than this shovelware?
Thanks for reminding me that there is a new Kao the Kangarou game, it just gave me a flashback to these dreamcast times...I only had the demo but had a blast with it.
 
And actually 600k sounds like a very low price. Only reasons the devs are happy with it is because the game was already pretty successful before, and gamepass is just a bit of extra money on top.
If gamepass was the majority of their playerbase they'd be firing their employees and closing down in a few months.
I'm inclined to agree. That's equivalent to just 30k full price copies for a game that has already sold 700k. If this is indicative of what Microsoft normally pays then they are getting a great deal.
 
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