Expanding Game Pass’ appeal is what causes and leads to more studio acquisitions.
Microsoft has been on an acquisition spree of late, which is undoubtedly in an attempt to bolster their lineup of first party games and studios (even as their actions seems to be provoking similar rhetoric over at the Sony side). However, to continue with this manner of studio acquisition, which is specifically aimed at developers of mid-tier games, Microsoft will need to establish the worth of Game Pass, both internally and externally.
That’s what Michael Worosz, head of Take-Two’s Private Division, a label started specifically to fund and publish similar mid-tier games, said in an interview with MCVUK, also adding that even in the event that they do prove Game Pass’ worth, not every studio will be up for an acquisition anyway.
“Right now it seems clear that Microsoft is trying to accrue value to their Game Pass value proposition, by having uniquely available content there,” he said. “I think that makes sense to a degree, I think they’re going to have to demonstrate Game Pass’s growth over time to be able to continue to do acquisitions like this, and if it does work for them, then I can see them doing more acquisitions to build out exclusive content.
“Certain developers want to to be independent for that reason, they’ve worked at larger companies and want to be able to control their own destiny to a larger degree, they want more creative freedom. Having a larger corporate parent, particularly one with a trillion dollar market cap like Microsoft, sometimes gets in the way.”
All of what he says makes sense, of course. In the past, Microsoft has allegedly frequently interfered with the studios it owned, which caused the downfall of many of them. It seems like Xbox boss Phil Spencer wants to adopt a more studio-friendly, hands-off attitude, which is good to see, but whether or not it plays out as intended remains to be seen.