5 Myths I’ve heard about Xbox Gamepass

I’m a big fan of Game Pass. I see many positives to it, and frankly little to no negatives. It is no surprise to me that Game Pass surpassed 10 million subscribers as of late April according to various media outlets. It is unclear what composition of these 10 million subscribers are Game Pass for Console, Game Pass for PC, or like myself subscribers of Game Pass Ultimate. However, 10 million is still a large number. In my view, it is not large enough. Many more people can benefit from the Game Pass subscription. Many have wondered how many subscribers to Game Pass there will be once “soccer moms” and “soccer dads” learn about it. These terms refer to people unlike me (although my kids player soccer) that don’t follow gaming news and/or their households have very casual or infrequent gaming sessions However, I’ve heard some myths out there about Game Pass that are either misleading, at best a half-truth, or flat wrong that could have stopped folks from signing up by now. Let’s address five that I’ve personally heard.

  1. Game Pass is just Halo, Gears, and a bunch of filler.

Anyone that knows even a little about Game Pass knows that this statement is quite silly. This is likely just some fanboy-ism of a competing platform that is trying to cloak itself in, at best – ignorance, or worse – an attempt to completely mischaracterize the service. But if you’re friends with people like that and don’t know anyone who currently subscribes to Game Pass, you might have believed them. But, let’s expose this first myth. A lot of people like Halo. A lot of people like the Gears franchise. However, people also like The Witcher 3, which of as of April has sold over 28 million copies worldwide. What? Game Pass (for console) has The Witcher 3? You mean the same Witcher from the Netflix show? Yes! That one! It also recently had Grand Theft Auto V, which is the highest selling game across multiple platforms the last few years. It also currently has Red Dead Redemption 2, which broke many console sales records it’s first launch weekend in late 2018. Filler, you say? Just for clarity, I’m not recommending any of those games in particular for the children of said soccer parents.

According to Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass website, there are 240 games currently on Game Pass for Console and 197 on Game Pass for PC. I’ve only mentioned three games so far. Granted, I’ve mentioned really really great games, but intentionally more-so well-known games (or franchises) to highlight a point so that hopefully these named examples will sound familiar to the soccer moms and soccer dads out there. Personally, I’ve only actually played one of those three that I mentioned. Why? Because there are so many other great games that I’ve spent time playing and I just can’t find the time to play all of them. I’ll mention more of those other games a little later, but just a handful of others I’ll mention to deal the finishing blow to this myth would be Batman Arkham Knight (sold 5 million copies in its first few months after launch), Rocket League, which if I’m going to reach the soccer moms or dads then maybe I should mention that this game was actually part of the center plot to an episode of Fuller House on Netflix, and Untitled Goose Game which won game of the year at the DICE 2020 awards. Again, I could keep going about the games, but I’m sure at some point that I have a character limit. Let’s move on, and I’ll do my best to stop saying soccer moms and soccer dads.

2. If I play games on Game Pass, I’m not supporting developers.

There may be lack of business knowledge to this one. Yes, in a perfect world, we would all be able to pay $60 on the release date for every game we’ve ever wanted to play. And indeed, this would put the maximum amount of net profit dollars into the pocket of your favorite developer or a developer that you think did an amazing job on a game. And there’s no argument to that. Heck, if you love a developer enough, buy their Day 1 special edition, buy hats and shirts, and gift additional copies of their game to friends and family. That’s what I would do if money weren’t an issue. However, the average person does not have that sort of disposable income to buy every new game, even if you tend to like every game that comes out. I do know a handful of people that seemingly buy every game on day 1 and I wonder how they do it. But guess what? Those same people are also subscribed to Game Pass, so who knows?

For those of us without unlimited disposable income, other hobbies to throw money at, or have varying long term financial goals, we can’t buy everything. This is partly why many of us are on Game Pass. But, allow me to insert Morpheus from The Matrix and say, “what if I told you that most developers are receiving financial compensation for their game to be on Game Pass?” It’s true. Developers don’t just say “well, shucks looks like we can’t sell anymore copies of our game, so let’s just throw it on Game Pass.” And the data showing the number of downloads and time spent playing the individual Game Pass games is no doubt being collected. If the developer/publisher’s game is a big hit on Game Pass, then that gives them a little bit more bargaining power (for more compensation) when it comes time to renew the Game Pass contract agreement. More people playing their game and talking about their game is free publicity and furthers their brand. However, there’s actually more to it than that. It leads up into our next one.

3. Game Pass will stop more game purchases in the future.

So I’m nearing completion of Red Dead Redemption 2 through Game Pass. It’s a very good game in my view. I probably don’t love it quite as much as some other folks, but it was a game I knew for certain that I would not buy day 1 because the genre of game tends to not be my favorite. With that said, I’ve definitely enjoyed the experience. It was clearly good enough to make me think about buying the first Red Dead game. It has also made me more likely to buy Red Dead Redemption 3 (or whatever they call it) on day 1 whenever that game releases. So Rockstar games surely didn’t get the equivalent of $60 from me playing their game on Game Pass, but they’ve exposed a new player to their game franchise which could potentially lead to more actual game sales in the future. It won’t work out this way with every game, and that’s OK. Not every game is for everyone. But to tie in with the previous point, it will support developers further.

4.You need an Xbox to have Xbox Game Pass.

Microsoft created a separate subscription service for PC players. As mentioned above, it’s called Xbox Game Pass for PC. There are well over 100 games on the service currently, and hopefully you’ll believe me by now that Game Pass is not just a bunch of filler. It is true that Game Pass for PC does not have the identical library to Game Pass for Console. There are many reasons for this, but I can see how not having an Xbox will prevent you from squeezing the most value out of Game Pass as a whole so perhaps this statement has bit of truth baked into it. With that said, this statement will likely become less true over time.

During E3 2019, Microsoft confirmed that it’s game streaming service, Project Xcloud, will be integrated at some point with Xbox Game Pass. I am currently a part of the IOS beta test group for mobile devices. I haven’t tested my Ipad yet, but I know folks who have and they say it works perfectly fine. I’ve played a few hours of Halo on my Iphone 6s. It’s not the way I prefer to play games, but it’s perfectly good quality for what it is. Further down the road when all of the beta tests are over and Game Pass and Xcloud are integrated, you will be able to utilize your Game Pass subscription on cell phones, tablets, PC’s – either download or stream it, and potentially even Smart TV’s. Microsoft and Samsung recently made an agreement for certain types of Samsung TV’s to have the Xbox Game Pass App pre-loaded on the TV. Some of these TV’s are already in people’s homes by the way. It is not crazy at all to think you will be able to stream games directly on your 4K TV at home, possibly with no intermediary device needed. I will probably always own an Xbox console. But as time goes by, owning the console will be less and less important to enjoy and take advantage of Game Pass.

5. Gamepass isn’t very good value.

I’m actually ok with this statement if they just added “for me” at the end. Maybe you only play games like FIFA or Madden. Or maybe you only play Call of Duty games, or perhaps you spend the majority of your gaming time on retro consoles and their game library. If that’s you, then the value of Game Pass may not be the best fit for you in its present format. It’s fine. We like what we like and I would not suggest someone get the Game Pass service if all they want to do is play the newest FIFA game. I get it. I stopped buying new Nintendo Switch games for my son because he just ignores them and returns to Fortnite as I’m sure many 9 year-old kids are doing these days. However, to say that Game Pass itself isn’t a good value as a general statement would be bordering on the absurd if you ask me. Let me break down how I’ve seen the value.

I’ve been a subscriber to Game Pass Ultimate for nearly a year. In that year’s time, a Game Pass Ultimate subscription has cost me $180 out of pocket. That’s 12 months at $14.99 per month. If you add up the retail prices (at places like Wal-Mart, Amazon, or Best Buy) of all the games that I’ve played through Game Pass Ultimate in that time, it is approximately a $600 value. For Xbox first party games that I’ve played on day 1, it will assume full-price, since that’s when I usually play them. First party games during this time would be Gears 5, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Gears Tactics, Minecraft Dungeons, and The Outer Worlds to name a few. I’ve already mentioned Red Dead Redemption 2, but I’ve also played through all the newer Tomb Raider games, some of the Wolfenstein games, some of the Batman Arkham games, and many others.

But wait a minute, you wouldn’t have played ALL of those games if you didn’t have Gamepass, so you can’t say that it saved you over $400 over the last year! That’s true, I wouldn’t have played all of those games, and some of them definitely not day 1. But with a fixed cost of $180 per year, I’m experiencing much the value of the service. I don’t have to ever buy any of Microsoft’s first party games, and I get them on day 1. Even if I only played 3 regularly priced day 1 Microsoft titles per year, the service would pay for itself.

Again, I have the ultimate subscription. Currently if you just want Xbox Gamepass for console, it’s only $120 for the year ($10 per month), which drops it to 2 first party day 1 titles per year in order to be a wash. I’m using the Microsoft 1st party games as the example here because they are always there on day 1 and they never leave Game Pass, so it’s not a moving target of trying to add up 3rd party game values at different price points, but you definitely could if you wanted to. To finish off the point, I leave you with a tidbit I shared with friends on twitter on May 4th. For the calendar month (May) I would be playing the new Gears Tactics game and Red Dead Redemption 2. Out of pocket on that day, it would have cost me $98. For the month of May, it still only cost me $14.99. Value, my friends, value.

Joel Mead has been a gaming enthusiast since he got an NES for Christmas in 1990. You can follow him on Twitch where he streams occasionally, as well as follow him on Twitter .

Crayta and Wave break Stadia news

Crayta, the game that allows players to create, collaborate, share, and play multiplayer games, launches First on Stadia on July 1! Available free for Stadia Pro subscribers, Crayta is also available for purchase on the Stadia store as Crayta: Premium Edition and Crayta: Deluxe Edition.


Crayta launches with State Share Beta, an early version of the Stadia feature called State Share. With State Share Beta, players can simply create a link within Crayta and share it with other players, sending them instantly into their game to collaborate and play. See below for more details and a trailer on how State Share Beta will work at launch!

Crayta will also have Premium and Deluxe editions which come with outfits for your character as well as in game currency which is used to buy more outfits.

On top of that we also have a release date for Wavebreak.

If you missed our interviews with devs from either game you can check them out below.

Pokemon expansion has level scaling.

For someone like me that didn’t finish the latest Pokemon games, buying the expansion seemed like a bad idea until I read this.

IGN had a hands off demo and they noticed that the game seemed to be scaling to the level of the player, meaning that even I could pick up the expansion and play it having not even reached the halfway mark of the original game.

We asked Nintendo product marketing specialist Demetrius Boggs if this meant level scaling was in place, and he confirmed that Pokemon Sword and Shield’s Expansion Pass area’s trainers and wild Pokemon will in fact scale with your own Pokemon levels.

Not only that, but these areas can be accessed as soon as you reach the Wild Area of PokĂ©mon Sword and Shield, just a few hours into the games. So whether you’ve just started or have already completed every post-game activity and have a full party of level-100 PokĂ©mon, both parts of the expansion pass–The Isle of Armor and The Crown Tundra–will match your PokĂ©mon’s level.

As of now, we’re unsure whether the DLC areas will continue to scale with your level, or if the areas become locked to the level your PokĂ©mon were when you first visit, but we will update this as soon as we hear back from the PokĂ©mon Company.

Source

IGN Lists System Shock Redux for Google Stadia

System Shock is one of those games that I missed out on. Which is very disappointing as it was made by the same developers of Bioshock, one of my favorite shooters of all time. Well looks like I can remedy the situation on Google Stadia as the game is getting a remake and IGN lists it as coming to Stadia, Windows, Linux, PS4, Xbox One.

System Shock received a brand new trailer and showed the game in action. This remaster of the 1994 classic was rebuilt on Unreal Engine 4 and allows you to once again face off against the ruthless A.I. Shodan. It also teased a demo may be headed our way soon.

Source

Stadia may be getting ready for YouTube integration!

Update. A developer reached out to me with the following screenshot.

“This window is meant for managing your live stream. To visit other areas of Stadia like settings and full player profiles, use your main Stadia window (but remember that your live stream viewers can see what you do there)”

Image submitted by anonymous Stadia developer.

Discord community member AquaRegia found some very interesting things in the developer tools in Chrome. I’ve spoken to a developer that is working on Google Stadia game and they have confirmed that this information is legitimate.

I have no way of knowing how long this code has been here for but, fantastic find by AquaRegia.

Will update this story as more information develops

Here it shows that you’ll have to set up your YouTube account before starting streaming for the first time.

And here it says you can use your favorite software to live stream on Stadia. Also talks about Crowd choice

This could mean that the feature is on its way, or it could mean that we have ages to wait, no way to really know.

AquaRegia also posted a Reddit thread with a few more screen shots.

Tune in tomorrow for Stadiacast and we’ll talk about this.

Check out the data yourself

Unexplored 2 Trailer and Screenshots

This looks really cool, I love the art style, and the genre. The promise of an infinitly replayable game sounds cool. We’ll see sometime next year.


Unexplored 2: The Wayfarer’s Legacy is coming to PC by way of the Epic Games Store, its development extended into next year, with a launch targeted for Q1 2021. A new trailer, showcased at the PC Gaming Show, offers another look at Unexplored 2‘s wondrous world.

Unexplored 2 is an ambitious roguelite action-RPG, featuring advanced world, level and quest generation, a gorgeous graphical style and a beautiful, orchestral soundtrack.

Publisher Big Sugar and Epic Games have agreed upon a one year exclusivity deal for Unexplored 2. This has enabled the extended development trajectory, allowing developer Ludomotion to explore the design implications of ‘radical content generation’ – an approach that pushes the boundaries far beyond traditional level generation.

Game Director, Joris Dormans, explains: â€śWe’re taking a radical approach to procedural content generation. We’re creating complete worlds, and little worlds within those worlds: stories, quests, competing tribes. When all of these systems come together, they will create a game which is almost infinitely replayable.”

An Unexplored 2 closed beta will begin later this summer. Anyone wishing to participate can sign-up here: https://www.bigsugar.games/beta

To celebrate the extension of Unexplored 2’s development, Ludomotion and Big Sugar have released the new ‘One Quest. Unlimited Adventure’ trailer: 

Source PR

New Baldur’s Gate 3 Trailer Reveals Early Access Release Window Plus a whole bunch of new Screenshots!

I have to say what they have shown so far looks amazing and the differences between what we’ve seen before and now are striking. I can’t wait to get my hands on this. I’ll be playing it on Stadia and I’m sure we’ll discuss it on this Sunday’s episode of Stadiacast


Larian Studios has announced that Baldur’s Gate 3 is expected to launch into early access this August… maybe. While Baldur’s Gate 3 continues to take shape, today’s new trailer demonstrates the mood and tone of the game, which has pushed Larian’s lauded RPG talent into an entirely new level of depth and ambition.

Announced in June 2019 during the final E3 conference, Baldur’s Gate 3 is a sequel to CRPG legends Baldur’s Gate and Baldur’s Gate II, bringing the series into the modern era with AAA production values, including fully cinematic dialogue, cooperative multiplayer, and authentic gameplay based on 5th edition Dungeons & Dragons.

Larian also released a new community update video today hinting at changes that have come to the game since its first showing at PAX East 2020 earlier this year. Fans can find out even more about the game during D&D Live 2020: Roll w/ Advantage, hosted on June 18 at www.DungeonsandDragons.com.

COVID-19 has impacted the Larian team as it has many people around the world, but the shift to work-from-home has gratefully been a successful one, allowing Larian to continue building toward an early access period of (maybe!) August. Larian will have more information about the specific content of early access in the future, but the team is committed to working directly with community feedback to evolve the game during its early access campaign.

For more information on Baldur’s Gate 3, check out https://baldursgate3.game.

Stadia app hits 1 million downloads on Android

Thanks to community member JoelThomp12 for sharing. I’d caution that doesn’t mean that they have 1 million users, I’m sure a lot of people have downloaded it and never used it.

In other Stadia news We’ll see some new stuff from Wave Break tomorrow!

Hello Everyone!

We know we’ve been saying that “the game is coming soon,” but really, Wave Break is coming sooner than you think!

Tomorrow at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET / 5PM UTC, we will be showing more of the customization, along with some more gameplay.

Source

More Screens for Foreclosed

I talked about Foreclosed on the podcast today, be sure to check it out if you haven’t already. But they just emailed me a bunch of screenshots to share with you. I love the art style of this game and certainly can’t wait to get my hands on it.

And here is the Reveal Trailer, just in case you missed it.

Features

  • Slick Cyberpunk Action – Foreclosed blends a striking comic book aesthetic alongside high-octane, cyberpunk infused action gameplay.
  • Hi-tech Combat – Modify your Symbiotic Pistol with an assortment of customization including “Machine-Gun” mode and explosive rounds.
  • Firmware Upgrades – Discover and unlock brain implant abilities with an RPG-like skill system
  • Interactive Comic Book – Everything from gameplay to cinematics are experienced within the stylistic framework of a graphic novel to make you truly feel like a comic book hero.
  • Original Story – Follow the story of Evan Kapnos, his identity recently Foreclosed, stripped of his job, brain implants and access to the city Blockchain. He must now escape the city before his identity and implants are auctioned off…

Deliver Us The Moon cancelled for Nintendo Switch

Porting games is never easy, porting from more powerful hardware to less powerful hardware is even harder. Looks like Keoken Interactive and Wired Productions couldn’t make it happen. With the number of Switch consoles in the wild you know they would have made it happen if they could. That’s a lot of customers.

If you pre-ordered the game you should be able to get a refund.

Hello Astronauts,

It has been just over 6 weeks since we launched on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 – and we have been overwhelmed with the love, passion and positive feedback for the game shown by fans worldwide.

We had planned to include Nintendo Switch in our release schedule. However, today we unfortunately bring news that we will no longer be releasing a Nintendo Switch version of Deliver Us The Moon.

We have a duty to our players and to our teams, and after careful consideration, we’ve had to take the difficult decision to end development.

The decision has been made based on a number of factors, not helped by the industry-wide stresses that have been felt by the Covid-19 pandemic, which has made every task just that little bit harder.

We understand the disappointment this may cause and if you have preordered the game for Nintendo Switch, you can get in touch with your retailer to cancel this.

Thank you for your patience and support – other missions have only just begun and we look forward to sharing news on where these rockets take us next…

Source

Deliver Us The Moon is a Sci-Fi thriller set in an apocalyptic near future where Earth’s natural resources are depleted. In an effort to solve the energy crisis, global powers created the World Space Agency and secured a promising new source of energy on the moon.

The World Space Agency colonized and operated from the moon until one fateful night all communications with Earth ceased and the energy source was lost. Now, years later, you assume the role of Earth’s last astronaut on a do-or-die mission to investigate what happened and save humanity.

During this adventure, your only companion is a small robot named ASE. Together you will traverse the moon, explore abandoned facilities, gather clues and ultimately uncover the secrets and hidden agendas of those long gone!

Will you save mankind or be forgotten in the dark abyss of Space?