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Here's Microsoft's Response To Backlash From Retailers After Xbox Game Pass Changes

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The video game industry is aware that Microsoft has struggled with its Xbox One X sales and the overall market share of the Xbox platform.

Late last month, the company was the target of multiple complaints from small retailers over its controversial decision regarding its Xbox Game Pass. According to reports, the changes detailed by the Redmond-based company seem like a hasty decision that carries an impact on smaller businesses.

What Did The Company Change

Initially announced on Feb. 28, 2017, the Xbox Game Pass is a subscription service offered by Microsoft exclusively for the Xbox One platform. For a monthly fee, members will gain access to a select catalog of games. The service was then officially launched in June 2017.

The service is usually commonly described by gamers as "Netflix for video games." It is generally received positively by the Xbox gaming community but is supposedly far from its intended targets.

This January, the company surprised the gaming community with its announcement that confirmed first-party games will become available for subscribers on the day of the title's launch.

Retailers Are Apparently Affected

As a consumer and video game enthusiast, the change made by Microsoft to its Xbox Game Pass service is obviously a welcome one. Subscribers are no longer pressured to consider if a game made by first-party developers is worth the purchase or not. It is automatically available as part of the catalog of games offered by the subscription.

On the flipside, small retailers appear to have received the short end of the stick. Some of these businesses plan to profit from the sales of physical copies of those Xbox first-party exclusives. Therefore, the company's decision to include the titles is currently frowned upon by independent retailers.

According to sources, there are a few stores that declared their plans to no longer carry Xbox products in-store. It is a way for the businesses to protest the firm's decision that will directly affect the number of customers that purchase physical copies of the game.

Microsoft's Opinion

Despite the feedback it has received from retailers, Microsoft does not look like it would budge from its decision. In fact, it claims that there are some outlets that approve of its decision to include first-party titles with the Xbox Game Pass.

"As we noted in our announcement, our plan is to offer ways for select retailers to assert and promote Game Pass," a company spokesperson declared.

The company likewise noted that there has been a "strong interest" in Xbox-related products. It looks like the Game Pass has stirred up interest for the game system once again as some first-party games like Sea of Thieves draw closer to its launch date next month.

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