Xbox ex-boss: “I fear no man, but that Game Pass…”

Game Pass; according to Xbox’s current head honcho it’s super sustainable and convenient as shit. And honestly, many Xbox and/or PC gamers will totally agree with it. Being fed a tidal wave of games of premium games on a monthly basis while all you have to do is pay a monthly fee… what’s not to love? Well, according to Ed Fries, one of Xbox’s original gangsters, there’s more to it. Game Pass might be at the helm of a ruined industry, which got totaled twice before.

In an interview with Xbox Expansion Pass, Fries drew a parallel to another popular service: Spotify. Just like Game Pass, Spotify is one of those modern-day solutions to an old problem, namely piracy. Instead of making people pay for every album they’d like to listen to once in a while, presenting the option to make every single one available for a monthly fee takes the sting out of an otherwise pricey situation. In the end, it seems to be a win-win. The customer gets (almost) unlimited access for a set price and artists won’t have to deal with their music getting pirated.

But there is a downside that isn’t that obvious until it gets pointed out. And that’s what Fries is trying to do. Making everything available with no additional costs also invokes a hard drop in actual sales. People just don’t feel the need to go and buy their source of entertainment anymore. And to be fair, Ed does make a valid point there. Because tell me, when was the last time you bought a song that’s also available on Spotify? And what was the last Game Pass game you decided to buy, even though you could play it for free?

“The one thing that they’re doing that makes me nervous is Game Pass. Game Pass scares me because there’s a somewhat analogous thing called Spotify that was created for the music business.

“When Spotify took off it destroyed the music business, it literally cut the annual revenue of the music business in half. It’s made it so people just don’t buy songs anymore.

“People don’t buy songs on iPhone for example, because why would you? They’re all on your subscription service app. Apple’s said they’re going to take away buying songs because no one’s buying them anymore.

“So we have to be careful we don’t create the same system in the game business. These markets are more fragile than people realize. I saw the games industry destroy itself in the early 80s. I saw the educational software business destroy itself in the mid-90s… they literally destroyed a multi-billion dollar market in a few years.

“So Game Pass makes me nervous. As a customer, I love it. I love Spotify as a customer: I have all the songs I’d ever want… it’s a great deal as a customer. But it isn’t necessarily great for the industry.”

So, do we agree with this Xbox ex-boss or do you think he’s being a little too dramatic? The comment section is yours to utilize (and also free of charge without harming any industry).