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Xbox Games Pass ‘scares’ ex-Xbox president

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Ed Fries shares his concern about the Xbox Game Pass and the sale of video games in general.

If the Xbox Game Pass is today considered the most advantageous subscription service for players, it is not unanimously accepted. Ed Fries, known for being the former president of the Xbox branch of Microsoft, deplores the direction taken by Phil Spencer’s teams and says he is worried about the consequences that Game Pass may have on the entire industry.

In a podcast called Xbox Expansion, the businessman reports on a video game sector in the throes of change, good and bad. He, who was present at the release of the first Xbox console, as well as the first Halo game, explains that he is not in favor of the economic model imposed by the Xbox Game Pass. He declares :

The Game Pass scares me. Because there’s a similar thing called Spotify that was created for the music market. And when Spotify took off, it destroyed the music market. It has literally halved the annual income of the music industry and people are not buying songs anymore. We must therefore be careful not to create the same system in the gaming sector.

These markets are more fragile than people realize. I saw the games industry crumble in the early 80s. I saw the educational software industry crumble in the mid-90s. So Game Pass makes me nervous. As a customer, I love it. I love Spotify as a customer: I have all the songs I want…it’s a good deal as a consumer. But it’s not necessarily great for the sector.”

The Game Pass: a false good idea for Xbox?

Because yes, if it is extremely advantageous for the players, the Game Pass is perhaps a little less so for Microsoft. Very discreet about its figures, we do not know if the service is financially profitable. The firm still makes it a point of honor to integrate its home productions from the day of their release, which surely represents a huge shortfall compared to the time when they could only be purchased individually.

Nevertheless, the number of subscribers could compensate for this aspect, especially since it allows the brand to attract more and more players. A phenomenon even truer since the release of the latest generation consoles. The Xbox Series X being the most powerful console on the market, many PlayStation players have changed sides in 2020, and embarked on this Xbox adventure, which promises mountains and wonders.

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