Single-player games aren’t easy to make profitable on Xbox Game Pass according to Mark James from Striking Distance Studios. The chief technology officer commented on the current state of The Callisto Protocol hitting Xbox Game Pass, or the lack thereof saying that the service is a difficult place for independent linear single-player games to end up on. This all but confirms that the upcoming horror sci-fi won’t be headed to the service in 2022 and 2023.
Speaking to True Achieve during an interview at Gamescom, Mark James says the studio behind The Callisto Protocol has considered releasing the game on Xbox Game Pass at one point. However, they believe the game isn’t a good fit for the service from a financial perspective.
James suggest that in order for an independent studio working on a single-player game to thrive, they would need game sales and Microsoft’s subscription-based service doesn’t do a good job at this. While live-service games do well due to the ability to earn revenue through in-game purchases and DLC, The Callisto Protocol’s once-off sale doesn’t fit the service.
You play through once [in The Callisto Protocol]. I think those services are built towards some of the open-world style and repetitive multiplayer games. I think games [like that] survive well on that service.
Mark James doesn’t mean all single-player games on Xbox Game Pass are destined to fail. However, he suggests that most of these games often come from hardware companies and large-scale developers.
“Microsoft has their own single-player games within the service, and I still think you’re going to see the platform holder studios provide single-player games in them; I’m just saying [that] as a financial model, it’s a difficult one to make work as an independent studio,”
“I think you’re going to see single-player games, but it will probably come from the hardware companies. “As an independent, third-party, it’s really hard to make a linear third-person game work within those services. I’m not saying never; it’s hard financially to make that work,”
The Callisto Protocol is set to launch on 2 December for PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X/S and PC.
Source: True Achievements