Microsoft’s expansion of Game Pass may seem like good value to gamers, but at least one online store is not impressed.
The announcement that all first party Xbox One games (i.e. games published directly by Microsoft themselves) will be available immediately and permanently via Microsoft’s Game Pass subscription service may turn out to be a defining moment in modern gaming.
The idea of creating a video game equivalent of Netflix has long been talked about in theory, but there’s already one example of why it’s never happened in practice: retailers don’t like it.
Nobody makes much, if any, profit selling consoles alone, so if a shop can’t then sell games as well their business is going to be ruined. Which is exactly the point that Austrian retailer Gameware is trying to make.
Speaking to German website GamesMarkt (in German, obviously), they confirmed that they’ve delisted all Microsoft consoles from their online store.
According to Google Translate they do not understand why they should sell consoles, ‘which bring zero merit and only expenditure, if Microsoft afterwards wants to profit from the marketing of the software only’.
‘Who wants to do business alone, should do the work alone’, they added. Except probably slightly more eruditely, but that’s Google Translate for you.
Gameware has been around since 1989 and has 375,000 customers, but obviously they’re not going to make any real difference on their own. Unlike in the UK, the Xbox One is also well behind the PlayStation 4 in terms of sells on the Continent – so it’s not like they’re killing off their biggest seller.
It does still seem an overreaction though, given there’s nothing stopping them from continuing to sell Xbox One games as normal.
But they’re clearly trying to be pre-emptive, and if the majority of other retailers around the world join them then Microsoft would be forced to listen. At the moment though they seem to be the only one.