Xbox Game Pass & new MS game store app - PC thread

Confirmed upcoming games headed to the PC side of Game Pass, going into 2020.

Afterparty (2019) 
Age of Empires 2 (fall, 2019)
Battletoads (TBA)
Blair Witch (August 30, 2019)
Blazing Chrome (2019) 
Bleeding Edge (TBA)
Creature in the Well (summer 2019)
Dead Static Drive (TBD)
Felix the Reaper (2019)
Gears of War 5 (September 10, 2019)
The Good Life (fall 2019)
Halo: The Masterchief Collection (staggered release, Halo Reach in 2019)
Ikenfell (2019) 
Killer Queen Black (fall 2019)
Microsoft Flight Simulator (TBA)
Minecraft Dungeons (spring 2020)
Nightcall (summer 2019)
Ori and the Will of the Wisps (February 11, 2020)
The Outer Worlds (October 25, 2019)
Phoenix Point (September 3, 2019)
Psychonauts 2 (TBA)
Riverbond (June 9, 2019)
Secret Neighbor (TBA)
Spiritfarer (2020)
Star Renegades (2020)
Supermarket Shriek (2019)
Totem Teller (2020)
Undermine (summer 2019)
Unto the End (TBA)
Wasteland 3 (spring 2020)
Way to the Woods (2020)

@TurinTur more to add to the list.
@stusser did you change your mind and sign up?

DLC – yes. I expect more and more games to emphasize DLC as a result of this, which may not be terrible. I also expect game time to be artificially inflated. More games? I don’t see it happening. Maybe console games are different, with the average level of engagement being very low, so that providing a stream of games gets those gamers more involved. I don’t see that working the same way on PC, but I could be wrong of course.

I do like the irony of Epic’s money being used to strengthen the gamepass, since all their exclusives seem to be migrating to it.

Third-party games will be removed from the service at some point, just like Netflix removes some movies at some point. If you played Phoenix Point MS will email you that it’s going to be removed and you will lose access to it, but hey, you can buy it at this nice discount. Studios should get a good chunk of those sales.

It’s already to the point where developers get pennies for these games once they are older and shoved into the bundles.

It’s like anything – there will be winners and losers. Maybe some smaller studio with a game that most of us wouldn’t risk $20 for ends up getting a lot of sales because players can try it for free through Game Pass and they love it and it gets that word-of-mouth buzz it wouldn’t have gotten otherwise.


Nice, Minecraft Dungeons will be on it!

Most people will get enough gameplay just from the service. Also, the first few months are the big money makers. People may pick the game up later when it hits bargain bin prices. Most importantly, people’s expectations will become that paying that subscription price is all you need to have access to a huge library of games. You want to take your game off the service? Your loss. I think we’re nearing an ever bigger devastation than before, and the only way anyone will be able to make money off games is by creating a ton of DLC. This includes Indie games. If the market was skewed towards the winners on steam, it’s going to be even more lopsided on subscription services.

I’m guessing the amount of new games we see on the service now is just for the launch. In the future it will mostly be games that have been out for 6+ months where sales have tapered off, MS exclusive games (gears, halo, Flight sim, etc), and the occasional new release that MS pays the developer to offset loss of sales just like Epic has done for their exclusive games.

It is extremely odd to me that the Epic exclusive games are running to this so fast. Suggests that they’re desperate to hedge their bets.

More likely - they found a loophole that gets them more cash, and lets them try to rebuild some goodwill by saying “See! We aren’t exclusive to Epic!”

Yeah that makes more sense.

That hasn’t been the way it’s worked on the console side, but I guess we’ll see what shakes out.

I’m curious to see how this shakes out, too. Origin Access has a really strong library these days – well beyond EA titles – but restricts their new-release games to the “Premier” tier ($100/year). The “Basic” tier ($30/year) still gets most of the top-shelf games, just a bit later (for example, they just added Battlefield 5, released six months ago).

Nope, I don’t want to subscribe to a games service, even at ~$5/month.

Self serving statements from MS notwithstanding, that doesn’t address the compensation developers with games in game pass get. If you signed a fixed revenue deal for inclusion and your game blows up, MS gets the benefit.

In any case, this business model has yet to prove it is sustainable. It’s a fingers crossed gamble even for MS.

Why do you assume this is the case? Almost every other subscription service of this style in other industries is X% of the revenue (usually 70%) each month goes towards the rights owners of those products based on how much their particular product was used. By industry trends I’d wager that the same is done on Game Pass as well, so if 0.1% of the time is spent in a month on a particular game that game would get 0.1% of the royalty share that month.

This is shit for music streaming because each song is an average of 3 minutes long and usually played when the consumer isn’t using paying attention to it (meaning a single user’s $10 a month is spread out among hundreds of different owners). However I’d expect it to be vastly different for games since there are only so many different games one person can play in a month.

And that’s beneficial because a lot of people may try and play games they are on the fence about and thus would have spent $0 on it in the first place, leading to potentially higher revenue then trying to get $25 out of a smaller pool of players, with less options for DLC and networking effects (if I find a game on Game Pass that I enjoy, I will talk about it to friends and those without game pass may buy it).

I’ve read a couple of devs commenting on PS Plus ages ago that they got a flat fee, but unfortunately can’t find where that was. More recently, in a ResetEra thread regarding Game Pass an indie dev confirms a flat fee model, but makes it sound like it really depends on the title:

That’s really only music streaming isn’t it? And music generally operates differently from other media. It’s certainly not how film streaming services generally work. Netflix famously doesn’t even tell the makers or licensors of shows how many people watched them.

I thought that was the case for video streaming too but maybe I’m wrong.

This is actually far worse. Currently, gamers buy far more than they can consume. This means that even if they’re spending most of their time in one game, the money spreads around to other games, allowing them to survive/thrive. Developers don’t focus on this fact, but this implies that the current model is actually very friendly to developers relative to the need for their supplied good.

What we’re headed towards is an iphone-like model, where the winners take all the money and very little is left over for the games that don’t dominate the majority of people’s time.