This Week In The Business: Actions And Reactions


“Essentially, it’s made [our Xbox business] worthless overnight… Effectively overnight they have wiped massive value off our company and made it not worth doing. Why should we support them and sell their consoles and accessories if we’re going to get very little out of it? We don’t make anything off their digital selection. It’s pretty pointless. We might as well go where we’re supported, which is Sony.”

Image credit: Marco Verch, via Flickr

Like many independent game retailers, Stuart Benson of Leicestershire’s Extreme Gamez is not a fan of Microsoft including all its new first-party titles in the Game Pass digital subscription service.

QUOTE | “The response to the news thus far has been positive.” — A company spokesperson offers Microsoft’s assessment of how retailers like the Game Pass changes.

STAT | Seven million — Number of Star Wars: Battlefront II copies sold during the holiday quarter, one million less than Electronic Arts had expected, as revealed during the company’s quarterly earnings Tuesday.

STAT | $US131.01 ($165) — Electronic Arts’ share price at one point on Wednesday, a new all-time high for the publisher.

QUOTE | “The Game Developers Choice Awards Advisory Committee, who vote on the Special Award winners for each show, have made the decision not to give out a Pioneer Award for this year’s event, following additional feedback from the community. They believe their picks should reflect the values of today’s game industry and will dedicate this year’s award to honour the pioneering and unheard voices of the past.” — The Game Developers Conference confirms it will not be giving Nolan Bushnell the Pioneer Award at this year’s event after backlash over the Atari co-founder’s reported history of sexist behaviour.

QUOTE | “We apologise to everyone disappointed by this delay. While we had hoped to have the game out sooner, we require a little extra time for polish.” — Rockstar Games, in a blog post announcing it delayed Red Dead Redemption 2 for the second time. Previously expected this autumn, it is now set for an October 26 debut.

QUOTE | “Ever since my appointment as President and CEO in April 2012, I have stated that my mission is to ensure Sony continues to be a company that provides customers with kando – to move them emotionally — and inspires and fulfils their curiosity.” — Kaz Hirai announces he is stepping down from his position as president and CEO of Sony Corporation at the end of March, after a successful six-year run atop the company.

QUOTE | “Theoretically, if you work with an investor you do have the creative freedom, but the problem is that being successful in the way that they define successful means following certain rules. Which is why a lot of those games are pretty similar.” — Michael Shade, CEO of PC and console developer Rockfish Games, shares a hard lesson from the 10 years he spent on his previous company, mobile game developer Fishlabs.

QUOTE | “It’s really not going too far to compare this to the invention of the world wide web.” — EverdreamSoft CEO and founder Shaban Shaame is convinced blockchain tech will change the way we live, which is why his studio is using it for its CCG Spells of Genesis.

QUOTE | “We’re also currently developing policies that would lead to consequences if a creator does something egregious that causes significant harm to our community as a whole.” — YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki threatens to get punitive the next time one of its big celebrities pulls a Logan Paul (Or a PewDiePie, for that matter.)

QUOTE | “The comments are filtered for each user, based on social signal, which allows us to create the world’s most friendly and personal experience for live broadcasting.” — Caffeine co-founder Ben Keighran tries to explain how his new streaming platform will be different from Twitch.


  • The Xbox Game Pass thing presents an interesting problem. It’s potentially beneficial for end users to subscribe and get access to first party titles, and I can see how it’d disadvantage retailers. That said, I’m willing to bet that plenty of people will outright refuse to subscribe for some reason or another. Whether it’s worth it depends on whether the cost of the subscription is less than the cost of the games you’d have otherwise purchased… and depending on the price that might actually be worth the ongoing cost for some people.

    • Worth is fairly subjective, but nobody jumped to Blockbuster’s defence when Netflix took over, self serve checkouts still beat a human operator and the vast majority of people side with Uber (or Lyft or whatever the service-of-choice is).

      The fifteen people who shopped at a Leicestershire Games Shop probably aren’t going to loose much sleep over it.

    • Leicestershire isn’t the only company either, many retailers in the region have voiced their dislike for the system and are already preparing to not stock Xbox products at all.
      Australia is another dangerous market for this strategy also, with digital products costing far more and made frustrating by lacking internet speeds.

      I don’t blame MS for making bold moves to claw back market position, I think they honestly thought most people would get the One X, much like last gen where eventually people were willing to see how the grass was on the other side.

      While they did a lot to sweeten the deal, they clearly didn’t expect Nintendo to swing in to snatch away again.

      • Nothing wrong with the sales of the One X … they’ve exceeded expectations. I don’t think Nintendo are exactly stealing market share though … not yet anyway. It’s still primarily a product that you get for the first party lineup … though I’ll admit – the increasing number of indies and AAA remasters coming on-board could certainly cause both of the other major players to rethink their strategy.

        • Nothing wrong with the sales, just an unbiased observation.
          (Though I would argue that expectations were much higher than they are letting on)

          Their focus was about delivering a stronger rival to the Pro (Despite the strategy of saying otherwise) and the timing of its release was clearly meant to capatilise on the Black Friday/Christmas quarter.
          However the meta from consumers is focused purely on a lack of quality console selling titles, performance falls short if you can’t flaunt it and nobody can argue that the Switch owned the last quarter.

          Now it seems MS is trying to fill in too many arbitrary gaps between multiple competitors.
          Blue ray and backwards compatibility are awesome, but don’t realistically reflect the consumer market.
          The most worrying thing is Xbox isn’t just fighting its competitors, investor support for the Xbox has been chilly for quite a few years now.
          If rumours are true, the Xbox division took massive cuts in funding at the end of the last year and is no longer capable of throwing money at projects.

          It’s in no way a doomsday scenario, but when coupled with the very aggressive steps that Xbox has been taking, it feels like there is some very real desperation to improve its standing.

  • Microsoft lost leadership in the week following their announcement of Xbox One. They just did not get the backlash and did very little to understand the market and the gamers… and in the end it costed them (rightfully so if you ask me, even if I am an Xbox One user).

    That being said (and IMO) Xbox Live is a superior service when compared to PSN (and for the record I own both consoles).

    Moving on, it is clear that Microsoft is trying to re-gain territory and I see no problem with it as long as they keep an eye on what the end users actually want. For me, I actually decided to move full digital within a year of getting my Xbox One S.

    I noted before on more than one occasions that I would happily buy my digital titles at a stores (as in product key for a title) if the store decided to offer such service… it currently does not.

    PS remains a traditional offering while Xbox experiments… time will tell how things will go but given current sale numbers and options I do not think being a second best is a bad thing anyway (aside from bragging rights alone).

  • I just dont like the idea of forking out that much over a long period, then not having access to any of these games later on down the track if ive cancelled the subscription or the online service is no longer active.
    I do like the idea that i get big title games plus an online subscription all in one fee, but i guess its a wait and see moment.
    Having a physical game to put in the console i prefer. But i do like to pull old consoles out and give them a bash every now and then. I feel like this new service would kill that.
    Maybe im just old… ????

Show more comments

Comments are closed.

Log in to comment on this story!