Xbox Game Pass is still a fairly new phenomenon, and ever since it was confirmed that all first-party games would be released straight for the subscription service, there has been discussion about what this means for game sales. There are signs it might actually increase them, and also signs it might decrease them. Also, does it matter?
Now the Swedish developer Avalanche Studios (Just Cause, The Hunter: Call of the Wild, Rage 2) has chipped in on this subject in an interview with Games Industry. The main subject is the upcoming PC/Xbox exclusive title Contraband, which was announced during E3, but the CEO Pim Holfve also had this to say regarding Xbox Game Pass:
"Game Pass has been really great for us, especially if we look at our self-published title. The Hunter: Call of the Wild helped us prove our service model and Xbox Game Pass was fantastic because we were able to reach so many more players. It's a good way for people to try [the game], and since we have such a massive DLC catalogue for that title — over 20 DLCs — it's a beautiful way of getting people in, getting engaged and showing that it's a stellar game. Then people are really tempted to buy more. So the business model really works to our advantage."
Holfve adds that this has "made Xbox a way more important platform than we ever initially thought", and continues by explaining how it is to work on a game like Contraband with a first-party publisher:
"We've had a great relationship with Microsoft, and working with a first party has been intriguing as well, seeing what that actually means in terms of support and getting closer to the hardware. It's a new type of partnership for us. We've had fantastic partnerships with Square Enix, Bethesda and Warner Bros, but those are not the same as first-party."
Holfve also had a little teaser regarding Contraband, which runs on their game engine Apex engine, more specifically "the brand new version with a lot of 'special sauce' added":
"We're focusing on our strengths and trying to improve that, so the open, gorgeous landscapes and also all the stuff we've learned in service [games]."