Sony Interactive Entertainment CEO Jim Ryan has claimed publishers aren’t the biggest fans of Xbox Game Pass.
Ryan made the comments during a video call as part of Microsoft’s current court case versus the US Federal Trade Commission, in regards to the acquisition of Activision Blizzard by the Xbox Series X|S manufacturer.
Reportedly, Ryan said that he “talked to all publishers and they unanimously do not like Game Pass because it’s value destructive.” He added: “I talk to publishers all the time, and this is a very commonly held view over many years by the publishers.” (thanks, VGC).
However, we have reason to believe this isn’t entirely true. TRG spoke to Mike Rose, head of UK-based publisher No More Robots. The company has had several dealings with Microsoft to host its games on the Xbox Game Pass Subscription service, including Descenders, Hypnospace Outlaw and the recently released Slayers X: Terminal Aftermath.
We asked Rose if Xbox Game Pass has been good for No More Robots, to which he responded: “It is exceptionally good. The deals that come our way are not just good. They’re unbelievable. Basically every game we’ve put on Game Pass now, the moment we hit the launch button it breaks even. It’s been ridiculous for us.”
“Slayers X was meant to come out last year, and then we got the Game Pass deal for it. We went to the dev and we were like: should we just make this bigger? We got the Game Pass deal and were like, oh f**k, we’d better make this a real game now. So they spent another nine months on it, just using the Game Pass money to make the game five times as big as it was gonna be.
“Now it’s come out and it’s our highest-rated game, and that just wouldn’t have happened without Game Pass.”
The highly-anticipated Cities Skylines 2 is also launching day one on Xbox Game Pass, and its developer has opted for a more realistic approach to the game’s economy, stripping younger generations of a decent living.