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Microsoft responds to indie retail backlash over Xbox Game Pass

Platform holder "pleasantly surprised" by store demand, considering broadening its distribution plans

Microsoft has insisted that, while some independent retailers may be perturbed by the latest changes to its Xbox Game Pass, it still plenty of support from the High Street.

The platform holder was responding to a GamesIndustry.biz article earlier this week, in which we reported multiple independent retailers will no longer stock Xbox products.

This is in retaliation for Game Pass adding new first-party titles at launch, which retailers argue will deter consumers from picking these titles up in store, thus damaging their own business.

Microsoft insists these outlets are in the minority, and the Game Pass has been embraced by other retailers.

"The response to the news thus far has been positive," a spokesperson tells GamesIndustry.biz. "As we noted in our announcement, our plan is to offer ways for select retailers to assort and promote Game Pass.

"In fact, we've been pleasantly surprised with the breadth of demand from retailers so far, and we're considering if and how we broaden our distribution plans. We welcome feedback on our plans, and will continue to evolve our plans as appropriate."

The spokesperson went on to add that, rather than orders for Xbox products dwindling, there has been "strong interest" in both the Game Pass and upcoming launch Sea of Thieves.

"We have a long history partnering with independent stores around the world, and continue to believe they play a unique and valuable part in the ecosystem," the spokesperson concluded.

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James Batchelor

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James Batchelor has been a journalist in the games industry since 2006, joining GamesIndustry in 2016, and also runs Non-Violent Game of the Day (@NVGOTD). He does play violent games, but always on Story/Easy mode.

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