“A lot of people just go in and try it and they don’t invest”
Indie titles seem to thrive on Xbox Game Pass. We’re not always privy to the sheer numbers, but the service absolutely puts more attention on some of the smaller titles that come to Xbox every month, with Microsoft often highlighting them alongside the platform’s own massive releases when they deliver library roundups.
So, you’d think pretty much every indie dev out there loves the service right? Well, not necessarily. While we’ve heard lots of positive Game Pass stories over the last few years, including this one to an extent, some devs still see the downsides of launching onto a subscription service.
Dino Patti of Somerville dev Jumpship has spoken to videogames.si on all things game development, and the chat touches on Xbox Game Pass – where Somerville launched day and date last year. The developer says that Game Pass “hurts sales” despite the team making “a pretty good deal” with Xbox on bringing the title to the service.
“We did a pretty good deal […] I also think it hurts sales. Because a lot of people just go in and try it and they don’t invest. If they don’t like the first 10 minutes? That’s it. Also, if you don’t make the first 10 minutes amazing, maybe it’s also a problem.”
Patti went on to say that he prefers the old model of selling games outright and having “to deliver” on what’s advertised.
“I think [Game Pass] is okay. It’s not my favorite. My favorite is the old premium model where I sell you on some video, on big images, and earn your $30. And then after that, I have to deliver. I don’t need to get money out of you later.”
To be quite honest, we’re a bit puzzled by this answer. It kind of sounds like he prefers selling games on a personal level because of the satisfaction it brings to see players happy with their purchases, rather than it being a more profitable way to make money as an indie developer. After all, Patti does say that the team made a good deal for Somerville on Game Pass.
In any case, the service certainly brings some of these smaller titles to the forefront and opens them up to a potentially huge player base. We’ve played some amazing indies on Game Pass that we often wouldn’t have heard of otherwise!