CMA report reveals lower sales for games on Xbox game pass

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According to a report from UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Microsoft’s Activision Blizzard acquisition, new games joining Xbox game pass often see reduction in their sales, which is exactly opposite of what Xbox head Phil Spencer claimed back in 2018.

During the investigation, Microsoft admitted that there was a decline in the sales of game available on game pass as most people purchase the game pass subscription instead of purchasing the full priced game.

The CMA report said, “Microsoft… submitted that its internal analysis shows a [redacted] percent decline in base game sales 12 months following their addition on Game Pass.” The exact percent of decline was not revealed in the report due to privacy reasons.

Although the CMA’s assessment does acknowledge the limitations of data tracking, Xbox has confirmed in its own internal documentation that a title added to Game Pass does result in a cannibalization of digital sales, according to Eurogamer.

In an official statement, Microsoft said, “Xbox Game Pass offers gamers and game creators more choice and opportunity in how they discover, experience, and deliver games. For gamers, that means providing another option for them to discover games and play with friends at a great value. For developers, that means creating another option for how they monetize their games.”

“We’re focused on helping game creators of all sizes maximize the total financial value they receive through Game Pass. Each game is unique, so we work closely with creators to build a custom program to reflect what they need, ensure they are compensated financially for their participation in the service, and allow room for creativity and innovation. As a result, the number of developers interested in working with Game Pass continues to grow,” the company further added.

Decline in sales was also one of the major reasons Activision avoided the Xbox game pass. Spencer have promised addition of games like Diablo, Call of Duty and overwatch on game pass if the acquisition is successful.