Xbox Game Pass has undoubtedly been a massive success story for Microsoft and the Xbox gaming division, and has greatly benefited many developers and publishers in the process.
Indie publishing label No More Robots is a fantastic example - in a recent interview with MSPoweruser, the company's CEO Mike Rose indicated that the success of Descenders on Xbox Game Pass has been "ludicrous" and has the potential to support the team "for the rest of our lives."
But in that same interview, Rose noted that he still has concerns about subscription models, and warned that the immense success of Xbox Game Pass could ultimately lead to poor imitations down the line:
“For me, Game Pass has not quelled my fears about subscription models. I think what Microsoft is doing is fantastic – we keep putting our games in there – my fear is that more people are now going to do it because they’ve seen how well Game Pass has done. Of course they are, that’s how our industry works – everyone just copies everyone else."
Of course, Xbox Game Pass isn't the only subscription service out there - EA Access (recently renamed to EA Play) has been in operation since 2014, and Sony has been doing its own thing with PlayStation Now as well.
Ultimately though, Rose worries that the business side of things could be impacted down the line:
“My fear is that the other ones won’t be as good. That they’ll get big and they’ll give developers crappy deals and then in three, four, five years time we’ll be in a situation where we’ve got the Netflix and Amazon and Hulu of video games, but they’re all giving developers crappy deals because they’ve got a bunch of games now and they don’t really need you as much as you need them.
"Obviously, I’d love it if this didn’t happen. I’d love it if a bunch of subscription models came out that were just as good as Game Pass, but I know how human beings work.”
The No More Robots CEO also went on to mention that unlike Xbox Game Pass, the vast majority of subscription services that he's been approached by don't pay upfront ("they can p*ss off, quite frankly"), and despite there being exceptions to the rule, he's still in the "I think this might end badly" phase for now.
Do you think the success of Xbox Game Pass will lead to poor copycats? Share your thoughts below.