Last week, we reported on the news that Furi developer The Game Bakers had decided to drop DLC support on Xbox. At the time, the team said that low interest levels on Xbox had led to the decision, and a new interview with VICE now links those interest levels to Xbox Game Pass.
In short, the developer believes that it's becoming difficult to get noticed on Xbox if games, especially indie ones, aren't included in Game Pass. Ultimately, Furi has never been included as part of the service, and the fact that it didn't sell well on Xbox led to the DLC not launching on that platform.
"Game Pass is such a fantastic platform for players [...] so there are possibly more Xbox players than ever interested in indie games. Unfortunately, without Game Pass, it is also very hard for many indie games to be visible on Xbox."
The interview also broke down the sales stats for Furi, and another of the team's games, Haven, across all platforms. Haven has been a part of Xbox Game Pass, which hugely increased its reach on the platform. However, without that Game Pass support, the Switch version is the most popular console platform by a good margin.
Furi on the other hand has been on PlayStation Plus, and the sales breakdown for it shows PS Plus has a similar effect to Xbox Game Pass, at least in this instance. If you take Plus out of the equation, PlayStation sales of Furi only accounted for 7% total, compared to 5% on Xbox.
Unfortunately, Furi never made its way to Xbox Game Pass, seemingly because any request for it to be added was too far away from the game's launch period — Furi launched on Xbox One before Game Pass was even a thing.
"We talked to the team at Xbox to see if there was a way to get some support, but Furi didn’t align with the Game Pass strategy focused on new titles, [...] This is why we took the decision not to bring the DLC to Xbox at launch: the chances the investment was not going to recoup were high."
It's unfortunate that a lack of Game Pass support led to dropped DLC, but it's understandable, given the dev's financial situation. PlayStation Plus did seem to have a similar effect though, so the challenge indie developers face seems to be related to subscriptions generally, rather than just Xbox Game Pass.
Do you think Xbox should continue to focus on indies around launch? Or provide more support for older titles? Let us know down below.