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Microsoft admits Xbox Game Pass can reduce direct sales of its games

Text reading Play It Day One WIth Game Pass

Microsoft has previously said that games that are added to the Xbox Game Pass subscription service actually benefit with increased stand alone sales of those games. Now it appears that may not be true, according to what Microsoft has presented to the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

In its efforts to convince the regulatory agency to approve its planned $69 billion acquistion of Activision Blizzard, Microsoft sent the CMA (via GameSpot) some documentation of Xbox Game Pass. While specific numbers were redacted in the CMA report, Microsoft does say that there is a "decline in base game sales twelve months following their addition on Game Pass."

This is not what Xbox head Phil Spencer has indicated in the pass. In a 2018 interview with Levelup.com on YouTube, Spencer stated, "When you put a game like Forza Horizon 4 on Game Pass, you instantly have more players of the game, which is actually leading to more sales of the game."

Microsoft did say in its documents to the CMA that it has seen an unnamed percentage of Xbox Game Pass users purchase full games on the service within a year of ending their subscription to Game Pass. Spencer recently stated that Xbox Game Pass is currently profitable for Microsoft, and that 15 percent of its gaming revenue comes from the subscription service.

The CMA is asking Microsoft and Activision Blizzard to respond to its preliminary report later in February and will issue its final report on whether or not to approve the merger in April.

Source: CMA via GameSpot

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