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Xbox Game Pass hurts game sales, admits Microsoft

CMA's provisional report provides new insight into gamepass.

Xbox Game Pass has encouraged many Xbox and PC gamers to try out more games in various genres through the monthly subscription service that has been called “the best deal in gaming” and :Netflix of Gaming” by many. Now it appears that the service is more beneficial to gamers and not so much for developers as putting the game on Game Pass hurts game’s sale.

The revelation comes directly from Microsoft in documents submitted by the company to the CMA amid the investigation of the $69 billion Activision-Blizzard merger. The report was shared by Gameidustry.biz.

Xbox Game Pass causes decline in sales after 12 months

Microsoft has admitted in a new report from the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that “a [redacted]% decrease in base game sales twelve months following their addition” occurs once a game is released on the service.

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Image via Polygon

This contradicts Spencer’s claim from 2018 that the service was actually increasing sales, but the specific amount has been redacted from the report for privacy reasons, so it’s pretty much hard to evaluate whether it’s a minor or huge loss.

Previously Phil Spencer said “When you put a game like Forza Horizon 4 on Game Pass, you instantly have more players of the game, which is actually leading to more sales of the game. Some people have questioned that, but when State of Decay 2 launched, you saw if you looked in the US at the NPD you saw this game selling really well the month it launched on Game Pass.”

The percentage of loss may be different for different titles and may be based on their launch price, being single-player or multiplayer and wether the game supports microtransactions or not.

call of duty modern warfare 2 screenshot
Image via Activision

The proposed merger between Microsoft and Activision Blizzard has raised concerns from regulatory agencies, which Sony believes will harm competition in the video game industry. The CEO of Sony Interactive Entertainment, Jim Ryan, recently met with the European Commission to address their concerns about the takeover. In the wake of this, Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick stated that Sony had attempted to sabotage the acquisition.

What are your thoughts on Xbox Game Pass? Let us know in the comments below!

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