The bolded is a completely and conveniently flipped script in terms of the narrative that was coming out of Microsoft and out of the Xbox fandom though. From the former, Spencer and Nadella pegged Gamepass and streaming as ways to reach "billions of gamers". On the latter end, "the best deal in gaming" is often used the main reason a reason to buy an Xbox system; and the marketing validates that. Microsoft's NotE3 conference was more about the service than the games in and of themselves, and it's been like that for years.
This is really a fabrication from you, isn't it? Because Microsoft has never pushed the claim that streaming or Gamepass would eliminate retail sales
Microsoft's 'E3' conference was centered around the games coming to the service in the next 12 months. The games! You say this as if they spent the conference discussing price tiers of the service or comparing GP to other subscription services.
The only reason they're saying this now is likely because of what Phil Spencer's realized years after people who warned of subscription services pointed it out: The math simply doesn't add up. There is an huge nominal and opportunity cost to going from selling games on a per-unit basis at 60-70+ USD on launch, to then slapping those games onto a subscription service that costs 10-15 dollars a month - that is, if you're paying the actual price and not taking advantage of the many, many promotions that Microsoft continues to run to this day.
The sheer conceit to imagine Phil Spencer and the rest of Microsoft's board did no financial analysis of the impact of GP and have had to wait to be told by forum dwellers with no access to any financials.
I love how they've clarified that the service is sustainable and profitable and you're here arguing that the math doesn't add up.
GamePass is designed to be a sticky service, and nobody's releasing AAA games monthly. They've simply estimated that keeping people paying $15 a month for months at a stretch fetches them more money (or at least more steady, consistent revenue) than folks paying $60 infrequently.
Microsoft Office used to be sold for hundreds of dollars. Now they've tied it to a monthly or yearly subscription. And it's heralded as one of MS most savvy moves.
What big AAA games? Forza and Flight Sim? Come on now. You know that the scope and budget of those products aren't nearly on the same level as non-vehicular based titles.
You...actually think Flight Sim was made on an AA budget?
Digitizing multiple aircraft and airports, intensive machine learning usage with external specialists to generate a 3 petabyte model of the entire earth? The fees for pilot consulting, weather simulation et al? It's a really ambitious effort that most certainly cost more to make than stuff like Returnal and Rift Apart.
It's easy to scoff at Forza Horizon, but many here would still cite GT7 as an AAA blockbuster. So why would FH5 be any different?
You also know that Halo Infiite, the latest of Microsoft's most prestigious franchise, wasn't even close to up to snuff. People wonder why the multiplayer is falling way behind on the content schedule, being barebones as fuck at launch just as the SP was? 2 reasons: 343i's incompetency (which used to be able to produce a lot more than this) and the financial reality of going onto Gamepass. No one is going to convince me otherwise.
This is a conversation about budget and costs of projects being put into Gamepass. Nobody cares about your take concerning 343i's competence. The campaign was made with a significant number of employees, over 6 years. It's definitely one of the more expensive games released in recent times.
Comments about it being 'barebones' and the content schedule are pertaining to the MP, which was Free to Play. Given that the MP is F2P, it's quite illogical to insist that Gamepass had an impact on the way the game turned out.