It’s hard to say how and when it started, but there’s such a running theory that’s part of the reason why so many new games come out Xbox Game Pass It’s games that don’t sell very well on Xbox, so you might as well make money on Microsoft’s platform.
Evidence of this apparent phenomenon is rare and usually comes from the anecdotal experience of some of the developers involved in the program. But every time we hear news of a game launching a subscription service, many people wonder, especially when we’re talking about an anticipated project.
We recently had the opportunity to meet Derek Bradley, CEO of A44, the New Zealand studio behind Ashen, and the upcoming Flintlock: Siege of Dawn. We talked a lot about the game itself; its systems, gameplay, AAA ambitions, and the studio’s journey from Ashen.
But we also wanted to know a bit about his business purpose for making games. A44 has a long and fruitful relationship with Xbox, with Game Pass for both games.
So we asked the amiable, articulate CEO (and creative director) a few questions, starting with the decision to launch Game Pass on PC and Xbox.
“As game developers, we always want people to play our games,” Bradley told me.
“And, if you want to make a splash, being on Game Pass is huge. The hope is, you know, that a great game is going to come out and all the team’s efforts are going to shine and people are going to play.”
But I wonder if the idea that so many games are coming to Game Pass on day one is true because games don’t sell well on Xbox.
“I think it’s really interesting [but] I’m not sure if we actually went through that,” he revealed. “You know, I think after Ashen leaves Game Pass [it] It’s a good performance, so we’re happy. ”
However, Bradley is quick to point out that both Ash and the upcoming Flintlock are Day 1 Game Pass games, so the studio has limited data compared to other teams that have taken a different path.
“The problem with our company is that we don’t release games that don’t go directly to Game Pass. So we don’t have any data comparison points,” he added.
Given the studio’s years of experience working with Microsoft, and Ashen’s success with Xbox — in and out of Game Pass, the decision to return to the Flintlock service wasn’t a difficult one. “It seemed like a natural partnership.”
In addition to Xbox, Bradley believes that doing well on Game Pass helps games on other platforms.
“If you can prove your game to a large audience on Game Pass, I think it will only help all other platforms.”
What about Epic Games? Ashen was one of the first games to be released exclusively on the Epic Games Store on PC. This was actually the first game I bought at the Epic storefront.
As we now know, Epic worked hard to get these exclusives, paying developers millions of dollars, offering guaranteed minimum sales, and generally doing everything they could to make them skip Steam worth it.
Ashen may not be as big as Borderlands 3 or Control, but the A44 certainly benefits from the deal. However, the Flintlock will be released on Steam and EGS.
“I think it’s just the way all the deals are, you know, we’ve got the support we need,” he told me, without revealing too much.
“And, you know, I think overall, we’re really excited about launching and seeing how the game performs on the open market.”
Flintlock: Dawn Siege is coming to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S sometime in 2023.