Indie Retailers are Refusing to Sell Xbox One Consoles After Xbox Game Pass Announcement

Written by Neil Soutter on Tue, Jan 30, 2018 11:24 AM

A week ago Microsoft announced an upgrade to Xbox Game Pass, revealing that all first-party releases would be available to play on launch day as part of the subscription service. For $10 a month, players will get access to Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, Forza Horizon 4, Halo 6 and more. It sounds like a good deal, but not for brick and mortar retailers, who are now taking a stand and refusing to stock Xbox consoles and games. Microsoft cuts out retail, retail cuts out Microsoft.

First, it was Austrian store Gameware which stopped selling Xbox’s last Thursday, saying Microsoft consoles “bring zero profit and only expenditure if Microsoft alone then wants to profit off of the sales of software. If you want to do business alone, you should do the work alone."

It sounds petty but it really isn’t. Indie game stores are constantly on the cliff-edge as a result of the shift to digital stores, and while the eventual shift to all-digital seems somewhat inevitable, you can be sure retail stores are going to try and fight it every step of the way.

Gameware isn’t alone though, and now a number of UK independent game trailers have told GamesIndustry.biz that they too aren’t playing to stock Xbox products anymore. "Essentially, it's made our Xbox business worthless overnight," Extreme Gamez’ Stuart Benson told GI.biz.

There are plenty more hopping on board with the anti-Microsoft initiative too, raising an interesting conundrum for Microsoft. For now, the impact may be tiny, but if it the big retailers start to take notice then it could begin to hurt Microsoft’s bottom line. Street presence means a lot to the sales of consoles, and if they’re not in stores they may as well be invisible to the average consumer who’s not tuned into the games industry.

The big question now is, can the Xbox brand survive without a retail presence? Does the Xbox Game Pass do more harm than good? What are your thoughts?

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17:41 Jan-30-2018

They could fill the empty xbox shelves with cool **** like paintball guns, a small game retailer near where I live does it and it's awesome.

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12:58 Jan-30-2018
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14:11 Jan-30-2018

You doing some side work for NASA with that rig?If not what an OVERKILL!

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18:00 Jan-30-2018

I actually have 4 GPUs in the system. Couldn't add two more GTX 1080s, so just listed the two Tis :D


Actually, I'm a 3D artist, photographer and gamer. And I leave the PC mining crypto while idle. So overkill parts are what I do :)

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20:11 Jan-30-2018

When the wife thinks i have a problem ,I show her your build;)Expensive hobby I have

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20:53 Jan-30-2018

Wish I had one of them new CPUs like yours tho! Mine's certainly no slouch, but them new chips are something. Too bad I'd need to also swap out the mobo for it all...

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22:55 Jan-30-2018

Love my PC,but i really love my monitor.Ultrawide at 1440p is the way to go.Highly recommended.

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23:24 Jan-30-2018

I'd go for the next thing now (4K ultrawide) or 4K, if the refresh rate can hit 120Hz and have HDR. No need to move away from my 1440p 165Hz G-Sync IPS screen :)

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12:57 Jan-30-2018

I'd have done the same.
Why bother selling something that isn't profitable? Makes no sense.
Throwing a major brand out of your stores, now that's actual courage.

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12:55 Jan-30-2018

"Microsoft is cutting into the money we make off their stuff with game pass, so we choose to make no money at all and shift all that business to our competitors!"
Great logic there, Gameware...

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15:39 Jan-30-2018

It can probably work out in the short term. Whether they stock it or not though, retailers are going to be pushing PS4 and Switch because of this, recommending them over Xbox One to customers.

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18:04 Jan-30-2018

But what about Playstation Now? Same thing, has even more titles, been around for a while now too. Kinda unfair to sink MS yet praise Sony, don't you think? There's already too much Sony favoritism out there as is...

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01:47 Jan-31-2018

I think the tipping point is that game pass has exclusive games day 1.

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09:11 Jan-31-2018

Yeah exactly, Game Pass has been around for about a year already and it didn't affect retailers the first time around just because it was older games. As for PS Now, it sucks compared to the real thing, basically, hence not many people seem to be using it. For me personally, the Xbox Game Pass looks like a good deal, which is why retailers are annoyed. Basically, Sony being bad worked in its favour in this instance.

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12:20 Jan-30-2018

I'll shed a tear and light a candle.... but my heart will still manage to go on somehow

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