Turn-based strategy game Inkulinati launches into Xbox Game Pass very soon, and we spoke to Yaza Games all about the Game Pass experience and how it “seems like a win-win situation — both for the devs and players alike.”
Inkulinati is one we’ve had an eye on for a while now: it sees you wage war over the pages of medieval manuscripts, and arrives with Xbox Game Preview for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Xbox Game Pass on January 31st . We reached out to developer Yaza Games to learn more about the Game Pass experience, with producer Ryszard Kieltyka having been kind enough to answer our questions.
Xbox Game Pass “seems like a win-win situation — both for the devs and players alike,” say Inkulinati devs
“The whole process was very smooth and painless. And I know that what I’m about to say next might sound cheesy, but from the very beginning of our chats we could tell that the whole Xbox team is simply passionate about gaming,” Kieltyka says about Yaza Games’ partnership with Microsoft to bring Inculinati to Game Pass. “From the way they’ve talked and acted we saw that they care about their player base and they have been fantastic to work with from the dev side too. In terms of how our partnership came to be… We were lucky enough that Xbox liked our demo and the vision for our game. They tried it out, thought it was good, and they told us that they wanted to bring Inculinati to the Game Pass players. It was hard to say no to that!”
Kieltyka goes on to add, “One thing that is worth sharing is the level of trust that Xbox showed us. Honestly, we were amazed that even though it’s our debut title and we don’t have much previous experience as developers, the Xbox team treated us as equal partners from the get-go and believed in us that we are capable of delivering the game. It was a huge boost for the team’s morale — it felt like we suddenly were able to jump to a much bigger league. So we decided to build on that and create a bigger/more advanced game than originally planned.”
We asked Kieltyka about his thoughts on the benefits of subscription services like Game Pass for the industry in general. “I feel that services like the Game Pass are fantastic for the industry. You can tell that Game Pass presents a tremendous value for players and I can say that since I’m a subscriber myself for a long time! What’s great about it is that it exposes people to a whole lot of games and genres of games that they might not have come across themselves,” he says. “Everyone hears about the big titles — but what about the smaller indies? And it’s those smaller games that can really push creatively the industry forward as a whole. Game Pass allows people to try these smaller titles out, and if they become popular, it can show bigger studios that it’s worth taking risks or develop genres that might not be the first on the list. The other benefit of a subscription service is that players can discover all these new genres and fall in love with them without taking this perceived financial risk /hit. There could be sooo many hidden turn-based fans among the Xbox crowd who don’t even know about this genre. Hopefully they will try Inkulinati out and become turn-based fanatics just like us!”
And, as for whether there might be any downsides or long-term impacts of having a game on Game Pass; “I don’t think and feel there is. Sure, there will be more games being added to the service, meaning eventually we won’t be the new, hot game on the block, but that’s a challenge we will face no matter the storefront,” says Kieltyka. “And this is a personal anecdote, so take that with a grain of salt, but if I end up playing a game on Game Pass that I really like, there is a chance that I end up buying it on another platform as well. Being on Game Pass seems like a win-win situation — both for the devs and players alike. The other great advantage is that our studio’s rep could also benefit from being part of Game Pass,” Kieltyka continues. “We are very proud that we were noticed and invited by Xbox to Game Pass with our first game.”
What’s more, Kieltyka confirms that Inkulinati “will eventually contain online multiplayer mode,” so Game Pass is “going to mean more active players that have their own friends that probably will want to compete with who may not necessarily have Xbox or be a Game Pass subscriber. And that opens up for new players coming on board, extending the life cycle of the game. So we are very optimistic about releasing the game on Game Pass, especially in the long-term.”
Inculinati launches into Xbox Game Preview for Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, and Xbox Game Pass on January 31st! Will you be trying it out on day one? Let us know in the comments, and if you’re interested in reading more about the game, check out our earlier Inculinati interview too!