Former Xbox vice president Ed Fries fears Xbox Game Pass could destroy the industry.
Xbox Game Pass is a huge success for Microsoft and is being celebrated by gamers.
The service, which is often referred to as the “Netflix of games”, was launched on June 1, 2017 on Xbox One and has since offered a range of over 100 games that can be played in full for a monthly fee of 12.99 euros.
Others see the service, which is playable on Xbox consoles, PC and mobile devices thanks to the cloud, as a threat to the quality of the games and also does not consider it profitable.
The Xbox Game Pass could even destroy the gaming industry. At least that’s the view of Ed Fries, former Xbox vice president of game publishing at Microsoft.
On Episode 132 of the Xbox Expansion Podcast, Fries spoke about the service making him scared and nervous. So he compares the Xbox Game Pass with the music service Spotify. According to him, he destroyed the music industry and caused the income to collapse.
“The one thing they do that makes me nervous is Game Pass. Game Pass scares me because there is a similar thing called Spotify that was made for the music industry. When Spotify launched, it destroyed the music business, it literally halved the music business’s annual revenue. It’s made people just stop buying songs.”
Fries advises caution, after all, markets for gaming and music are vulnerable. He saw something like this back in the 1980s, when the industry self-destructed.
“So we have to be careful that we don’t create the same system in the gaming industry. These markets are more vulnerable than people realize. I saw the games industry self destruct in the early 80’s.”
But from a customer’s point of view, he thinks both Xbox Game Pass and Spotify are great things. But what is good for customers is not necessarily good for the industry.
“So Game Pass makes me nervous. As a customer I love it. I love Spotify as a customer: I have all the songs I’ve ever wanted…it’s a great deal for a customer. But it’s not necessarily good for the industry.”
What do you think? Is Ed Fries right and Xbox Game Pass could mean the downfall of the gaming industry?