If MS kills XBL Gold requirement for Multiplayer and focuses on Gamepass, then they will "win" next gen.

HadesHotgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
512
This is obviously a bold claim, so please READ the whole thing.

I thought about titling this, "Gamepass is the future, XBL Gold is the past" but honestly Gold sucks and I think it ought to die.



1. I AM NOT SAYING I THINK MICROSOFT WILL DO THIS.

2. I AM AWARE THAT GOLD IS A MAJOR SOURCE OF REVENUE FOR THE XBOX DIVISION.

3. I AM NOT ASKING IF YOU THINK THEY WILL DO THIS, PLEASE REFRAIN FROM MAKING THE THREAD ABOUT WHETHER OR NOT THEY WILL.

4. I AM ASKING IF YOU THINK THAT THE STRATEGY I DETAIL BELOW MAKES SENSE and/or COULD BE SUCCESSFUL, NOT IF IT WILL ACTUALLY BE IMPLEMENTED.


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Main Argument:

MS should push the Gamepass as their ONE sub to rule them all and drop XBL Gold completely.

I don't think they should merge them. They should KILL THE GOLD REQUIREMENT FOR MULTIPLAYER.

Gamepass is a really great idea that actually makes sense to pay for (unlike multiplayer which has ALWAYS been something that consumers pay for grudgingly rather than enthusiastically). But it is a hard sell alongside the albatross of XBL Gold. And the simplest answer is to just fucking drop the Gold requirement and push Gamepass to grow larger enough to fully replace any lost revenue. Especially when considering how much of their base market Sony was able to outright take with the PS4. Sony and Nintendo will still compete and likely hold on to their strongest markets, but MS will crush in their home turf, win in terms of worldwide sales, and will make massive in roads in new and historically under performing markets.




The Moment:

Imagine MS hosting a big event or an E3 conference where they reveal a bold new strategy going forward.

An expanded Gamepass (with more tiers and maybe even with video/movies/music) and then dropping the mic by declaring multiplayer free for everyone on Xbox Live on ANY system that uses XBL.

They could turn Gamepass in to the ONE ENTERTAINMENT DEVICE that they had imagined the XB1 as, while also offering a competent and competitive next gen home console and media player to the sizable portion of the market that can't afford or can't benefit from a primarily digital and subscription based service.

They can sell systems, games, accessories, etc... to people who want a traditional system.
They can sell subscriptions to people who want a netflix of games (and music, movies, music, fucking anything...)
They can offer Xbox Live as the main means of multiplayer on ANY device (Including for the first time, their own god damn console)
They can really push their commitment to cross-play without stepping on the landmine of requiring a sub on their own system.

They could take away the major negative trait that has been used against them by their competitors in the console market from the beginning, but which Sony and Nintendo have both finally committed to as well. Catching their competition with their pants down and scooping up a market excited by the best value in multiplayer gaming OR the best subscription service around with robust support fro Cross Play with NO STRINGS ATTACHED.



Past Mistakes:

This is ultimately where the market is headed anyway and it would give them a chance to actually be ahead of the curve in a PRO CONSUMER fashion (as they have been a couple times already this gen) rather than the cluster fuck that was their awful initial XB1 strategy,

When people read about Microsoft's plans to put Live on everything, the question I saw asked everywhere was "so I have to pay for gold now?"

That is not a good place to be, but that is where gating off multiplayer has gotten them.

We all know MS shifted to Monthly Average User stats instead of dollars or units sold, but it was not just as a PR fig leaf for relatively lower sales than their competition. It actually makes sense in a connected world to determine success by engagement. But just like with the bullshit that was the original XB1 DRM policy, the real problem isn't what they're offering, but that there is no choice for those who may be interested and no inherent value to those who are not interested.



Anecdotal Points:

Most of my friends don't see the value in Gamepass (even the ones who get it for free through various means and that is why I am writing this) because Sony has better exclusives (re: PS4 vs XB1), and they can't see committing to Xbox for 3rd party games when they would also have to subscribe to PS Plus along with XBL Gold in order to get the most from the Gamepass.

And this is among people who already own both systems. The only advantage in the XBox One X for the big ass chunk of the market that is multi-system owners is among the subset of folks who are willing to pay extra for another sub or for games that are primarily single player. They are not targeting a large enough market versus the potential that the Gamepass has appeal to.

My wife and I play games via PS Plus. Only I have a subscription, and so we have to have her use "my system" while I use "her system." This is the actual work around that Sony offers for the bullshit of having to pay for multiplayer in a household with multiple players.

I can play Minecraft multiplayer on PC or Switch or Mobile without paying for XBL, so why would I ever play it on my XB1 when it just means requiring another subscription.




Clarity and a Conclusion:


When you go to the Gamepass FAQ they specifically felt the need to put this part in there:

Can I play multiplayer games within the Xbox Game Pass catalog?
Members will need an Xbox Live Gold subscription to access multiplayer features and functionality in Xbox Game Pass games (Gold membership sold separately).


That is there because people are naturally gonna ask the question, "wait, so do I need TWO subscriptions?" And there is not a lot to be happy about when the answer to that question is yes.

This is the same problem inherent to requiring Gold to play f2p games that are actually free to play everywhere EXCEPT on Xbox. You never want the answer to be "yes, you have to pay 2 subscriptions," because that means you are choosing to divide the potential consumer base.

But if they offer multiplayer free on every game and move the focus of their subscription model to purely be on actual games content, then this doesn't just allow them to reach parity with Sony and Nintendo and PC and mobile versions of f2p games, it actually gives them a leg up. It raises the standard on what is offered and breaks the pattern of successful companies gradually pushing consumers in directions that the consumers don't want to go.

Microsoft has made some big moves this generation:

1. The reversal of bullshit DRM.
2. The unheard of implementation of brute force enhanced backwards compatibility across multiple generations (and adding them to GwG permanently).
3. The removal of Gold requirements for chat and media streaming.
4. The implementation of Gamepass.
5. Support for crossplay on PC and Switch and PS4 (when Sony is forced to the table)
6. Bought a bunch of new studios.

All they need now is for number 7 to be the removal of Gold as a requirement for multiplayer, making them the immediate "go-to" for any kind of online multiplayer in the gaming market.




If they take this approach I think they could eat Sony's lunch in NA and the UK, and probably have the best shot they've ever managed in Europe, Asia, SA, etc...

I think they would actively take users from Sony and make themselves the default system of the next generation in a manner much closer to the PS4's dominance than the 360 ever achieved. Plus it would allow them to stay out of any direct competition with Nintendo by making their network inclusive to Nintendo rather than an alternative to it.

Maybe I am way off base, and if so please let me know below. I don't have the access to or general knowledge of all the numbers to know with any certainty that Gamepass can overcome losses from dropping XBL Gold, but Gamepass seems closer to what the market is demanding than anything else right now and I don't see it ever reaching its full potential as long as Gold is pulling it down.

Also, please correct me if I have made any outright factual errors above.

Thank you for reading.

And Mods please do a 360 and lock this straight out the door if this is a topic already being discussed in another thread.
 
Last edited:

shancake

Managing Editor ‑ Press Start
Verified
Oct 25, 2017
159
Like, "winning" to them is about revenue and they're not going to give up 25-35 million Gold subscribers in order to "win" in the eyes of a very small amount of hardcore gamers.
 

Kyoufu

Member
Oct 26, 2017
9,761
If they give away their console for free to everyone they will win next gen.
 

chrisypoo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,581
I don't disagree with your OP at all, but I will say that if you're trying to put together such a comprehensive, well thought out, almost on the verge of professional OP, you can leave out some of the cursing that's just thrown in for no reason. I get cursing for exclamatory reasons, but "fucking clarity and goddamn conclusion", I mean come on man. I curse a lot, so I get that this is hypocritical of me, but I can't help but notice when people just curse to curse, and it throws me off the material for some reason.

OT: I actually believe that Microsoft should merge Game Pass with Xbox Live Gold, and I honestly believe that this alone could win the next gen if the price was right and it had a nice, simple, catchy title. Maybe "Game Pass Gold", at least as an option, I mean it would reduce the potential of any consumers out there who aren't as savvy as some others with the gaming industry news, and consolidation of services is always good idea in my mind. Regardless, I do think Xbox is going to be at a much heavier fighting weight next gen than they were this one due to some extremely solid decisions and policies implemented recently, and it should be interesting to watch.
 

Strings

Member
Oct 27, 2017
7,124
We've had very similar hypotheticals posted in the past, and my opinion remains the same. I don't think it would be worth the lost revenue. The benefit of not having to pay for multiplayer sounds huge but... Is it? Sony had it free for an entire generation and while it was cool, it really wasn't a big deal.
 

Monkey D.

Member
Oct 31, 2017
1,023
You dont "win" because of this. You "win" if you have great exclusive content . Just because something is free doesnt make it great
 

Matt

The Terror that Flaps in the Night
Moderator
Oct 24, 2017
2,164
There is really no evidence that removing the paid online requirement would materially change userbase adoption.
 

XDevil666

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,511
They just need to do a dam good bundle! I think by the end of this year we will start to see what Xbox’s big picture looks like.

This year I feel is the start of Xbox’s plan of attack across all platforms
 

Acorn

Member
Oct 25, 2017
5,379
No they won't. Most people don't give that much of a shit over 50 quid a year.

Edit like Microsofts best and Sony's worst gen had Microsoft being the only one to charge for online.
 

PulseMC

Member
Dec 14, 2017
70
I could see their next step being "We've removed Free-To-Play games from the Xbox Live Gold paywall" but they will never fully get rid of Xbox Live Gold. There are so many people that use Xbox Live Gold on a consistent basis, that barely, if ever, touch Gamepass.
 
May 21, 2018
159
This is akin to saying "Sony should drop PS Plus and just roll it into PSNow" (following the most recent changes made to that service).

And no, I'm not into the whole 'system warriors' thing. This is an honest reply to your suggestion/comments.
 
OP
OP
HadesHotgun

HadesHotgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
512
Like, "winning" to them is about revenue and they're not going to give up 25-35 million Gold subscribers in order to "win" in the eyes of a very small amount of hardcore gamers.
I feel like I do specifically state that I am talking about making up for lost revenue from XBL Gold by drastically expanding the user base for Gamepass with the former being a purchase people make out of requirement and the latter being one made by a hungry market. I don't think I state anywhere that the whole point is just to sell more consoles than X company.
 

SuikerBrood

Member
Jan 21, 2018
10,041
1. A paywall to play online is stupid. But it seems console players have kinda accepted it.
2. It's a really big chunk of revenue and engagement. You aren't going to let that go very easily.
3. Gamepass has to mature first, to expect the same level of adoption rates.

And gaming is not about winning, but about playing.
(Besides a match in Apex. That's about winning alright.)
 

Mushroomer25

Member
Oct 25, 2017
1,966
I think it's a very possible move that they could make, but remember - Microsoft already has some big pro-consumer 'bombshells' they can use to boost their next console launch. Full backwards compatibility. Crossplay. The bevvy of exclusive games on GamePass coming with the studio aquisitions. With all that, they arguably don't need the boost from giving away Gold.

If they do it, expect Game Pass to see a quiet increase to $15/mo in the following months.
 
Oct 27, 2017
1,266
Game pass has no future unless they start pumping out incredible first party exclusives. Once they do that they may have a chance... in the US and maybe some countries in Europe. You can forget about Japan completely.
 

xxracerxx

Avenger
Oct 25, 2017
14,937
I feel like I do specifically state that I am talking about making up for lost revenue from XBL Gold by drastically expanding the user base for Gamepass with the former being a purchase people make out of requirement and the latter being one made by a hungry market. I don't think I state anywhere that the whole point is just to sell more consoles than X company.
Usually when you say things like:
If they take this approach I think they could eat Sony's lunch in NA and the UK, and probably have the best shot they've ever managed in Europe, Asia, SA, etc...
Generally means selling more.
 

itchi

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,044
Revenue from gold subscriptions is spent on marketing deals so by dropping the gold subscription you also have to factor in the loss of marketing deals and what that would do to sales.
 

Gridlock

Member
Oct 25, 2017
4,145
Unova
They would have to raise the price of Game Pass to make up for the lost revenue. 9.99$ up to 14.99$? Maybe. But they will still need that first party to improve to make it enticing. Services means little to nothing if the product isn’t appealing.
 
OP
OP
HadesHotgun

HadesHotgun

Member
Oct 25, 2017
512
I don't disagree with your OP at all, but I will say that if you're trying to put together such a comprehensive, well thought out, almost on the verge of professional OP, you can leave out some of the cursing that's just thrown in for no reason. I get cursing for exclamatory reasons, but "fucking clarity and goddamn conclusion", I mean come on man. I curse a lot, so I get that this is hypocritical of me, but I can't help but notice when people just curse to curse, and it throws me off the material for some reason.

OT: I actually believe that Microsoft should merge Game Pass with Xbox Live Gold, and I honestly believe that this alone could win the next gen if the price was right and it had a nice, simple, catchy title. Maybe "Game Pass Gold", at least as an option, I mean it would reduce the potential of any consumers out there who aren't as savvy as some others with the gaming industry news, and consolidation of services is always good idea in my mind. Regardless, I do think Xbox is going to be at a much heavier fighting weight next gen than they were this one due to some extremely solid decisions and policies implemented recently, and it should be interesting to watch.

Point well taken regarding the language. I cleaned it up a bit. Sorry if that was distracting from my points.

I definitely think one way or another the success of Gamepass has to become the main focus going forward, but I really think the best way to leverage that is by removing the multiplayer gate which feels way less important than the possibilities offered by Gamepass.
 

OneBadMutha

Member
Nov 2, 2017
3,250
This is way more complex than the average gamer thinks. I think it’s important for Microsoft to break down that Gold barrier to online gaming. I’m not even a person who’s against the fee. I’ve always viewed it as extra curation for the community. I just think those that are engaged spend money in other ways and people who play online become more engaged. I also think the console...the plastic box, while not getting phased out will be minimized. Engagement through other devices will be higher than engagement through Xbox consoles quickly if Microsoft succeeds with their strategy.

To me it’s a when, not if, the Gold paywall comes down. It may evolve into something else. Something that can be sold consistently across other platforms as an option. If it’s a matter of when....should that “when” be sooner than later? Sooner could improve mindshare faster and right now time is of the essence. There will be a chance within the next few years for every company to reshape their presence more significantly than ever. Where these companies stand when the dust settles on 5G adoption will be critical in their long term standing.
 

Betty

The Fallen
Oct 25, 2017
7,207
No they won't, Sony will then counter by removing the cost of PS+

It's business.

Could it be successful for Microsoft? Sure, but overall it won't be a big deal at all.
 

sibarraz

Avenger
Oct 27, 2017
8,812
Unless Sony goes 100% arrogant mode, I can't see MS "Winning" the gen. I think that the lead that Sony got in this gen where digital games became more relevant in the console market will be a huge advantage into the next gen, where lots of users will buy the console where they had their backlog avaliable.

Now, if SONY somehow decides to not include BC in their next console, good luck
 

Iwao

Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,147
Microsoft has made it abundantly clear that hardware sales are no longer worth touting and Sony is always going to outpace them in that regard, so revenue made from services is far more important focus for them. They do want PC gamers to pay for their network services, and if they found a way that could happen they would make it happen. PSN was also free for the whole PS3 generation, with a supplementary premium service to instil good will to the consumer, and that console sold faster than the 360 and eventually caught up.
 

tutomos

Member
Oct 27, 2017
497
To be successful at that the new XBL need to be on all devices, and that includes the PS5.
 
Nov 1, 2017
441
FL, United States
I would be really bummed out if they did that. Games with Gold has been one of the best investments I've made in the past few years. Aside from PS+ paltry offerrings, I still look forward to GWGs monthly lineup. If I don't have a game tied to my account, what's to stop Microsoft from taking it away when the game's distribution or licensing agreement expires? I only say this because I'm dealing with the fallout now on my PS3. It's not that I can't play my PS+ games anymore (I let my subscription lapse), some of the games tied to my account don't even exist anymore. Primarily promotional add-ons, but some of them were full games.
 

chrisypoo

Member
Oct 27, 2017
2,581
Point well taken regarding the language. I cleaned it up a bit. Sorry if that was distracting from my points.

I definitely think one way or another the success of Gamepass has to become the main focus going forward, but I really think the best way to leverage that is by removing the multiplayer gate which feels way less important than the possibilities offered by Gamepass.
I appreciate you taking the suggestions in kind rather than getting annoyed with me, which absolutely would have been your right; it shows your maturity and your ability to take constructive criticism, which is sadly rather rare with folks these days, particularly on forums, so good on you :). I do agree that the multiplayer gatekeeping should be removed, but sometimes I forget how prevalent of a concern that is for some folks as I always stay paid up on PSNplus and XboxLive Gold years ahead of time so I never think much about it, though I suppose I really should.
 

Bliman

Member
Jan 21, 2019
1,088
They need to be bold on their games. First they need a great console and second they need to have the games.
That's where there focus should be.
I do not want Gamepass, I don't get through my catalog already. And please don't put them together (gold and gamepass) if that means you have to buy the expensive package if you want online gaming.