• Hey, guest user. Hope you're enjoying NeoGAF! Have you considered registering for an account? Come join us and add your take to the daily discourse.
  • Hey Guest. Check out the NeoGAF 2.2 Update Thread for details on our new Giphy integration and other new features.

SEGA Is 'Really Happy' With The Results Of Xbox Game Pass

Vasto

Member
Mar 12, 2016
1,210
3,686
625
Xbox Game Pass is the gift that keeps on giving to consumers, but developers and publishers have also expressed their admiration for the service over the years - including SEGA, which is "really happy" with the results.



In an extensive rundown about Xbox Game Pass over at Eurogamer, SEGA Europe's senior vice president of commercial publishing, Anna Downing, spoke about the company's relationship with Xbox Game Pass, which has seen titles such as Two Point Hospital and the Yakuza franchise thrive since their inclusions.

"We're really happy with the results and we hope [Microsoft] are too. Ultimately, they wanted quality titles, we wanted to take advantage of a great new opportunity."

Downing also spoke about the success Two Point Hospital has enjoyed since being included into Xbox Game Pass, and how its addition "strengthens the exposure you get to a huge first-party audience".

"[It] helped propel the franchise to over 3 million players worldwide. That's a huge benefit of being on Game Pass, it strengthens the exposure you get to a huge first-party audience... That surge in engagement in turn helps to further establish your product in the marketplace. It's great for us and it's great for consumers who get to experience something they may not have engaged with outside of the Game Pass model."

Finally, she spoke about how SEGA's strategy over the past decade has been to deliver games that continuously update with new content, seeing a mixture of free and premium content available to purchase. With that said, Downing commented on how games could even be developed with a subscription service in mind, depending on how the industry evolves.

"Can that model work within a subscription service? Absolutely. Would we specifically develop games with a subscription service in mind? Potentially. It really depends on how the offerings evolve over the next few years and what consumer demand and expectation is."

There's been a lot of speculation over the past few months on whether Microsoft is looking to make SEGA its next big acquisition. The most recent instance came after a company restructure sparked hope in fans that news was on the horizon. Alas, it seems unlikely - but anything is possible following last year's colossal ZeniMax Media buyout.

 

Chukhopops

Member
Mar 5, 2020
482
1,022
445
"[It] helped propel the franchise to over 3 million players worldwide. That's a huge benefit of being on Game Pass, it strengthens the exposure you get to a huge first-party audience... That surge in engagement in turn helps to further establish your product in the marketplace.
Looks like being on GP actually boosts sales, who would have thought?
 

cireza

Member
Jun 1, 2014
8,022
6,527
700
Xbox Game Pass is the gift that keeps on giving to consumers, but developers and publishers have also expressed their admiration for the service over the years - including SEGA, which is "really happy" with the results.



In an extensive rundown about Xbox Game Pass over at Eurogamer, SEGA Europe's senior vice president of commercial publishing, Anna Downing, spoke about the company's relationship with Xbox Game Pass, which has seen titles such as Two Point Hospital and the Yakuza franchise thrive since their inclusions.



Downing also spoke about the success Two Point Hospital has enjoyed since being included into Xbox Game Pass, and how its addition "strengthens the exposure you get to a huge first-party audience".



Finally, she spoke about how SEGA's strategy over the past decade has been to deliver games that continuously update with new content, seeing a mixture of free and premium content available to purchase. With that said, Downing commented on how games could even be developed with a subscription service in mind, depending on how the industry evolves.



There's been a lot of speculation over the past few months on whether Microsoft is looking to make SEGA its next big acquisition. The most recent instance came after a company restructure sparked hope in fans that news was on the horizon. Alas, it seems unlikely - but anything is possible following last year's colossal ZeniMax Media buyout.

Watch as Sonyfans are going to :messenger_tears_of_joy: your post.
 

TheAssist

Member
Jul 17, 2013
793
826
605
Looks like being on GP actually boosts sales, who would have thought?
Not sales, just active players. Those players havent bought the game. But its probably good if Sega every decides to put out a new game for the series (likely for Yakuza, less so for Two Point Hospital). Also, those new games wont be on GP on launch. Unless of course they get bought by MS
 

onesvenus

Member
Aug 26, 2004
1,053
1,279
1,585
Not sales, just active players. Those players havent bought the game. But its probably good if Sega every decides to put out a new game for the series (likely for Yakuza, less so for Two Point Hospital). Also, those new games wont be on GP on launch. Unless of course they get bought by MS
How do you know that increase in active players hasn't resulted in more sales?
 

TheAssist

Member
Jul 17, 2013
793
826
605
How do you know that increase in active players hasn't resulted in more sales?
A friend of yours has played TPH on GP and comes to. What sound more appealing to you.

"Hey buy Two Point Hospital for 35€"

or

"Hey you get also get GP for 10€ a month and cancel when you're done with the games you wanne play atm"

Who buys TPH for 35 bucks just because its on GP right now. Its more a commercial for GP itself. But it might increase sales for a new game in the franchise when more people had expsoure to it.
 
  • LOL
Reactions: Vasto

Mmnow

Member
Jun 16, 2020
1,004
1,681
360
A friend of yours has played TPH on GP and comes to. What sound more appealing to you.

"Hey buy Two Point Hospital for 35€"

or

"Hey you get also get GP for 10€ a month and cancel when you're done with the games you wanne play atm"

Who buys TPH for 35 bucks just because its on GP right now. Its more a commercial for GP itself. But it might increase sales for a new game in the franchise when more people had expsoure to it.
You're not factoring in DLC, nor later purchases during sales. This is all just a positive on top of the money they get from Microsoft.

Letting people play who weren't going to play anyway, especially when you're given a cheque for the benefit, is never going to be a bad thing for a publisher.
 

Banjo64

Gold Member
Dec 8, 2020
861
2,591
490
How happy?

sexy dirty mind GIF by Animation Domination High-Def
 
  • LOL
Reactions: megreotsugua

Chukhopops

Member
Mar 5, 2020
482
1,022
445
Not sales, just active players. Those players havent bought the game. But its probably good if Sega every decides to put out a new game for the series (likely for Yakuza, less so for Two Point Hospital). Also, those new games wont be on GP on launch. Unless of course they get bought by MS
I don’t know how it’s possible to interpret « helps establish your product further in the marketplace » other than « it brings sales », it’s as clear as it gets.
 

KingT731

Member
Jan 9, 2018
536
715
435
www.Twitch.tv
Well have to see how this plays out with new releases on Xbox that aren't on GamePass day 1. If, for instance, the next Yakuza game comes out same day on PS5/XB and it bombs on Xbox then all that's happening is people either wouldn't have purchased the game anyway or they were waiting for it to come to game pass.
 

TheContact

Gold Member
Jan 22, 2016
6,471
6,138
860
i don't have gamepass but i played two point hospital on luna and it's fun as shit. i wouldn't ever have touched this game otherwise. i think these services help bring exposure to games that gamers would otherwise not give the time of day to. really it's a win-win-win and it almost seems like someone must be getting fucked here because for every action there's an equal and opposite reaction
 
Aug 28, 2019
3,870
8,097
630
www.instagram.com
"Gamepass is really good for all our games that no one wanted to spend money on"

Says more about Segas marketing than gamepass though.
But both Two Point Hospital and the Yakuza games have done pretty good numbers, the latter expanding its brand in the West. That's before going to Gamepass.

Sega's marketing's been hit-and-miss since the Dreamcast days but I'm not going to pretend Gamepass is just a repository for games that don't sell when it's had stuff like RDR 2 on the service, either (and FS 2020 soon, which has done really well on PC).
 

TheAssist

Member
Jul 17, 2013
793
826
605
I don’t know how it’s possible to interpret « helps establish your product further in the marketplace » other than « it brings sales », it’s as clear as it gets.
I even said what it means. If more people have played the game (whether they bought it or not it creates mindshare and chances are some people will have liked those games. So next times Sega puts out a game in the franchise those people are more likely to buy this new product (before it gets on GP months or years later) and hence SEGA makes more money.

Again, why would I ever buy TPH for 35€ right now when it is on gamepass? This just does not make any sense. I dont see this translating in (significantly) more sales for the current games. SEGA still gets money from game pass and its very likely the reason those games are on GP is that they currently do not make them money anymore. And their marketing budget focuses on newer games, so the only logical way to still make money with them and to create mindshare for the next installments is something like GP or PS Plus. It always has been.

Games on Gamepass, PS Plus, Games with Gold or similar services (one or more may apply depending on the game)

- are usually older (unless Sony/MS or whoever else is offering a lot of money)
- dont run an active marketing campaign (the release on a subscription service is usually part of the marketing for a newer entry in the series or the franchise in general)
- are part (or will be part) of a franchise with new installments on the horizon
- have other revenue streams (DLC, MTX, subscriptions, etc.)
- do not currently generate significant revenue through actual sales for the dev or publisher
- are made or financed by the company running the subscription service

In the case of Yakuza and TPH I'd say 4 of these apply (older, dont currently generate a lot of money through sales, do not have an active marketing campaign, are part of a franchise).

So yes, GP, PS Plus and similar services can be a plus for the dev, the publisher, the company that runs the service and the consumer. Those services arent suited for every consumer on the planet, but there might be enough to make it profitable. Only question is how many of these services can run at the same time without over saturating the market and who is gonna make it. I'm pretty sure MS right now has the best chances of being Nr 1 in that market. Everyone else is still very much open (google, amazon, Sony, maybe Apple, Ten Cent and who knows)

Edit: Another interesting question is how much subscription services will eat into traditional game sales, especially single player games without other revenue streams and if these models lead to a shift in the kind of games that get developed (more games that require constant revenue streams aka GAAS). Or if at least some single player games may even profit from this new value chain (new game at full price, games rental if it even exist anymore, sales on large platforms like steam, revenue through subscription models)
 
Last edited:
May 8, 2020
3,835
9,297
640
If I can get my defective Pac-man clone (from college) on Gamepass I believe my tag would no longer be necessary. Who doesn't like a MS signed check?
 

DaGwaphics

Member
Dec 29, 2019
3,368
4,595
505
@ TheAssist TheAssist never underestimate the power of word of mouth. A game finding a few million active players can more easily spread out to a few million more that might not be on GP.
 
  • Like
Reactions: LordBlodgett

killatopak

Member
Aug 29, 2013
13,824
2,695
770
It’s easy money as far as they’re concerned. Modern Sega games don‘t really sell well on the Xbox so guaranteed cash from GP makes them happy.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rhazer Fusion

TheAssist

Member
Jul 17, 2013
793
826
605
@ TheAssist TheAssist never underestimate the power of word of mouth. A game finding a few million active players can more easily spread out to a few million more that might not be on GP.

Yeah but GP has the far greater value compared to just these games. Again, Two Point Hospital costs 35€ on Steam right now. If anything word of mouth is profiting Game Pass and not the individual games (in terms of pure sales, not talking about recurring revenue streams or sales of future instalments).
The next game in the franchise might profit from this in terms of pure sales at release because more people have heard of it.

I am not at all saying that GP is a bad thing, I am only saying that I dont believe that putting an old game with no DLC/MTX, or other recurring revenue streams will have greater sales because of it. Simply because getting Game Pass is at this point the much better alternative to actually buying the game. I mean I'd really need to hate MS buy TPH for 35€ instead of just subscribing to GP for 3 month and get a meal with the spare money.
 

Maxwell Jacob Friedman

leads to fear. Fear leads to xbox.
Aug 13, 2020
1,687
2,976
530
Do we have sales figures for the digital version of any games? I don't think any publisher gives them
NPD' when they have sales for games and they have a asterisk by the game it means they also included digital sales, yes they do include digital sales because its a purchase on their store. Hell, Ms doesnt even give physical sales anymore
 
  • Like
Reactions: onesvenus

pasterpl

Member
Feb 8, 2020
1,777
3,267
440
Yeah but GP has the far greater value compared to just these games. Again, Two Point Hospital costs 35€ on Steam right now. If anything word of mouth is profiting Game Pass and not the individual games (in terms of pure sales, not talking about recurring revenue streams or sales of future instalments).
The next game in the franchise might profit from this in terms of pure sales at release because more people have heard of it.

I am not at all saying that GP is a bad thing, I am only saying that I dont believe that putting an old game with no DLC/MTX, or other recurring revenue streams will have greater sales because of it. Simply because getting Game Pass is at this point the much better alternative to actually buying the game. I mean I'd really need to hate MS buy TPH for 35€ instead of just subscribing to GP for 3 month and get a meal with the spare money.

that’s why 6 of ms games last year became steam top sellers while also being on gamepass
Then you have got this:


believing in something doesn’t make it true
 
Last edited:

ZehDon

Member
Jun 13, 2013
3,473
5,026
735
Australia
Yeah but GP has the far greater value compared to just these games. Again, Two Point Hospital costs 35€ on Steam right now. If anything word of mouth is profiting Game Pass and not the individual games (in terms of pure sales, not talking about recurring revenue streams or sales of future instalments).
The next game in the franchise might profit from this in terms of pure sales at release because more people have heard of it.

I am not at all saying that GP is a bad thing, I am only saying that I dont believe that putting an old game with no DLC/MTX, or other recurring revenue streams will have greater sales because of it. Simply because getting Game Pass is at this point the much better alternative to actually buying the game. I mean I'd really need to hate MS buy TPH for 35€ instead of just subscribing to GP for 3 month and get a meal with the spare money.
The concept is called "economies of scales", and its basically employing the adage: its easier to convince ten people to part with $10 than one person to part with $100.

What we're seeing is people who wanted to buy the game have already bought the game. The people who were never going to buy the game play it on Gamepass because its "free", for which the developer is paid a lump sum by Microsoft. People who were undecided on the game can play it on Gamepass, and some decide yes and buy it and some decide no and don't as it exits Gamepass. And a small few will have never heard of the game and discover it on Gamepass, and then they make their own purchase decision. As a result, Gamepass lowers the barrier of entry to any one game, resulting in that adage I listed: ten people spent $10 that they other wouldn't have spent without Gamepass - resulting in more revenue for the developer, and more revenue for Microsoft, taken in smaller amounts from a larger audience.

This system only works - and only becomes profitable - once it reaches enough of a subscriber base, which it generally referred to the as "critical mass". Accordingly to Spencer last year, Gamepass became profitable somewhere before they announced the 15 million subscriber count. We've seen several developers already explain that Gamepass was a massive win for them, not just in terms of exposure, but in terms of raw sales.
 

Genx3

Member
Jun 23, 2019
644
1,002
380
Of course they are.
They got free money for games that were no longer selling plus the added sales from people that really like those games.
It's a great benefit to get on GP once your sales are way down. Paid for exposure of your game for future versions as well.
 

Ozzy Onya A2Z

Member
Apr 16, 2012
9,253
2,980
970
Melbourne, Australia
Can confirm wife and daughter played TPH via GP and now own a digital copy. I'm also about to jump into the Yakuza series for the first time in my gaming life, I wouldn't ever had played Yakuza without GP.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Kagey K

Rikku-X

Member
Aug 1, 2020
129
223
250
I bet most xbox fans would not put up with reading Japanese. I bet they downloaded and deleted 10 minutes after.