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Business Analysis Sales-Age MAT PISCATELLA (NPD): Still No Sign GamePass Cannibalizes Game Sales

For those who have GamePass and still buy the games present anyway, what's the main reason why?

  • The price discounts

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • Fear of the game not being there forever

    Votes: 5 19.2%
  • Just to show extra support for the developer/publisher

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • I buy it but physical for longevity/collectibility reasons

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • I buy it physically but not for Xbox (PC, PlayStation, Switch)

    Votes: 4 15.4%
  • I buy it digitally but not for Xbox (PC, PlayStation, Switch)

    Votes: 4 15.4%

  • Total voters
    26
  • Poll closed .

Kagey K

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How would NPD know? Digital sales aren't shared with them by any manufacturer last I heard.
They have been tracking digital for a long time and it seems like only Nintendo and a couple other holdouts don't share.

 
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yazenov

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I mean, how did he came to this conclusion that Game pass does not affect game sales? Such a statement needs evidence to back it up. Show us the receipts then. Since he is claiming this statement, he should back it up with data and show us how did he came to this conclusion.

What is the split in the US for Outriders and MLB the show?

From what we get from the UK sales threads, the opposite is true where multi platform games sell the majority on PS5 and the ratio have increased in favor of PlayStation since last gen.

I though Game pass is the best value in gaming and that you don't need to buy games ever again. Xbox userbase are happy to wait for games to come to Game pass. Yet now people are saying that Game pass increases games sales? Like which is it? You don't buy games or you buy games due to Game pass? I'm confused by this conflicting statement.

If Game Pass increases game sales then why don't all publishers put their games on Game pass day one? Surely they saw the numbers and don't want to leave money on the table (lol).
 
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I mean, how did he came to this conclusion that Game pass does not affect game sales? Such a statement needs evidence to back it up. Show us the receipts then. Since he is claiming this statement, he should back it up with data and show us how did he came to this conclusion.

What is the split in the US for Outriders and MLB the show?

From what we get from the UK sales threads, the opposite is true where multi platform games sell the majority on PS5 and the ratio have increased in favor of PlayStation since last gen.

I though Game pass is the best value in gaming and that you don't need to buy games ever again. Xbox userbase are happy to wait for games to come to Game pass. Yet now people are saying that Game pass increases games sales? Like which is it? You don't buy games or you buy games due to Game pass? I'm confused by this conflicting statement.

If Game Pass increases game sales then why don't all publishers put their games on Game pass day one? Surely they saw the numbers and don't want to leave money on the table (lol).
Because when it comes to claims, even though there's two sides to every situation, the status quo side has the benefit of not needing to do anything. It's up to the side wanting to prove an effect or outcome to prove it's a game changer.

It's like in court.

If a neighbour claims the guy beside him stole his lawnmower, the default verdict is nothing is going to happen unless he can prove he stole it. The default judgement isn't the guy is guilty and it's up to him to prove he didn't.
 
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How would NPD know? Digital sales aren't shared with them by any manufacturer last I heard.

I'm sure he probably has connections. When you work in that type of field, you tend to have some connects.

We need more data to arrive at more conclusive analysis.

You don't think the guy who works with NPD and has access to said data doesn't have enough data to arrive at some early consensus? Granted it can change over time but GamePass has been here for 4 years , I think there's enough sample points of sales data to draw from to start drawing some early conclusions.

I mean, how did he came to this conclusion that Game pass does not affect game sales? Such a statement needs evidence to back it up. Show us the receipts then. Since he is claiming this statement, he should back it up with data and show us how did he came to this conclusion.

Again, this is the type of person who has evidence, at least some of it, given their position in the industry, to come to some conclusion. If what he saw led to the opposite conclusion, he'd be voicing that instead. From what I've seen of his posts over the past 2-3 years he's pretty blunt and upfront about his observations regardless of platform or title.

As for said evidence being put publicly, you guys need to keep in mind these are real people with real contracts and careers here. They'd need to coordinate agreements with multiple publishers to get permission to publish their numbers publicly, and they aren't going to do that to appease people on forums.
 
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Kagey K

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As for said evidence being put publicly, you guys need to keep in mind these are real people with real contracts and careers here. They'd need to coordinate agreements with multiple publishers to get permission to publish their numbers publicly, and they aren't going to do that to appease people on forums.
Also they sell all that info. What they share publicly is only a small snippet of the information subscribers get, which is why we used to have better sales numbers and leaks until they actively went after subscribers who leaked the info.

They aren't going to publicly release numbers that they give to paying subscribers, or they lose those subscribers.
 
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Sea of Thieves is only $20 on steam.

What does that have to do with anything? Most games that aren't Nintendo sell for much lower prices after the first year, in some cases after the first few months. Is bringing up the price an implication it's being sold at a loss? Maybe it is, maybe it isn't, but that's the kind of game where sales via DLC are the big revenue stream.

In such a case it's almost like a F2P.

Also they sell all that info. What they share publicly is only a small snippet of the information subscribers get, why is why we used to have better sales numbers and leaks until they actively went after subscribers who leaked the info.

They aren't going to publicly release numbers that they give to paying subscribers, or they lose those subscribers.

Yeah that sounds logical too. I'm sure there's a handful of folks on these forums who might have said memberships (unless you need to verify you are in the industry in a working capacity that's not a journalist, Youtuber or streamer in which case the potential number is much less) but they're not gonna go blabbing that out.
 
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IntentionalPun

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The Gears 5 tweet is damning and then you can couple that with sales data out of the UK and it does not paint a pretty picture.....


I mean, he can say what he likes but the data points to a very different picture than the one he is trying to assert.
I think he's talking about overall volume of sales.

Meaning individual games might be affected, but the spending is shifting elsewhere.

The industry has continued to grow from a software sales perspective while GamePass's popularity is going up. Not sure he can say that's true for MS, but their overall revenue certainly has.
 
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MOTM

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I mean, how did he came to this conclusion that Game pass does not affect game sales? Such a statement needs evidence to back it up. Show us the receipts then. Since he is claiming this statement, he should back it up with data and show us how did he came to this conclusion.

What is the split in the US for Outriders and MLB the show?

From what we get from the UK sales threads, the opposite is true where multi platform games sell the majority on PS5 and the ratio have increased in favor of PlayStation since last gen.

I though Game pass is the best value in gaming and that you don't need to buy games ever again. Xbox userbase are happy to wait for games to come to Game pass. Yet now people are saying that Game pass increases games sales? Like which is it? You don't buy games or you buy games due to Game pass? I'm confused by this conflicting statement.

If Game Pass increases game sales then why don't all publishers put their games on Game pass day one? Surely they saw the numbers and don't want to leave money on the table (lol).
UK charts of all 230 physical copies of videogames sold per week doesn’t mean anything. The fact that Gamepass is so popular on Xbox just tells you that Xbox is a platform where nobody buys physical.
 

LordBlodgett

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For me personally I have played more games in the last 2 years than I did in the previous 10, and that is almost completely due to Gamepass. In terms of purchasing games I am more picky about what I purchase now because I already have access to so many good ones. I have purchased quite a few games as they went off the service because I was able to try them, liked them, but hadn't finished them yet. I also purchase more DLC than I did before.
 
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UK charts of all 230 physical copies of videogames sold per week doesn’t mean anything. The fact that Gamepass is so popular on Xbox just tells you that Xbox is a platform where nobody buys physical.
And that makes sense. Xbox sales heavily skew to North America and UK. Places with decent internet and GP is more available to boot. Xbox has $1 deals and more recent gen games boosting GP.

PS is different. It has wider scope of countries it's popular in and many of those countries have sketchy internet. Also, PS Now is in fewer countries than GP. So for subscription gamers, more Xbox gamers in more countries have choice to do either discs or go digital.

No doubt the typical PS gamer globally is more inclined to go disc vs. digital.
 
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MOTM

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And that makes sense. Xbox sales heavily skew to North America and UK. Places with decent internet and GP is more available to boot. Xbox has $1 deals and more recent gen games boosting GP.

PS is different. It has wider scope of countries it's popular in and many of those countries have sketchy internet. Also, PS Now is in fewer countries than GP. So for subscription gamers, more Xbox gamers in more countries have choice to do either discs or go digital.

No doubt the typical PS gamer globally is more inclined to go disc vs. digital.
Makes sense. Have no idea how people have such a hard time seeing that the Xbox is pretty much a 100% digital console at this point.
 

yazenov

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UK charts of all 230 physical copies of videogames sold per week doesn’t mean anything. The fact that Gamepass is so popular on Xbox just tells you that Xbox is a platform where nobody buys physical.

I think the rumors is that Gamepass subs are around 23 million users? Those numbers are split between Xbox 360, Xbox one, Xbox Series X, and PC . Those 23 million users are small compared to the overall Xbox users base.

So this doesn't explain the huge split in game sales. Also, if you want to speculate regarding digital sales, the PS split would still be higher than Xbox due to the shear amount of console sales difference.

I think the huge difference in software split is because of the combination of console userbase and Game pass changing the Xbox userbase spending habits.
 

yazenov

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Because when it comes to claims, even though there's two sides to every situation, the status quo side has the benefit of not needing to do anything. It's up to the side wanting to prove an effect or outcome to prove it's a game changer.

It's like in court.

If a neighbour claims the guy beside him stole his lawnmower, the default verdict is nothing is going to happen unless he can prove he stole it. The default judgement isn't the guy is guilty and it's up to him to prove he didn't.

The burden of proof is on MS to convince publishers to put their Games on Game pass day one. And from the look of things, they are not doing a successful job at convincing them. The two large multplatfrom games are Outriders and MLB the show? That is all I can think of at the moment.

Sony is the one doing work securing timed exclusives left and right.
 

MOTM

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I think the rumors is that Gamepass subs are around 23 million users? Those numbers are split between Xbox 360, Xbox one, Xbox Series X, and PC . Those 23 million users are small compared to the overall Xbox users base.

So this doesn't explain the huge split in game sales. Also, if you want to speculate regarding digital sales, the PS split would still be higher than Xbox due to the shear amount of console sales difference.

I think the huge difference in software split is because of the combination of console userbase and Game pass changing the Xbox userbase spending habits.
Your whole post made no sense.
 
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Bollocks. Plenty of people on here say

‘I’ll just wait for it to come to gamepass’

Most recently with bio mutant. Some of them actually think every 3rd party comes to it..
 
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DaGwaphics

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^ Someone could say that some people think that water is dry, doesn't mean it is something that exists very consistently.

I don't think there could be many individuals that flipped through the GP catalog and thought that was all the software available on Xbox.

@ yazenov yazenov GP isn't a thing on Xbox 360, you'll need to scratch that one from your list.
 
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yazenov

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^ Someone could say that some people think that water is dry, doesn't mean it is something that exists very consistently.

I don't think there could be many individuals that flipped through the GP catalog and thought that was all the software available on Xbox.

@ yazenov yazenov GP isn't a thing on Xbox 360, so you'll need to scratch that one from your list.

Yes thanks for the correction.
 

DaGwaphics

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The burden of proof is on MS to convince publishers to put their Games on Game pass day one. And from the look of things, they are not doing a successful job at convincing them. The two large multplatfrom games are Outriders and MLB the show? That is all I can think of at the moment.

Sony is the one doing work securing timed exclusives left and right.

What is your point there? That Sony is out writing bigger checks or what? Timed exclusive (but paid from day one) and day on on a subscription are different things. MS has just started to dip its toes into that water recently, let's let some more time pass before we make any big assumptions there. LOL
 

yurinka

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I think it will obviously negatively affect their sales. Specially (if it happens) the Bethesda ones that were multi and now will be (timed?) console exclusives and available day one on Game Pass. Their sales will be abysmal compared to their previous multiplatform games.

Regarding to track player engagement, I think it only makes sense for GaaS that rely on microtransactions because player retention affect its sales. But most games aren't microtransactions fueled games, so for games like Gears 5 it doesn't make sense to track engagement.

The burden of proof is on MS to convince publishers to put their Games on Game pass day one. And from the look of things, they are not doing a successful job at convincing them. The two large multplatfrom games are Outriders and MLB the show? That is all I can think of at the moment.

Sony is the one doing work securing timed exclusives left and right.
Timed (or full) exclusives, or to include a game on Gamepass/PS Now/PS Plus/Gold (day one or not) depends on how much do they pay to compensate the related lost sales, if it's enough for the publisher/dev.

So to get more or less games there just means if the platform holder decides to spend more or less. And to invest more here or there. Sony may think it's better for them (or their audience tastes) to invest in 3rd party games like Final Fantasy or Guilty Gear Strive, and MS may decide it's better for them to invest on stuff like Outriders and MLB.

There is some people very happy getting the games they got these recent months on Game Pass and not getting big MS games for like a year or so. And there is some people getting games like Returnal, FF stuff, Guilty Gear, Ratchet, Morales, PS Plus Collection and so on.

I think both are doing a good job, since both fans seem happy and hyped for the future.
 
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yazenov

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What is your point there? That Sony is out writing bigger checks or what? Timed exclusive (but paid from day one) and day on on a subscription are different things. MS has just started to dip its toes into that water recently, let's let some more time pass before we make any big assumptions there. LOL

My point is that Publishers saw the numbers and would rather take the Sony deal for timed exclusive since the majority of software sales will be on Playstation anyways, so the money gotten from Sony will more than make up for the potential lost sales on Xbox. Then a year later, they might put their game on Game Pass after getting paid by MS to put their game on the service.

Its a win win if Pubs get paid twice :)

Another point money hatts not withstanding, If MS convinced pubs that Game Pass increases game sales, they would have put their games on the service day one of launch. This is not the case as of yet with the majority of multi platform games not releasing on Game pass day one.
 
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ZlleH

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I have Gamepass and I hardly turn on my SeriesX anymore, much less think of buying a game from the MS store.

Played all of the Yakuza series on Gamepass, now I am waiting for some new game that I am interested in to come to Gamepass to turn on the SeriesX again.

Meanwhile, I am playing PS+ games on my PS5.

This generation I will be using Gamepass and PS+ to keep me busy while waiting for 50% discounts on exclusives. And yes, there will be exclusive games that will break my will power on day one, but you get the idea.
 
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I'm not on gamepass or any service of that type, but given the limited library and how old most games are on these services I don't see them causing sales problems for a long time (assuming that the libraries get better).
 

DaGwaphics

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My point is that Publishers saw the numbers and would rather take the Sony deal for timed exclusive since the majority of software sales will be on Playstation anyways, so the money gotten from Sony will more than make up for the potential lost sales on Xbox. Then a year later, they might put their game on Game Pass after getting paid by MS to put their game on the service.

Its a win win if Pubs get paid twice :)

Another point money hatts not withstanding, If MS convinced pubs that Game Pass increases game sales, they would have put their games on the service day one of launch. This is not the case as of yet with the majority of multi platform games not releasing on Game pass day one.

Would be a win win for them regardless. MS doesn't force exclusivity with most of their GP deals, so, the option is there to get that coin, the networking effect, the instant player base on Xbox and grab their $70 from PS buyers in one go. I'm sure they draw considerably less out of MS a year later.

The third-party day one on GP is a new phenomenon. Just like Epic with the free games, I would think that MS is looking at the numbers on that and tracking how much growth is triggered by that and what the PR/marketing value was etc. Time will tell if we see some other major inclusions there in the future.