Xbox One have had a troubled generation so far. Not only it has been lagging behind Sony’s PS4 in sales, but its first party line-up of games continues to be overshadowed by Sony’s high profile launches such as God of War, Horizon Zero Dawn,etc.
But one thing that Microsoft has gotten absolutely right this generation so far is its game subscription service-Xbox Game Pass, which continues to grow bigger.
What makes Xbox Game Pass better than Sony’s PS Now subscription based service is that users are allowed to download the games on their system rather than stream, which makes the experience so much better. Further more there’s no limitation as to how many games you can download in a monthly subscription of $ 9.99.
Microsoft’s dedication to bring a plethora of games whether first party, third party, indies and build this incredibly distinct and diverse collection of games is praise worthy.
With its newest first party acquisitions such as Ninja Theory, Compulsion Games and Obsidian Entertainment, Microsoft is further looking to solidify their Xbox Game pass service.
Both Ninja Theory and Obsidian Entertainment are currently working on two titles. One of a large AAA scale, thanks to the financial support they now have in the form of Microsoft, but the other a relatively smaller game in scope which are Bleeding Edge and Grounded respectively.
Many may wonder why Microsoft is letting these studios make such smaller games when they are talented enough to develop titles semblance to those of Sony’s first party lineup. But there’s more to it than meets the eye.
In an interview for gamesindustry.biz, head of Microsoft Studios Matt Booty explained their vision for their recent first party acquisitions and how it would benefit the Xbox Game Pass in the long run.
“We have an interest in studios that fit this criteria of 50 to 100 people, who are making games on a two to three year cadence, and have content that we think will be of interest to our Game Pass subscribers.”
Games like Bleeding Edge, Grounded or Dontnod’s upcoming episodic adventure series- Tell me Why are all looking to be beautiful, innovative and fun experiences. Most importantly, they are all vastly different and attracts a different genre of audience. In short, there is something for everyone.
But these smaller games, even though can provide a fulfilling experience, doesn’t end up making its presence felt when it comes to sales and revenue in contrast to those AAA experiences.
What Microsoft’s is doing is giving these unique experiences to flourish via the Xbox Game Pass and allowing more players to play these titles, who otherwise would have been reluctant to try them.
Microsoft knows that their AAA exclusives such as the upcoming Halo Infinite, Hellblade 2, the unannounced AAA Action-RPG from Playground Games and The Outer Worlds sequel ( One can speculate right?) will sell really well given their nature. But other smaller titles need Xbox Game Pass as a medium to reach a wider audience.
Matt Booty also mentioned that these smaller titles improves the quality and originality of the Xbox Game Pass. One can’t argue that this game pass is becoming more and more as the video games of the Netflix and Microsoft seems committed in its vision to make it so.
With the Xbox Game Pass now available on the PC as well and has plans to bring it on their ‘rival’ platforms as well. It’s safe to assume that Xbox Game Pass is becoming a revolutionary model in the gaming industry, even more or so with its recent first party acquisitions as well as continuous addition of new third party games as well.
What are your thoughts regarding this? Is the Xbox Game Pass becoming more prominent thanks to these smaller, relatively frequent releases or should Microsoft rather plan on developing more AAA first party games to compete with Sony? Tell us in the comments down below.