Former Microsoft Exec Blames Game Pass For Xbox’s Problems

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Titles Launching On Game Pass Miss Sales Goals!

Story Highlight
  • One former Microsoft executive believes Game Pass is the reason behind the recent closure of Xbox’s studios.
  • The executive believes Game Pass harms premium sales despite Microsoft’s aims to make more money.
  • He also states that the lack of new subscribers puts Xbox in a difficult situation.

The recent closure of four studios by Microsoft has caused chaos in the industry as many developers now believe making great games is no longer enough to guarantee a bright future.

With everyone reflecting on this situation, a former Microsoft executive blamed Game Pass for the current state of Xbox. He argues that the service has stopped growing and is now harming game sales.

Why it matters: Though Xbox Game Pass is great for players who like to enjoy AAA releases on the service at a cheaper cost, it does not offer the same benefits to developers and publishers.

Microsoft Exec Blames Game Pass
Brad Hilderbrand on The Recent Xbox Situation

Addressing the recent closure on LinkedIn, Brad Hilderbrand, who worked as a Senior Public Relations Manager for three years at Microsoft, stated that there are two major problems with Xbox at the moment.

While fingers have been pointed at poor releases like Redfall, Brad Hilderbrand believes it has nothing to do with Bethesda. He points to Game Pass as a major issue, stating that it cannibalizes game sales.

Since Xbox fans are now accustomed to playing AAA releases through the service, Microsoft can no longer sell games to its core audience. He states that even the biggest hits on the service lose popularity over time.

This means that Microsoft cannot compensate directly for lost sales. Brad Hilderbrand also points to a lack of growth in the service, which is evident from recent data provided by analysts like Matt Piscatella.

Every game that launches on the service badly misses its sales goals.

-Brad Hilderbrand

According to the former executive, Activision is the second big reason for Microsoft’s problems. Having spent nearly $70 billion, the company is looking to quickly recoup costs and profit from this investment.

This opens up the Xbox brand to more scrutiny from Microsoft, leaving this division open to interference from higher-ups like Satya Nadella. Since Xbox is not doing much to turn a profit, cutting costs seems to be its only way to satisfy such executives.

Call of Duty Xbox Game Pass
Call of Duty Could Be Key To The Growth of Xbox Game Pass

Moreover, doubts have been spurred about the potential addition of Call of Duty to Game Pass. Brad Hilderbrand highlights a potential risk Microsoft now faces with this IP.

Releasing it on Game Pass could harm profits, but not doing so could hurt brand value. Either way, Xbox does not appear to have an easy way out. Therefore, only time will tell how Microsoft navigates through this challenging period of its gaming journey.

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