Xbox Game Pass Deals Much Worse Than Before, Says Developer

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Is Microsoft Losing Hope In Game Pass?

Story Highlight
  • Xbox Game Pass offers various deals to indie studios for day-one releases.
  • An indie game developer has revealed that the deals this subscription is offering have become much worse than before.
  • They further revealed that indie developers can’t trust them to get funded.

While subscription services are stalling in the US, Xbox Game Pass continues to grow, and it was recently reported that the service has reached over 34 million players in total.

However, it’s mainly because of the massive library that Xbox Game Pass offers. Not too long ago, it was reported that Game Pass offered content worth $9K last year, including various day-one titles.

Microsoft often signs deals with developers for these day-one releases, but a recent interview highlights that such deals are no longer as good, and the gold rush is over.

Why it matters: This could be a sign of Microsoft cutting back its Game Pass investment as it shifts its strategy once again.

Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass Is Home To Various Games Belonging To All Genres

During an interview at last week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, Slay the Spire and Darkest Dungeon developers stated that the deals made by some small developers for funding are no longer the same.

The developers stated that they talked to almost five teams, and during GDC, all of them said that the funding had been canceled despite talks for a year. The co-founder of Slay the Spire studio Mega Crit stated that they would be scared if he didn’t have funding.

We’re  very privileged to be able to self-fund. [Otherwise] I’d be very scared.

-Casey Yano

The Darkest Dungeon director stated that the Game Pass deals are also a shell of their former selves.

Microsoft’s deals have come way down.

-Chris Bourassa

He had similar things to say about Epic Games’ exclusivity deals.

While he remains hopeful that things could change in the future and that indie developers may start getting better deals, he remains adamant that these deals are no longer as great for indie studios.

Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass Offers Great Value

Unfortunately, this could mean that creative hits like Palworld will not show up as often on Game Pass moving forward. The ability to find unique games on the service was one of its strongest assets, but the developers hint that this will become increasingly difficult in the future.

Anyhow, Xbox Game Pass is still set to debut various games at launch in 2024. Among the big hitters, Indiana Jones and Hellblade 2 are shaping up to be impressive. In terms of indie games, Palworld has already become a hit this year.

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