Has Game Pass Killed Xbox Games?
By WakeUpSnooze • 2 weeks ago

When Microsoft unveiled the incredibly consumer-friendly Game Pass, gamers around the world went pretty wild. Despite my feelings on the company itself, I can't deny that it's a tremendous value that offers hours upon hours of entertainment for a reasonable price. Well, reasonable for the consumer at least. When the pass was unveiled Sony immediately felt pressure by the community to match Microsoft's new offering. Sony, enjoying the concept of money, declined to match them. Sure they now offer multiple tiers of Playstation Plus, some of which let you play  a bunch of extra games as an inclusion deal. Regardless it's way more costly than Game Pass and didn't make an impact in the same way. At the time players criticized Sony for not being able to match Microsoft's value proposition. It was uncertain whether that was a good move. Looking at the state of the industry now though... perhaps it was an excellent decision because it's a damn State of Play baby.

With Nintendo taking it easy as they gear up for the Switch 2's expected debut in 2025, you would think Sony and Microsoft would be having an all out war with the extra market space in their hands. Sony certainly has been. Major games like God of War 2, Spider-Man 2, Street Fighter 6, Final Fantasy 16, and the Resident Evil remakes have been highly applauded. Meanwhile Xbox... has Game Pass. Microsoft went all in on this concept, which is great in terms of quantity. But where are the quality new releases? Halo Infinite was met with mixed reviews and... hell I can't remember any other Microsoft-backed projects that performed well recently. Oh wait, there was Hi-Fi Rush which was praised for its innovation in the rhythm genre space. Is Microsoft helping the devs prepare for a sequel? Oh no that's right, they shut down the studio who crafted it. So they kill any studios that show promise because the only thing beneficial to Game Pass is adding more games, and they don't fund huge game projects because without individual unit sales, they're back to relying on Game Pass. It's all the eggs in one basket and that basket doesn't seem very sustainable for game development that stays competitive in the space. In other words, perhaps Sony had a point.

My face when we get shut down after pushing out a banger.

Microsoft has struggled to release a killer game in years and it seems like the reliance on Game Pass for revenue has taken its toll on the creative process. The company is treating studios like tools for a means to an end and has ended up pushing out a bunch of games nobody cares enough about to hop on a monthly subscription despite its value. Right now Sony is in a much more prominent position at the forefront of releasing big titles. That being said, I'm not trying to glaze them. The true leaders of game development honestly seem to be smaller studios. Look no further than the rise of Palworld and Helldivers 2 to see their effect on the landscape. But narrowing our focus to the big three, I argue Sony is enjoying the biggest grip on gamers in 2024. Have you subscribed to Game Pass? Was it too good of a value that is reducing Microsoft's potential and willingness to help produce games? Do you think Sony was wise to not try and match the Game Pass? Avoid the red ring of death, try not to get your data compromised by Sony's loose security, and pray Nintendo will equip the Switch 2 with more capable hardware in the comments below!