When studios make deals with Microsoft to bring their games to Xbox Game Pass, it also benefits fans on PlayStation consoles, according to Michael Schade, CEO and co-founder of Rockfish Games.
Everspace 2 was in Steam early access from 2021 until April 2023 when it fully released on PC. In the meantime, the studio has been working on console versions of the game and Schade says the deal with Xbox Game Pass added "nine to twelve months of more production time".
"We could have [made Everspace 2 without a deal with Xbox Game Pass] but it would have been a smaller game," he says, explaining that the extra funding provided by the Game Pass deal allowed the team to add more content to Everspace 2 and polish the game.
This, in turn, benefits players who'll be getting the game on PS5, Schade says. "It's maximum flexibility, extra funding, you just make a better game, and everybody's happy," he states, "even the PlayStation fans get a better game on PS5 because of the deal with Game Pass."
Schade is also asked whether putting Everspace 2 on PC Game Pass hurt Steam sales of the game. "To be frank, I couldn't see any dip," he says, confirming that Steam figures weren't affected by PC Game Pass. He calls the deal with Game Pass "one of the best, if not the best" in the industry, as it allowed Rockfish to remain independent whilst getting the studio more visibility and extra funding.
So no, Game Pass doesn't cannibalise sales and developers aren't going to put worse versions of their game on PS5 compared to Xbox Series X|S. In the case of Everspace 2, at least.
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