Report: Epic Games Store, Xbox Game Pass Deals For Indie Teams Are “Way Down”


Posted on April 2, 2024 by Nick Moreno

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The all-time gaming subscription that is Xbox Game Pass hit a new milestone this past winter. In that, the service officially faced a new overtaking with 34 million users subscribed. However, there are many concerns for the future for the service as of late. One of the biggest issues is the statement on it cannibalizing titles in its library. It is reported that titles featured later suffer due to financial decline with its main user base tuning in via subscription.

Additionally, retention is always a concern for long-term activity. And while first-party games are day-and-date for Xbox Game Pass, there is no promised exclusive, says Phil Spencer. This draws an even bigger question mark with smaller teams partnering with Xbox to release its game for the service. One game in particular – She Dreams Elsewhere – is an example of a full ride from Xbox intended for the subscription.

However according to a new report from PCGamer, the land of opportunity that is Xbox Game Pass and even Epic Games Store is no more. At GDC in March, the outlet spoke with Casey Yano, Slay the Spire studio Mega Crit co-founder on the matter and it is not what it was years ago. “I talked to at least five small teams, like 35 [members] and under, during GDC, and they’re like: Cuts, cuts, cuts, funding canceled, talks that were going on for a year, canceled.

He continues: “It sounds like it’s shit. We’re definitely very privileged to be able to self-fund. [Otherwise] I’d be very, very, very scared right now.” What was once a guaranteed opportunity for small projects to make an impression has now been identified to have “come down in scope.” PCGamer also spoke with Darkest Dungeon director Chris Bourassa who shared the same sentiment. “So has Epic,” he expressed.

“The Gold Rush is over. I come from the Northwest Territories. The town I’m from was built on gold, and then they found diamonds further north. Maybe another paradigm shift is waiting for us, but I definitely think the scale of the deals I’m hearing about is significantly dimishesed from the big swinging days. Certainly we got our Epic [deal] at the right time.”

On the topic of Xbox once more, a collective of developers are even questioning supporting the platform altogether. According to gamesindustry.biz, many big studios & publishers are second-guessing support for the Microsoft platform. You can read the full report by heading here.

How surprised are you by this recent development for Xbox Game Pass/Epic Games Store?

Source: PCGamer

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