Xbox Game Pass has disrupted the industry with its subscription style gaming and has provided a tremendous boon for the Xbox Division. However, details on the relationships between Xbox and the developers whose titles land on the service, have been scarce.
Thankfully the developers of Unto the End, a husband and wife duo, spoke out on an episode of the Dual Screens Podcast that aired Thursday. Stephen Danton had the following to say:
I don’t know what other deals are, they give you a lump sum of money on release, which I guess is offsetting or in anticipation of whatever you would sell it for if you were on a store. For us, there is no bonuses nor royalties for playtime or how many people we have on there.
For us, it’s a chunk of money when we give the game to them on day one. We’re exclusive with Xbox Game Pass for six months. So what that means for us, is that we couldn’t have the game on Apple Arcade for that time period. It can be on Steam and on Sony and stuff like that as a normally purchased item, either physical or digital, but not any other streaming/subscription-based service.
Danton spoke further about subscription services and made the inevitable Netflix comparison, then continued…
The fear is that a PUBG or something becomes the most highly sought after thing bar none, and all subscription services have is different variants of PUBG. And then there’s no room for any other games because it doesn’t make monetary sense for them.
That’s the fear. But for right now, it’s been absolutely amazing to have Xbox with the vote of confidence. We get that little bit of financial support, get to interact with those guys, and they show our games off at events. For Sarah and I, it’s been absolutely amazing. I can’t say enough about that opportunity, and they’ve been great to work with.
It’s good to have some insight into how Game Pass works for developers. Though the majority of developers have said it’s been a very good thing for them so we’re unsure if we ever need to know! That said, it’s interesting if nothing else and we’re guessing by what we’ve heard, there are actually different deals by game. Unto the End was a lump sum payment, but we’ve also heard of playtime incentivizing as well.