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

I have confidence that MS would announce any improvements to XCloud, even if it was just putting the XboneS hardware on SSDs. MS cares about promoting Game Pass.

Eurogamer is far off-base. They talk about “the lack of major costs to scaling up the service” looking only at infrastructure when the major costs are really paying content developers to put their games on the service in the first place. Game Pass is absolutely losing money at $15/month, and users like me who have it for $4.19/month for the first three years are bleeding them dry.

They don’t care, that’s fine by them, because they’re in the user acquisition and quick growth stage, and they’re betting that once they’ve got people subscribing they’ll stay when prices inevitably increase. And they may be right. But that price increase will happen, and it will happen in the next couple of years, once they hit the threshold where their analysts figure it makes sense.

All those developers are ecstatic because Microsoft is tossing bundles of money around like it doesn’t matter. And it doesn’t, until it does, and on that day the door will come crashing shut.

Gamepass for me on PC has been worth it, but barely. It’s mostly a subscription backlog of games I might maybe play someday, but for the few I have played it still comes out ahead of me having purchased them individually.

Well at $4.19/month it’s a steal for anybody, even if you have a ridiculous PC game backlog.

The real attractor is people buying a new Xbox, or just starting to get into PC gaming, who suddenly get access to a metric shitton of games on the cheap.

I think you’re misreading Eurogamer. They’re in agrement with you that paying for the content is what costs money, but don’t think that the cost of content scales up with the number of subscribers.

Since the payments to the publishers are mostly up front lump sum payments, the costs increase with the size of the catalogue. If they can get to 50M subscribers paying list price (rather than ultra cheap special deals) without signing up more concurrent games, it seems like this should work.

Back of the envelope: 50M subscribers at the cheapest level is $10/user/month12 months/year50M users = $6B in revenue. Let’s say the production cost of the average AAA game is $100M and the cost of an indie game is $2M. Let’s say they add 2 at-launch AAA games (for full development cost), 5 old AAA games (for 25% of dev cost, since they’ve been out for years) and 5 indie games to the service / month. Their content acquisition cost would be about $4B/year.

I think the payments I suggested in the previous paragraph would be quite generous from the publisher’s point of view, even if the service grows to 50M active users.

If publisher/studio payments are really lump sums and don’t scale with user count, I can’t imagine they will let that continue as game pass subscription rates continue to grow. That will be an increasingly poor deal.

Phil Spencer has said that there isn’t one single payment arrangement, they will work with publishers/developers to find something that works.

The Eurogamer article also mentions the various arrangements we know about, not all of them are lump sums. That’s more the case with smaller indie developers.

Seems like a problem that will solve itself…
The reason gamepass is enjoying a ton of success, is because it offers a ton of awesome games. If they stop offering good games, then the service will be less successful, so MS is going to do what they can to keep the service churning out good games.

Also, they bought Zenimax/Bethesda to help drive content for the service.

That’s a really dangerous assumption to make. The price of licensing content for Netflix spiked enormously once the studios realized how large their subscriber base was getting. If anything, the cost per user to license went up after everyone realize how successful they were becoming.

I doubt Xcloud blades ever ran games off anything other than SSD-based network storage.

They were supposedly literally xbone S consoles to start. But who knows?

Code Vein on PC would’ve been nice a month ago.

I’ll definitely play Wreckfest the next time I subscribe.

I tried out Unto The End off GP today on a lark. It’s a 2d cinematic side-scroller, ala Out of This World and the like. I uninstalled it after roughly 20 minutes. It has a warning at the beginning about how it’s about playing deliberately, and doesn’t hold your hand or some such. I started it and very quickly got stuck in an area/room I couldn’t find my way out of, given my limited options. So I figured I’d missed something and started over. Got to the same point, same problem. I ended up just jumping around (one of the only options you have), and ended up crashing through a floor. Ok, I can advance now. The tunnels down there were super dark, though, even with my torch, and I quickly ended up in another similar spot that I couldn’t advance any more. I faffed about for ten minutes, until my torch went out. Never found any way out, still couldn’t see shit. Uninstalled.

Having fun with Wreckfest. I’ve spent plenty of time in racing sims like iRacing, AC, rFactor2 etc but Wreckfest is just plain old laugh out loud hilarious. When I joined the lawnmower race… wait, I won’t spoil it for y’all. Well worth the download if you like cars, racing, demolition derby, or ever said “rubbin’s racin!” lol.

Got part way into Desperados and then hit a point where I forgot to save and screwed up and got reset back to the start of that level and quit. They tell you to save often. They told me to save often. I was saving often. But then I got involved and forgot to… save often. Will definitely get back to it though. Liking it better than the Samurai one on a mechanical basis, though I liked the overall theme of the Samurai game.

They’ve had a fair number of games I was definitely interested in on there of late, getting my $$ worth for sure.

We are in vigorous agreement, DQ!

Started on Code Vein - I was hoping for something like Monster Hunter but apparently it’s more “Dark Souls” (I guess that’s the God Eater series). They do have the enormous greatswords though so that’s a plus. Story is OK, it’s trying for a drama but the dialogue is mostly coming across awkward - not sure if it’s translation or delivery.

Not sure if I actually like the Soulslike mechanics - this “you lose all your progress if you die” but you can go back and pick it up usually just means that I run there, pickup the dropped thing then die again to whatever that encounter is and I have to keep doing this until I figure out how to pass that encounter because that drop keeps getting bigger. Especially if it’s one of those wave mini boss fights tons of mobs…although I’ve had a lot more luck now that I’ve started using halberds and their big AOE swings.

Also saw a new final fantasy was up - is this one of the good ones?

Looked a bit dated to me. 75 critic reviews give it an 86 average…

(There are 13 reviews for the PC version giving it an 83 average.)

It’s good if you enjoy Real Time with Pause combat. I’m not a fan of that particular style, so I was only playing through that part to get to the next story part, but it’s a huge game with a LOT of Real Time with Pause combat. A LOT. So if you don’t enjoy that part, I wouldn’t recommend it. But if you enjoy that part, I think you’ll love it. I was a huge fan of FF X, so I got FF XII right away on PS2, but eventually I gave up after around 40-50 hours. I enjoyed the story bits and the world and even the characters somewhat, but eventually I just realized that 90% of my time was being spent in combat that I didn’t enjoy.

I’m not sure it’s really what most consider real time with pause. The main idea is the gambits and sort of creating an AI for the characters to act on their own. Though you can obviously pause and jump in to do whatever. I’m only maybe 15-20% into it but the battles are pretty fun as you can just set and go for the most part. And I’m not super into toying around with the gambits.

I mentioned this in the Squadrons thread, but figured it’s worth pointing out here - Star Wars Squadrons and Madden 21 will be coming to EA Play and therefore Xbox Game Pass in March:

Note that this does not apply to PC, since so far the PC EA Play equivalent isn’t part of Game Pass yet (and as best I can tell still has no arrival date).

Wasn’t Squadrons already there? I played through the first couple missions on Xbox, and definitely didn’t buy it.