Ed Fries, who led the development team for the first Xbox, expresses his concern in an interview.
Xbox It has risen as one of the most surprising and successful services in the video game industry. This is demonstrated by its constant catalog updates, the growing number of users and the recorded trends between the players, but the proposal of Microsoft it does not convince all people familiar with the video game environment. Y Ed Friesknown for leading the team that created the first Xbox and who left the company in 2004, has admitted to having doubts about to the impact of Game Pass in the sector.
What they are doing and it makes me nervous is Game PassEd FriesFries has talked about it in an interview for Xbox Expansion Pass (via VGC), where he is asked about the decisions he would make if he were part of the Microsoft video game department today: “What they are doing and It makes me nervous it is Game Pass”, explains the former executive. “Game Pass scares me because there is an analog thing called Spotify which was created for the music business. When Spotify took off, destroyed the music businessliterally cut the music industry’s annual revenue in half. It has been done so that people do not buy more songs”.
So we have to be careful so as not to create the same system in the video game industry”, says Fries. “These markets are more fragile than people think. I have seen the video game industry destroy itself in the early 1980s. I saw the educational software business destroy itself in the mid 1990s… They literally destroyed a multi-billion dollar market in just a few short years.”
When Spotify took off, it destroyed the music business, cut the industry’s annual revenue in halfEd Fries“So Game Pass makes me nervous,” Fries continues. “As a customer I love. I love Spotify as a customer – I have all the songs I’ve ever wanted… It’s a great deal for the customer. But it’s not necessarily good for the industry.” Next, the former boss is asked about the possibility of video game developers accepting subscription platforms as the most usual, which Fries considers that “At some point it was overturned and everything had to be [en Spotify]. The percentage of games that are on Game Pass still small and there are many games. There are 200 games coming out a week on Steam, and even more on mobile.”
After Spotify, the music industry grew like never before
Since 2011 (Spotify’s launch year in the US), the music industry has increased its revenue by 75%What are the data recorded in the music industry after the launch of Spotify? Well, contrary to what Fries believes, the sector grew tremendously with the launch of this application. From VGC they collect the declarations of Tim Inghameditor of MusicBizWorldwide regarding this issue, who remembers that the music business saw its income grow a 75% since 2011 (the year Spotify hit the US market).
However, the consumption of music cannot be compared to that of video games, as recalled Christopher Dring, head of B2B gaming at ReedPop studio and VGC contributor: “Right now, there are a lot of stories about how subscription services have been additive to game creators. They are not only a source of income in themselves, but also they immediately open the games to millions of people“, says the professional.
“There are many examples of games being introduced to subscription services on a console, becoming incredibly popular, and that has caused a peak sales in normal prices of 60 dollars in other platforms”, recalls Dring. Obviously, there is some concern about the revenue generated by subscription services, which is why PlayStation is reluctant to introduce exclusive launch games in the catalog of your new PS Plus.
“However, games are very different from music or TV. These linear forms of entertainment are much shorter, and more digestible. How many songs or TV shows do people consume vs video games?” Dring reflects in the article. “If you’re someone who only plays a couple of games a year (like FIFA or Call of Duty), how likely are you going to subscribe to a service with hundreds of options? remains to be seen how great game subscription services will become“.
At the moment, Ed Fries has no reason to worry about the impact of Xbox Game Pass in the industry. Ultimately, Microsoft plans extend the entertainment of your service con a family plan and, thanks to the benefits generated by his proposal, he has the opportunity to explore other areas of the video game such as a Cloud Gaming that already exceeds the 10 million users.