The host of the podcast, Jeff Grubb, has also provided further clarification in a tweet:
Original story (Fri 21st Apr, 2023 11:45 BST):
Hi-Fi RUSH made a huge splash when it was surprise revealed and released at Xbox’s Developer Direct event back in January, with critics completely won over by Tango’s beat bopping adventure. It was the team’s first release under Xbox ownership, so it was launched right onto Xbox Game Pass – but has that hurt its sales?
Well, we can’t say for sure, but one rumor has cropped up suggesting Hi-Fi RUSH’s out and out sales weren’t where the Xbox wanted them to be. According to Venture Beat journalist Jeff Grubb — who touched on the subject during a recent “Jeff Grubb’s Game Mess” podcast episode — Hi-Fi RUSH “didn’t make the money” Xbox was aiming for.
“Based on what I’ve heard, it [Hi-Fi RUSH] just straight up didn’t make the money it needed to make. It got good reviews, the buzz was good, so where do you put the blame for something like that? Is it the price? Was it the ‘shadow drop’ – could it have sold more? Or, is it Game Pass?”
Of course, Microsoft doesn’t disclose sales numbers these days, so we’ll likely never know exactly how well Hi-Fi RUSH — or other recent Xbox exclusives — have sold. We just hope that something like this doesn’t put Microsoft off from investing in similar games in the future.
We absolutely loved our time with Hi-Fi RUSH back in January, and it’s been one of our favorite Xbox moments of the year so far. If you’d like to read our thoughts on Tango’s rhythm-based beat-em-up, check out our full written review of Hi-Fi RUSH down below.