Descenders joined Xbox Game Pass in May 2019, and since then, according to Mike Rose (head of publisher No More Robots), the indie cycling game has seen greatly increased sales on Xbox. Although conventional wisdom would suggest that a game that was available at no additional cost on a popular subscription service might see lower direct sales, Rose says that, in fact, the opposite has been true.
Rose took to Twitter to explain why Xbox Game Pass has been so good for the game, saying that it has “elevated the game to heights we couldn’t have imagined.” Descenders, which is available in both the Xbox and PC catalogs of the subscription service, is currently the eighth most popular game on the service.
Rose said that a new deal has recently been struck to keep the game on Game Pass for “a looong time to come,” as since joining the service it is selling “around five times as many units each week” as it did previously.
This is not the first time Descenders’ Games Pass success has been discussed by Mike Rose. In August 2019, a few months after the game joined the service, Rose said that since joining Game Pass weekly sales were about three times higher than they’d been previously. This was also around the time that the game left Game Preview.
At the time, Rose said “you’d imagine the numbers will go down, which makes it less worth it to people,” but that does not seem to have happened for this game. He attributed these higher sales to the visibility Game Pass affords a game, calling it “essentially an advert.”
Descenders is also available on Switch, PS4, and mobile. For more on Xbox Game Pass, here’s why it could be a secret weapon for next-gen, and a few of the service’s hidden gems you might want to check out.
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