Just picture it: A true game streaming service. Just pay a monthly fee and an entire library of games opens up, including games that have only just released to the public. Xbox Game Pass is trying to make this dream a reality, but many other companies are calling the structure entirely unsustainable and in no way profitable. It makes sense: How could developers, much less their parent companies, make money off putting their games on subscription services with hundreds of others on launch? Well, despite negative outlooks, The Ascent is proving that even games releasing day one on Xbox Game Pass are fully capable of turning huge profits.
Just in its’ opening weekend, The Ascent has earned more than $5 million in sales, as Gamespot reports. These numbers are across all release platforms, including PC, Xbox One and Series X|S, as well as the Xbox Game Pass. Not only this, but the game managed to reach the number one spot in Steam’s Global Charts, making its’ historic release weekend the most successful release for publisher Curve Digital in the company’s history.
This game didn’t have big name branding on its’ side, either: The Ascent comes from indie developers Neon Giant, a twelve person team that has pumped their blood, sweat and tears into building a detailed, gorgeous Cyberpunk world to wrap around their brutally brilliant twin-stick shoot-em-up. The fact that the game is profitable even on the Xbox Game Pass doesn’t just attest to the quality of The Ascent: it also acts as a proof of concept for game streaming overall. Curve CEO John Clark has made a statement regarding the staggering success of the game’s opening weekend, saying:
This success is the result of a genuine team effort throughout the company, the arrival of new leadership and talent, and is truly reflective of our new approach of being developer and player-focused in all that we do.
Curve also said that word-of-mouth may also be part of what added up to such a huge opening for The Ascent, citing the legitimately impressive coverage the indie game received up until launch. Between Youtube and Twitch, nearly ten million people tuned in to watch and see what The Ascent had to offer.
Between major community involvement and extreme ease of access off of Xbox Game Pass, The Ascent proves that game streaming is not only feasible: it might just be more profitable than basic release. You can watch the launch trailer for The Ascent here.