The latest Xbox Game Studios release arrived in the form of Obsidian's Pentiment this week, which scored an "Excellent" 9/10 here at Pure Xbox and became Xbox's highest-rated first-party release of 2022 on Metacritic.
It's a good thing that Xbox Game Pass exists, then, as the game's director Josh Sawyer has revealed that Pentiment would never have been made without Game Pass due to it being such an "unusual" and "niche" concept.
"I never would have proposed making Pentiment without Game Pass. Like, I literally just wouldn't have done it. I just don't think it would have been possible. The old mentality of publishers and developers is generally focussed on larger investments with higher ROI, and that's not the point in this environment, in this ecosystem."
"For my own sake, making a game so different, I've completely shifted my thinking for [Pentiment]. It is so unusual, so niche, it's for a small audience, and as long as that audience is into it, that's fine."
In our review of Pentiment, we stated that it's "one of the most unique and clever games we've played in a very long time", calling it "one medieval murder mystery you should absolutely check out as soon as it hits Xbox Game Pass."
It's great to see that the Game Pass model is allowing for such interesting projects coming out of Xbox Game Studios, especially in a year where we've all been starved for major new first-party games. Great work, Obsidian!