Discussion: Day 1 Game Pass, Microsoft's "Moneyhat" moving forward

As the title suggests, I wanted to inquire about what could be more attractive to third parties, having timed exclusives on Console (like RoTR was) or Day 1 Game Pass (like pretty much all the games shown at July showcase)? Also, which is more expensive?

I see it as being a far more attractive option compared to timed plastic box exclusivity, because unlike timed exclusivity, day 1 game pass isn’t stopping the game from releasing everywhere else.

The primary reasoning people are using for the Spiderman Debacle on PS5 is “well, Sony is paying money to bolster their platform and reinforce their brand regarding how exclusives in various forms are still their model of third party support”

Now, Microsoft is in a new, rather unique position of getting these deals. The same reasoning could be used, however with a small difference. “well, Microsoft is paying money to bolster their platform and reinforce their brand regarding how valuable Game Pass can be for you” only in this case, the game isn’t being prevented from release on other platforms. This is a vastly superior model to the traditional timed exclusive deals and is completely in line with Xbox’s ethos.

So what do you guys think? What’s the difficulties getting third party day 1s on game pass and should Xbox still pursue the traditional “moneyhat” that is plastic box exclusives, or should they completely focus on their new found, wholly unique model of games releasing everywhere but also Day 1 on game pass.


I was almost done writing an article on this dammit! Lol

But yes, the goals of Microsoft is different. It doesnt mean consoles don’t matter. Game Pass is the ultimate selling point of buying their console so they should continue to invest their resources towards 1st party and Game Pass partnerships. It’s investment that adds value to consumers. Spending money to block stuff from going to Playstation creates no value for Xbox. It excites some of the base and that is a reality they have to contend with and message around just as they did when they moved their games to PC.


I hope so. I prefer subscription moneyhats to ecosystem moneyhats for sure. I guess the gaming world isn’t used to subscription services enough for it to be a bigger deal than timed exclusivity deals. But as a Game Pass subscriber, I’d much prefer Microsoft put money into enhancing the Game Pass library than making sure games don’t launch on competing platforms.

The more Game Pass grows we’ll see more and more of this. Only risk is publishers building their own subscription services. We already miss out on Ubisoft and EA games on Game Pass due to this.

‘‘Buy it everywhere, but only rent it here’’ :stuck_out_tongue:


I mean, Console Game Pass is already much superior to PC Game Pass. Just look at Witcher 3, DMC5, RDR2, Nier Automata, etc. Also, Stalker 2 isn’t coming to PC game pass. They could still subliminally push the idea that if you want the best version of game pass, you gotta buy our console. But that shall be seen moving forward when PC Game Pass exits beta, but for now, there’s good reason to want an Xbox if you want the best Game Pass library and more reliable, regular big AAA support. Im a PC player so it bums me out but I’m just seeing the facts here about what’s favorable and what’s realistic.

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Let’s think about it another way. Microsoft is bringing Destiny DLC to Game Pass day 1. What’s a better value? Getting Destiny content day 1 in Game Pass same day as everyone else? Where on Xbox, I not only get more value and spend that money elsewhere, I potentially have a much larger community to game with and can nudge all my Game Pass friends to join me with no risk. Or would it be better that I’m still paying for Destiny DLC but I’m getting it 6 months exclusive?


Gamepass all day I don’t see any benefit to me the consumer in Moneyhatting I got to buy the game it doesn’t give me any benefit

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I bought a gaming PC for the first time in 15 years late last year because I wanted a better way to play strategy games. Also the fact I had Game Pass Ultimate and had over 100 games on PC nudged me.

Upon further review, PC isn’t a reason to avoid console. They are perfect compliments with Game Pass Ultimate. Game Pass Ultimate is a reason I’ll continue buying Xbox consoles and eventually upgrade my gaming PC situation. Its also why I’ll buy my son Series S eventually.

People are really sleeping on the impact that Game Pass Ultimate can have to drive traditional consoles. Microsoft just has to get the messaging right.

It’s going to be difficult at this point in time for MS to secure those deals from big publishers because of how much those cost. Day one sales is usually the biggest, so it will cost MS a lot… Hence why they go for smaller devs as they can afford it and it’s less risky for smaller games.

Do I wish they go that route, sure but I understand MS also has a budget to secure those deals and they are making deals all the time. So it’s where MS decides to put their money. I would also say that in the future, people will hate this practice because subscriptions will inevitably be the way most people consume games outside of free to play. So people will most likely need multiple subscriptions as these things take off in the advent of streaming. Still time before that but it will be a thing that annoys people in the end.

this is why game pass’s value to me is intrinsically tied with it not removing options to just buy the game outright on their store or elsewhere. The day they release “Game Pass exclusive” games is the day it ironically loses value, to me personally. It’s also hugely problematic, in the advent of Xcloud, which should also detach from Game Pass Ultimate down the line. Imagine you got into the service very late into a game’s presence there and the game is now about to go out. You’re subbed to GPU and start playing the game on Xcloud, then it leaves. And you pretty much… stop playing and have no options to continue? Buying the game outright is exactly the solution for that and should always remain for every single game pass game that comes into the service and leaves it.

But I do get what you mean tho.

I would much much rather MS spent money on getting more content for Gamepass than paying money so that others can’t play a game for a certain amount of time.

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Gamepass no contest. This move is pro consumer. It saved me so much money and spent it elsewhere thanks to that, played so many games it is insane value.

Also MS can counter these timed exclusive deals by bringing them later when it ends day one on Gamepass like for example FF7R. Imagine at the end the numbers are far higher from GP than the time exclusive deal. GP subscribers will be the winners at the end by saving so much money. Keep an eye on it if FF7R comes to GP and look at the numbers later. What the publishers will say? Interesting it will be.

Remember also the long term vision that with GP + XCloud (XSX blades coming soon) MS can expand the scope far larger. Deals with Samsung to incorporate it in phones then later TVs + LG TVs buy one get GP + a controller. Can you imagine how crazy insane the value is?

Technicallly everyone who has a connected TV will be able to play GP via XCloud without adding the additional cost of a console, just a controller. GP can be everywhere, they could even release a streaming stick to bring it with you anywhere you want. There are lots of opportunities. It is to them to grab…


For me they should counter “moneyhatted timed exclusive” games from other platforms with game pass day 1 release, because it already shows how greedy those companies are. I can see Avengers showing up on gamepass after the rough start it is going to get on xbox, because why would an informed xbox buyer buy an inferior product? Not me.

They already are right on track with some earlier “timed” exclusives that are now releasing on the xbox system like Yakuza,Nier and DQ (and I am so happy with this). And do hope we can see more of those timed coming to gamepass (here’s looking at you FF7R/little devil inside).

I am happy with how things are right now.

  • The flood of first party (which they should aggressively grow more of).
  • The AA fun titles like power rangers and Renmant.
  • The best indie selection with hollow knight and dead cells and many more
  • The hidden surprises like gato roboto and lonely mountains downhill.
  • And the moment I can message my friends with: You never believe what now is available on gamepass!

The should completely focus on gamepass, because they will lose again if they continued the old route.

However they should have more rewards for free games in gamepass as well. Skins for Apex legends, Fortnite, Rocket league,…

And have more interactivity with the community like voting, which game should be on the service. Having armies of Yakuza vs. mortal kombat. and if the votes are in give the community both if the votes are up to scale. Think of the potential of avatar wars on twitter and forums etc. the losing game may be on sale the next week so all parties can be happy.


I feel this approach is the best conceivable one for the whole industry tbh. MS can help fund games or spend cash bringing them to GP subscribers on the house while other platforms do not lose the game and do not have to wait for it. Xbox/xCloud/GP all get value adds, devs get paid, PS5 gamers still get the game on time. Various winners here but no losers.

It is really kinda interesting how GP opens up new strategies that nobody was positioned to consider until now. I am not sure we know enough about how either timed exclusive moneyhats work, nor how GP deals work to be able to guess how they compare. I think the traditional presumptions surrounding exclusivity deals are likely pretty far off base wrt the realities of it. In what ways, I dunno.


Yes it’s beyond a simple console strat but some refuse to understand and see further. Markets evolve and it is not a bad thing. MS is playing a long term game here with a carefully precise crafted plan. Everyone wins.

They just need to keep focusing on quality content and curated one to show how GP is attractive to potential interested people. It will crush any worries or concerns on quality preventing hot takes as usual. That is their goal. Best quality/best value.

Rise of the Tomb Raider being exclusive for a year didn’t enhance my enjoyment of the game. All it did was take a game away from an entire userbase who didn’t want to or couldn’t afford to buy another console. I do get a chuckle out of the fanboys who get excited at timed exclusives as if it makes their console experience better in anyway. If it wasn’t exclusive your console would still have it and your enjoyment of said game would still be the same. Paying for Day 1 gamepass access is way better of an idea and people on other platforms would still get to enjoy said game.


This is where I am with timed exclusive. I understand the rationnel from a business perspective why companies make timed exclusive deals, but as a consumer why would I care if the game was coming to the platform anyway. However, as a Gamepass subscriber I am much more interested if Microsoft makes deals to get games day 1 onto the service, as it is directly for the benefit of me.

That changes nothing. Gamepass already exists and has great games in it, but you don’t see gamers coming to Xbox in droves because of it.

How do you know that?

10+ million subscribers for a service is a lot in a short amount of time and next gen hasn’t even started yet.

If Xbox was killing, Microsoft would be boasting about it and Sony would be doing damage control.

So Gamepass doesn’t have north of 10 million subscribers ?