Of course? I mean, that's how business work. It's easier to sell you on a product/service if they are cheaper at first. Once the product/service is proven and it has a better pedigree/brand recognition, you can actually start charging an amount that actually makes you money.
MS is really behind Nintendo and Sony in terms of, well everything. So yes, going third party by releasing their games on PC and some on Switch, coupled with services like Gamepass and XCloud was their answer to make the brand Xbox profitable.It's how they choose to survive.
I know thats how business works. But thats not what makes this truly stupid.
There are people looking at this as if MS is being pro-consumer. But they aren't, what MS is doing is actually exactly what a company that doesn't really care about games or gamers would do. On the surface, it looks like they are opening up an entire ecosystem library to the consumer for very little money every month, but in truth, in the long term, what they are doing is actually constricting the library.
How? I'm glad you asked...
Movies have the theatre/cinema, shows have TV and ads. The only truly viable business model for games is direct to consumer sales. A game takes at least 2 years to make, and some an even take 4+ years to make. They cost these companies anywhere from $20M - $200+ to make. Most of these AA games needs to sell like 2-3M copies just to break even.
What do you think happens when you give gamers a service that means they never have to spend anything more than $10 on games each month? Yes, they may not get Cyberpunk on launch day, but guess what, it may show up in a year on gamepass so I will wait. And that kinda mindset trickles down. Then next thing you know, making those big $200M+ RPGs/Racers/Adventure...etc games don't make sense anymore. All that starts making sense are more GaaS type games. More games like Fortnite, Rocket League, Mine craft...etc. And trust me, every major publisher will churn out at least tw of those. Generationalgaes, games that release once a gen and milks you on mxt and "season passes" for the rest of the gen.
An all that is before the price hikes start coming in. Its a race to the bottom. MS gets a service, ties you into an ecosystem full of games that you don't actually own and can only play as long as you stay subbed. But at the same time,the constrict the gaming output of the industry as a whole over the course of years.It's the ONLY possible outcome from stuff like this.
Think about it, if you own an Xbox, you have to be a VERY BIG FOOL to not sub to gamepass. Why in God's name would you pay $60 for halo when you can play it for $10? But thats the thing, you are still playing what is truly a $60 game. In time, all the games you will see on the service would be $10 game equivalents.Or games would start getting broken up into "volumes".
Why? Because MS still has to pay for those games to be on gamepass. Take for instance, in one year, AC, COD, Cyberpunk,Tomb Raider, FIFA all release. Each sells r at least has the potential of selling 10M copies across two different platforms. Thats at least $3B in revenue just for those 5 games. MS would have to foot that bill if they want those games to be there on day one. And we aren't even talking about the 50 other smaller games that will also release that year. So what happens when gamers "wisen" up and just wait till the games come to gamepass anyways? Those companies end up selling far fewer games than they would have. Or, they release the game in split up volumes that they can sell individually to MS. Or they dn' release their games on the Xbox platform at all.
If they hike the price, then you stop using the service. If it's successful, there will be competitors.
Something can be good for a company and also be good for consumers.
In this case, by then the damage would have been done.
I am not against a service like game pass, I am just against how MS is trying to implement it. Games should not appear on it day one. Give the games a chance to perform in the open-market. Hell give it 3 months, though I think 8-12 months would be ideal instead. If yu train your userbase to expect everything day one, then they would simply not buy anything and just wait. That kinda mindset is bad for the industry. It's putting too much power in the hands of the person that drives that service. And it's simply not viable.