Industry Recon: Microsoft is Thoroughly Pissing off Independent Retailers With Their “Day One” Xbox Game Pass Strategy

 

Microsoft, in an effort to convert more Xbox Live users to Xbox Game Pass users, announced last week that starting with their first party game “Sea of Thieves“, Xbox will add all Microsoft Exclusive games to Game Pass the first day that they come out, going forward, ensuring their user base can indeed be down since day one ish. While this is a blatant win for Game Pass subscribers, and Xbox owners or fans, this has caused quite a bit of a stir with some independent game retailers.  As of now, it looks like most of the retailers speaking out are in either the UK or Australia, but we’ll see if the outrage spreads as we get closer to the release of Sea of Thieves on March 20th.

In the mean time, Australian retailer “Gamerware” was so outraged by this, that they have vowed to no longer stock Xbox products at all.  In an interview with mediabiz, and with the help of google translate, Gamerware feels that Microsoft is going into business for themselves, and cutting out independent businesses. Their stance is, Microsoft can do the work of selling their titles on their own from now on.  A retailer from the UK, Extreme Gamez was quoted as saying,

“You’ve got the whole section sat there, and why would people buy a £12 to £15 second-hand game when they can just pay a tenner and get a massive catalogue of titles to keep them going? Effectively overnight they’ve wiped massive value off our company and made it not worth doing.”

Others have spoken out against this including Shoaling Video and Barkman Computers of the UK as well.  Who knows how many retailers will jump on the “Screw Microsoft” bandwagon. However, no major retailers have spoken out about this yet, so who knows how this will affect Microsoft’s business.  While I find it short sighted on the businesses ends, as games rotate monthly, and the same titles won’t always be available via Game Pass, I wonder if the uptick in pass subscription over the long term will outweigh the losses from the independent retailers they’re losing, or if they’ll have to rethink their strategy in the future.  Only time will tell.