It's bad business sense, sacrificing potential exclusives in the name of making all games day one Gamepass. Some devs and publishers are never going to be willing to accept releasing an Xbox exclusive that is day one Gamepass because they see Gamepass downloads as costing them too many crucial day one $60 sales, it puts Xbox at an automatic disadvantage at the negotiating table. Such a mentality would particularly hurt them when trying to get JP exclusives I suspect, which will make getting 2nd party JP exclusives even more difficult than it already would be.
Hardware movement should trump all else in Xbox's eyes, with Gamepass growth being a still very important secondary concern. You need to move alot of hardware to be a success in the gaming industry, and nothing moves more hardware than popular, high selling exclusives. Licensing already popular IP's as exclusives is one of the best ways to get a strong selling exclusive that move alot of hardware, Spider-Man from Insomniac already proved that when it sold like 4x as many copies as the previous bestselling Insomniac game. If there is one thing Xbox is currently lacking in, it's exclusives that are capable of selling the kind of numbers that Sony's exclusives like Uncharted, TLOU, Horizon, God of War, and Spider-Man are moving (all trending toward 20m+ lifetime, if not already above 20m), popular licensed IP's as exclusives is one of the best ways that Xbox can move those kind of software numbers themselves.
Why is selling alot of hardware so important? The reasons are severalfold:
"It's bad business sense, sacrificing potential exclusives in the name of making all games day one Gamepass."
Well then it's a good thing that they have 30+ studios once Activision-Blizzard closes, Lol. I also see no evidence outside of licenses that it is hurting their ability to get exclusive content when Xbox Game Publishing has dozens of projects in development alone, it isn't hurting their ability to get independent studios working with them at all, it only really hurts their ability to get exclusive content from major publishers but that was always rare in the industry.
Independent developers will take the offer because most of them have no choice and are working from game to game. LucasArts does have a choice and ultimately them losing Indiana Jones videogame won't hurt them in the slightest.
Licenses are nice but the fanbase who like licenses have many overlaps with multiple other genres that Microsoft does cover so they are unlikely to miss their cliental, licensed exclusives didn't help at all in Xbox 360 and PS3 selling over 80m, they don't help at all in Nintendo selling over 100m, even PS4 only had a single license exclusive.
Licenses have their fair share of misses too, it's not a guaranteed success, Insomniac is simply an amazing developer working on Marvel's most popular character by a large margin (Spider-Man). They can move hardware and they can be amazing with the right developer but they ultimately won't be needed for Xbox to have long term success.
To make a point, 4/5 of those IPs you listed for Sony aren't licenses, they're IP that Sony created from the ground up into huge successes, two of them being fairly fresh IPs (IPs created within the last 9 years) and one having a resurgence because it was basically soft-rebooted, there's no reason why Microsoft shouldn't be able to do the same.Last edited by Ryuu96 - on 28 May 2022