- Joined: Feb 28, 2018
- Last Login: Jan 11, 2022, 10:59pm EST
- Comments: 181
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Comment 3 replies
Don’t be ridiculous. Without the exclusivity and free games it wouldn’t matter how good the service was, no one would ever move off Steam.
Steam’s position as an effective monopsony for PC game distribution is far more damaging not just to the consumer, but also to game devs, than limited exclusivity contracts.
Edit: this is meant to be in response to Kuipo.
Comment 1 rec
Right, which is why they keep releasing all of their titles on Steam too.
What they’re doing isn’t that simplistic. Yeah, they want you on Game Pass, for sure. They also want you playing their games even if you’re not into sub services. And they’re not interested in completely ending direct sales.
Comment 3 replies, 4 recs
Why is everyone assuming bad faith from Phil Spencer? He’s been pretty clear about what is and isn’t happening without double speak his entire tenure; he’ll be honest about not being able to go into things too. If he’s saying they want to keep CoD on PS it’s unlikely to be anything other than a genuine statement. They kept Minecraft on the platform too. And for the next several years it’s highly unlikely that taking CoD off PS will make financial sense. Sales are very heavily weighted to that platform atm.
Comment 3 recs
The actual threat is rising costs; the AAA space is financially unsustainable for anyone that isn’t a platform holder, and everyone in that space is going to eventually have to be purchased by a larger company or go out of business. Maybe Take Two can swing it with GTA, though the bulk of their income is from GTA Online at this point, not traditional products, but I suspect it gets harder for them too. There’s a reason they bought Zynga. EA is pretty safe since they make a ton of money from Madden and Mobile and Sims. Square Enix only makes money from FFXIV and mobile at this point. Activision was not positioned well to survive this long term. A lot of that was mismanagement, but they’re boxed in now. Any downturn in CoD revenue would be pretty fatal. They don’t have the resources to do anything but CoD and Blizzard games so they can’t get out from under that.
Better a company like MS end up in a more dominant position there than a company like Google or Facebook. Sony can’t afford these kinds of purchases, but the alternative isn’t that no one makes them. It’s that the company eventually dies.
Comment 1 rec
And even with this acquistion, Sony still has a larger portion of the gaming market than MS. Monopoly claims are wildly overblown here.
They’ve said they’re already working on next gen consoles.
Console sales still absolutely matter because Xbox is still, currently, the main end point for Game Pass. Until PC Game Pass becomes a much bigger deal or Cloud really starts taking off, which will likely take many years still, Xbox market share growth is going to be vital to continue to grow the service. They’re at 25 million subs now. There’s only something like 12-13 million Series consoles and close to 60 million Ones? Given that there’s going to be some overlap between those groups, and given that Xbox Game Pass is still a bigger deal than PC Game Pass, that’s a sizable chunk of their hardware install base. If they want to get to 50, 60, 100 million subs, and I’m sure they do, they need enough viable end points for the service. If they don’t grow Xbox they won’t get there in the short to medium term. Cloud being a viable draw is many years out, to the point that there’s still no cloud only tier, at least in their main markets, and Steam still heavily dominates the PC space, to the point that their first party titles, despite being on PC Game Pass, will regularly sell many millions of copies of Steam, though having Blizzard and Bethesda games launch into PC Game Pass might start to change things.
And they very well may transition away from PS with COD, eventually. I think they have some contractual obligations for a while yet at least. It won’t be immediate. But eventually Xbox + PC + Cloud could absolutely dwarf the size of the PS part of the market to the point where it just doesn’t matter. And then there’s no reason to stay there and help their competitor when they could accelerate movement to their platforms. In the mean time COD won’t cost any more than a Game Pass sub on MS platforms and will be full price on PS.
Comment 1 reply
I mean, just because we aren’t privy to those numbers doesn’t mean there isn’t a higher level of transparency going on with the actual studios.
We do know a bit about the structure of Game Pass deals too, just not the numbers. There are a number of different ways MS offers compensation, from one time lump payments to usage based compensation and lump + usage based bonuses. That allows coverage for different game types, where smaller single player story based games are probably not going to want to center on usage based, but something like Crusader Kings 3 definitely is.
Maybe, but they have put a lot of resources into ID@Xbox, including marketing games coming though it, and the mix of new game pass games still leans very heavily toward indie every month. Boosting smaller studios seems important to Phil Spencer at least. So until it starts happening I’m not sure we should assume it will.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
Non-gamers who don’t know what Steam is.
Not exactly a great sentence though.
The acquisition probably won’t close this year so at the very least this year’s CoD will almost certainly be multiplatform. MS has always honored existing contracts when they’ve made acquisitions too, so if Sony has any marketing deals in place or dlc exclusivity, it’ll probably continue until those deals expire. After that is an open question.
Comment 2 recs
Ancient history under different leadership. Teams under the XGS umbrella with current leadership have a huge amount of autonomy and can do pretty much whatever projects they want. There are interviews with devs from a number of their recent acquisitions that detail this in depth.
They’re light years better than the current Activision executives; MS would not have let the Warcraft 3 remake turn out like it did, for example. The alternative is a company that’s already destroying its internal teams.
Comment 5 recs
Xbox and PC gamers gamers certainly benefit from automatic Game Pass inclusion. Might be shit for Playstation gamers if COD does go Xbox exclusive. But all exclusives are like that. Would really love to see Persona 5 on PC, for instance.
I care a lot more about whether this is good for Activision Blizzard employees than whether PS specific gamers might lose a single high profile shooter.
Comment 8 recs
Dude, most phones are more expensive than an Xbox Series S even in developing markets.
And Minecraft. Ori 1&2
Comment 4 recs
Given that people who like COD continually put COD games on the very top of the best selling console game lists every year, that’s a lot of people.
Diablo 3 had sales over 30 million across all platforms.
Comment 1 reply, 1 rec
FFXIV is bigger now I think, and that’s ignoring all the chinese and f2p games that have always been bigger, including Runescape, but sure WoW’s pretty big.
The other thing is that Activision Blizzard has a bunch of currently unused IPs that other Xbox Game Studios teams could pick up if they wanted to too. That has value even if current Activision Blizzard management is purely massive hit driven. Game Pass would be great for some smaller scale updates to the Sierra IP and MS seems interested in that scale of game.
Comment 1 rec
Cool, wait for full release. There’ll be a campaign. Just not when it launches into early access.
You’re buying the whole game, like a preorder, and then getting to test it early and provide feedback early enough to change the course of the product. And early access is usually not full price. So buying early saves you money. But you’re taking a gamble on the game turning out well. Just like you would with any other preorder.
It shifts some of the revenue from the game earlier into the dev cycle too, which helps keep the developer afloat while they’re working.
And they still have QA testers. This isn’t a replacement for QA. But most of the devs that are doing Early Access aren’t huge. They have fewer resources and wouldn’t be able to easily survive the length of the dev cycle without revenue coming in from somewhere else. Be that publishing dollars from a larger company or doing contract support work. Both of those have draw backs.
Early Access also allows for more responsive design, because it can garner direct feedback from the most dedicated parts of its target audience. QA testers aren’t able to serve that role and focus testing is prohibitively expensive to do at this level of scale. That’s not about catching bugs, it’s about reprioritizing or reworking features based on feedback.
Comment 2 recs
Some third parties are $70 on both platforms, it’s not just Sony.
Comment 5 recs
If you really think PS2 games look like PS3 games, I have no idea what to say. That was the generation where we went from 480p to HD resolutions. The graphical quality bump was pretty huge. The graphical improvements from PS3→PS4 was smaller.