During the ongoing FTC-Microsoft trial, Sony’s top gaming executive revealed that Sony is not the only major publisher with concerns about Game Pass.
According to PlayStation boss Jim Ryan’s testimony (via The Verge), he has spoken with all publishers who unanimously dislike Game Pass due to its negative impact on value. Ryan affirms that this viewpoint is widely shared among publishers, and he doubts that Call of Duty would be included in Game Pass if the acquisition is not approved.
Game Pass has faced criticism in the past. Earlier this year, developers of Somerville stated that Xbox Game Pass affected their sales. The co-founder of Jumpship expressed their concerns about Game Pass’s impact on sales:
“I also believe it undermines sales. Many people simply try the game and do not make a commitment. If they don’t enjoy the first 10 minutes, that’s it. Additionally, if the first 10 minutes aren’t captivating, it may be a problem. I think [Game Pass] is acceptable, but it’s not my favorite. My favorite is the traditional premium model, where I entice you with visuals and earn your $30. And then, of course, I have to deliver. I don’t need to extract more money from you later.”
However, despite some publishers expressing concerns about Game Pass and its impact on sales, other developers continue to collaborate with Microsoft. Mike Rose, the founder of No More Robots, informed GameSpot that the studio has observed better game sales when their titles are on Game Pass or about to be removed. One challenge of being on Game Pass, though, is understanding the number of copies that would have been sold on Xbox if the game wasn’t part of the service.
For additional updates on the FTC-Microsoft trial, read our article on Microsoft’s alleged strategy to “outspend Sony” and how Starfield was initially intended for PlayStation 5 before Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax.
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