Outer Wilds had an excellent year in 2019 with critical praise from a large number of outlets and several notable rewards. Many may not know though that it was originally a crowdfunded title (the first one on FIG) and an Epic Games Store exclusive on PC. However, according to Co-Creative Lead Loan Verneau from Mobius Digital, Xbox Game Pass was a bright spot for the game.
In speaking with Gamesindustry.biz, Verneau said the following:
“We’re on Game Pass for Xbox, and it’s been really awesome because I think it’s brought a lot of players to the game who would not have known about it otherwise. So I think that’s been a big shift. The same way it’s changed the TV and movie worlds, the subscription system is also going to impact the game industry very significantly. We’re starting to see that, and starting to see it maybe unlock the market to weirder things and more original things that would have been more risky beforehand.”
When questioned about the long-term implications for services such as Game Pass, Verneau responded with the following:
“My personal take is that for any industry, it’s all a question of monopolies. And our industry is filled with monopolies on so many levels, from tools to platforms. I’ve learned enough economics to know what that means and to think it’s a really problematic thing for both players and game developers. As long as we manage to break these monopolies and have competition at every level, I think we’ll be fine. Whether or not we can get there? Monopolies are very good at making people think they like it, because they have all the money to put on marketing. That’s my personal worry. For as long as we have competition between platforms, publishers, and distributors, game developers will be able to reach our audience.”
Verneau spoke on other industry hurdles as well including risks, development crunch, and consumer convenience. We highly recommend visiting our friends at Gamesindustry.biz to read the full interview!
It’s always great to hear directly from developers on Game Pass as it gives us insight into the true feelings of how it can benefit (or hinder) a small studio. More often than not, we’ve heard positive things about the service and how it increases exposure, playerbases, and overall sales (which usually surprises people). No matter what, we love the service!