Indie Devs Say Xbox Game Pass And Epic Exclusive Deals Have Dried Up

Some indie developers have revealed that deals regarding Xbox Game Pass and Epic Games Store exclusivity have dried up and aren't nearly as lucrative as they were before. At the Game Developers Conference 2024, Darkest Dungeon director Chris Bourassa said that Microsoft has decreased the scope for getting games onto Game Pass since the service began, and Epic Games has done similar things when it came to securing exclusives for its PC storefront. "The Gold Rush is over. I come from the Northwest Territories. The town I'm from was built on gold, and then they found diamonds further north," Bourassa explained. "Maybe another paradigm shift is waiting for us, but I definitely think the scale of the deals I'm hearing about is significantly diminished from the big swinging days. Certainly we got our Epic [deal] at the right time." Mega Crit, the developer behind Slay the Spire, co-founder Casey Yano said that he's talked to at least five small teams with 35 or fewer employees during GDC. They all expressed similar sentiments that budget cuts have been occurring everywhere and funding was being canceled. "We're definitely very privileged to be able to self-fund," said Yano. "[Otherwise] I'd be very, very, very scared right now." While it seems like Xbox Game Pass might not be providing great deals for indie developers nearly as much anymore, the service is ramping up on adding bigger titles. Diablo IV is the latest one to join the subscription on both console and PC. Epic Games is also looking to improve its storefront with more free games, a better download manager, and a better offline state in 2024.


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