Avalanche Studios explains why ‘Contraband’ is only on Xbox Game Pass

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Avalanche Studios explains that it chose to launch its game on the Xbox Game Pass to “grow the userbase”, opting to do so rather than follow a traditional retail pass.

Avalanche Studios is launching Contraband on the Xbox Game Pass. According to the studio’s CEO, the decision to forego a retail launch is due to building their player base. Notwithstanding money, they’re also trying to get more eyes into the game.

Contraband will be studio’s most ambitious title

Contraband received an announcement last month, introducing the title as “a coop open world” smuggler’s paradise. From what it seems, the game will be a heist-type Ocean’s Eleven type of game. The title will take advantage of Avalanche’s Apex Engine.

The entire game is built to take full advantage of the Xbox Series X|S. All this means is that the title will be truly next-gen, leveraging the power of the console.

According to what scant details are available, it’s set in fictional South East Asia in the 70s. With that in mind, the game will likely take advantage of the near-endless waters of the region. It should be their most ambitious title yet.

Avalanche CEO wants to build userbase

In an interview, Avalanche Studio CEO Pim Holfve talked about their decision to stay within the Xbox Game Pass. According to Holfve, building their userbase is a “key objective” that underscores the value of the platform.

“Our main key objective is growing our userbase… even if it’s not ours directly — in this case, it’s going to be Xbox’s,” the Avalanche CEO tells Gamesindustry.biz. “But we know that if we grow the userbase, we know that the money and revenue will come. The main motivator for us as a company is not cash, it’s entertainment — we’re entertaining vast numbers of people.”

This is not the first time that Avalanche tries to go through the Xbox Game Pass. Their biggest draw, Just Cause 3 and 4, appeared on the service before. There’s also TheHunter: Call of the Wild, which is still on the platform with Just Cause 4.

“Game Pass has been really great for us, especially if we look at our self-published title,” notes Holfve. “TheHunter: Call of the Wild helped us prove our service model and Xbox Game Pass was fantastic because we were able to reach so many more players.

“It’s a good way for people to try [the game], and since we have such a massive DLC catalogue for that title — over 20 DLCs — it’s a beautiful way of getting people in, getting engaged and showing that it’s a stellar game. Then people are really tempted to buy more. So the business model really works to our advantage.”

Avalanche Studios making Contraband an Xbox Game Pass exclusive more than just money. Xbox offers something robust with the Game Pass, and money is likely only a bonus that comes along with it.

Featured image courtesy of Xbox/Youtube Screenshot

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