For a while now, there have been rumblings that as part of Microsoft’s clear partnership with CDPR, which has resulted in Cyberpunk 2077-themed Xboxes and Cyberpunk as a prime example of Smart Delivery, a free, next-gen upgrade system Microsoft is pushing, that Xbox may actually try to land Cyberpunk as a huge, third-party title for Game Pass.

Now, that has been officially shut down in a Jeff Grubb Twitter thread by CDPR PR’s Radek Grabowski:

“You have to pick another example, Jeff. No Game Pass plans for Cyberpunk 2077.”

When you think about it, despite a close relationship between Microsoft and CDPR for the Cyberpunk release, such a deal would make no sense at all, on either side, really.

First, why do this Smart Delivery promotion at all if Cyberpunk was coming to Game Pass, which would negate that? But past that, there’s the obvious fact that there are probably no terms that could get CDPR to agree to a deal like this unless Microsoft was willing to shell out not just millions, but hundreds of millions to get Cyberpunk on Game Pass.

The Witcher 3 was an absolute monster success for CDPR, and the last sales tracked show 28 million copies moved, but recent interest in the Netflix series has sparked even more. While we don’t know how Cyberpunk will go, chances are it will be A) very good and B) very popular. 20 million sales seems like a given unless the game is somehow a total disaster, which seems unlikely.

While Microsoft has put its own first party offerings on Game Pass as a way to encourage players to flock to the Xbox ecosystem and the subscription service, getting big third party games, and big new games especially, is a whole other level.

The equivalent example would be asking how much Netflix would be willing to pay Disney to have Avengers: Infinity War launch on its service instead of in theaters with people paying $15 a ticket. The answer is that it’s probably impossible. Netflix is not going to pay a billion dollars to make that happen, Disney is not going to agree to that for any less than that, and even that may be too low (in my example we’re pretending Disney Plus isn’t a thing).

The point being, Cyberpunk is a such a sales draw that CDPR obviously wants as many people to pay $60 for a new copy as possible. In fact, a deal with Game Pass could actually backfire against Microsoft, as CDPR would be more prone to promote the $60 copy on PS5, given that the game would now be on Xbox (and PC too!) with Game Pass for “free.”

And while obviously Cyberpunk would be a huge draw for Game Pass, I don’t think Microsoft actually needs it, nor would it be worth the absurd amount of money it would need to spend to secure that deal.

Game Pass, at this point, is already pretty much a must-have for anyone who owns an Xbox unless you want to inefficiently spend money on your library for the duration of a console generation. There’s just too much value there not to get it if you’re an Xbox player. Past that, this time around, Microsoft has promised Halo Infinite, its massive launch title and one of the biggest games of the year, will arrive on Game Pass on day one as a Series X launch title. That game alone is big enough where Cyberpunk just isn’t necessary.

So in short, this deal makes sense for no one. CDPR would risk too much revenue loss by putting Cyberpunk on Game Pass, Microsoft would probably have to spend so much to secure it that it wouldn’t be worth the trouble. So expect to buy Cyberpunk like you would any other game for a long, long while.

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