The Xbox Game Pass helps sales if a game is good, but hurts sales if it’s bad, says NPD

Subscription services such as Xbox Game Pass from Microsoft are helping the game market grow, in the opinion of Matt Piscatella, a well-known analyst at NPD Group.

“The data again suggest that subscription services like Game Pass are helping to expand the market in general,” Piscatella said on Twitter. “Consumer response to games featured on these services appears to be amplified, which can help increase the purchase traction of games that join these services across all platforms where they are available.”

Not all that glitters is gold, however, as, again according to Piscatella, if a game is poorly received on Game Pass and other subscription services, traditional sales could also be affected.

“A potential downside is if a game is poorly received on a subscription service. Again, the player’s feeling is amplified, which can impact sales. Overall, however, these services appear to be beneficial and can play an important role in a successful market strategy. “

That said, in line with what Phil Spencer said in a recent interview about the sustainability of the Game Pass and Microsoft’s future goals, Piscatella no expects traditional game purchases to be diminished by subscription services in the future.

As proof of Piscatella’s opinion, according to the North American market data for the month of November released by NPD, Forza Horizon 5 recorded the best month launch of the Forza series, despite being included in the Xbox and PC Game Pass catalogue.