The UK CMA's recent report on the whole Xbox ActiBlizz deal contained plenty of standout comments, including one relating to Microsoft admitting that Xbox Game Pass can hurt game sales in the 12 months after titles are added to the service. Following this report, the notion that Xbox Game Pass can 'cannibalise' game sales has started to catch like wildfire, and as a result, Microsoft has made a statement on the matter.
In a company response to Eurogamer, Microsoft has again defended Xbox Game Pass, reiterating that the service is viable for the platform, developers and consumers alike. Here's the statement shared by Eurogamer:
"Xbox Game Pass offers gamers and game creators more choice and opportunity in how they discover, experience, and deliver games [...] For gamers, that means providing another option for them to discover games and play with friends at a great value. For developers, that means creating another option for how they monetise their games.
We're focused on helping game creators of all sizes maximise the total financial value they receive through Game Pass. Each game is unique, so we work closely with creators to build a custom program to reflect what they need, ensure they are compensated financially for their participation in the service, and allow room for creativity and innovation.
As a result, the number of developers interested in working with Game Pass continues to grow."
While the Xbox owner doesn't backtrack on those CMA-related comments about game sales, it does reinforce its own stance that Xbox Game Pass is a net positive and provides another revenue stream for developers.
Whichever way you look at it, it's hardly surprising that such a popular service has the potential to hurt game sales - almost 30 million gamers use Xbox Game Pass and will naturally play a lot of games through the service.
Clearly, any such adverse affect isn't changing Microsoft's strategy - a strategy to grow Game Pass by adding compelling content to its library. Let's hope subscriber numbers keep going in the right direction to help Xbox's cause.