Switch fans showing indies the love
The Game Bakers are the developers behind both Furi and Haven, two titles that received a lot of praise from press and players alike. When it comes to actual units sold, that’s a bit of a different story. In a new piece from VICE, we get to see the struggles The Game Bakers faced in markets where PS+ and Game Pass reign supreme.
The Game Bakers shared some stats on the sales of their games, and they specifically showed the impact that Game Pass and PS+ deals have on their reach, along with units sold. Starting with Haven, the chart above shows what sales are like with Game Pass factored in, and then Game Pass removed. The difference between the two is astronomical, both in terms of sales and reach.
When you factor in Game Pass, the vast majority of players checked out Haven on the Xbox ecosystem. The thing is, The Game Bakers isn’t making money from each download through Game Pass. The majority of Game Pass deals (but not all) involve Microsoft giving a developer a set amount of cash to bring a game to Game Pass. There may be certain thresholds a game can surpass in order to receive more money, but by and large, developers get one lump sum.
This is why appearing on Game Pass is so difficult for some developers. They feel they have to be on Game Pass to get out in front of players’ eyes, and doing so does indeed reach a ton of people, but those customers aren’t spending a dime on those games. It’s difficult to factor in Game Pass downloads when quantifying sales, because those consumers didn’t actually make a purchase.
The same exact situation happened to The Game Bakers with Furi. All you have to do is swap Game Pass for Playstation Plus and you see extremely similar results. Once again, people on the PS+ service were playing Furi at no additional cost. Yes, the game reached a much bigger audience through PS+, but the money was already paid and it was a done deal with Sony and The Game Bakers.
When you look at these charts, one thing is perfectly clear. For both Furi and Haven, the Switch was the single console that brought in the most sales. PC was definitely the biggest platform in general for both games, but if you’re looking strictly at the actual units sold on consoles, Switch is the winner hands-down.
The thing that makes this even more impressive is the fact that both Furi and Haven came to Switch considerably later than the release of other versions. Even more interesting, Furi came to Switch somewhat early in the platform’s life, and Haven arrived a lot more recently. In both cases Switch is the console leader, which shows that Switch owners had a passion for indies from day one, and that interest has continued on to today.
If anything, this breakdown from The Game Bakers shows how the Game Pass/PS+ services are fantastic deals for gamers, but they’re causing serious concerns for developers. These worries grow exponentially based on developer size, and it seems like this issue will only expand from here on out. At least we can see Switch owners are willing to come through, but if Nintendo made their own Game Pass/PS+ style service, I’d imagine we’d see a very similar situation to the ones above crop up.