Xbox Confirms Game Pass Caused ‘Decline’ in Sales

One image shows the Game Pass logo floating in front of a wall of green Xbox icons.

picture: Xbox / Kotaku

As Microsoft continues its work A one-year journey to consume Activision Blizzard KingWe continue to learn more about the inner workings of the various companies involved. And today, through UK Competition and Market AuthorityIn ‘s interim report on the deal, we learned that when games are added to Xbox’s Game Pass service, they tend to see a decline in sales after about a year. This isn’t the most surprising news, but it does seem to contradict past statements from Xbox boss Phil Spencer.

Launched in 2017, Xbox Game Pass has become one of the company’s greatest achievements, helping the company expand beyond its consoles and gain millions of new customers. For a relatively low monthly fee, subscribers get access to a huge catalog of Xbox and PC games, as well as other benefits such as discounts on DLC and the ability to play a range of titles. Of course, there were those who wondered if its Netflix-like structure would lead fewer people to buy games when it first came out. Apparently, this is indeed the case, according to Xbox’s own internal data.

as detected by GamesIndustry.bizburied deep A new report from the British CMA It’s a small piece of information from Xbox about how Game Pass hurts game sales. Here is the information included in the report:

Microsoft also has a [redacted]% drop in base game sales twelve months after it was added to Game Pass.

The report states that Microsoft’s data imposes some “limitations” on its data, particularly with regard to the period Microsoft apparently uses for its own internal monitoring. That said, Xbox itself has acknowledged in internal documentation that adding games to the service will lead to “cannibalism”. [digital] sales.”

Xbox previously claimed Game Pass boosted sales

Now, this seems to conflict A statement from Xbox boss Phil Spencer in 2018, about a year after the service launched. At the time, Spencer said sales spiked as the games reached Game Pass.

“When you put a game like Forza Horizon 4 With Game Pass you instantly have more players in the game, which actually leads to more sales of the game,” Spencer said. “Some people questioned that, but when Decay Status 2 If you look at NPD in the US, you’ve seen that this game sold really well the month it was released on GamePass.

Also in 2018 Talking to Giant Bomb during E3Spencer specifically addressed two games— Sea of ​​Thieves And Decay Status 2– although both games are available on Game Pass, they’re selling better than the company’s estimate.

Of course, both of these answers are from 2018. Things are changing, and with more data, Xbox may have seen more frequent drops in sales, especially since the service has grown so much since early 2018. As of 2020 there is still evidenceHowever, some games are seeing an increase in sales thanks to Game Pass. So, as you can imagine, this is a complex issue. kotaku reached out to Microsoft and Xbox for clarification.

Interestingly, the CMA’s report also notes that, according to Microsoft, historically Activision has not been very keen on including its games on Game Pass or any platform’s subscription service. From where? Activision believed that doing so could “seriously impair” game sales, especially when it comes to major new releases. But according to past comments from Xbox and Spencer, that won’t matter if the deal is finalized. Activision games big and small will finally make their way to Game Pass.



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