The Xbox Game Pass subscription service has often been dubbed a ‘Netflix for Games’ and now Microsoft has hinted that description could become more apt.
In a new interview, Xbox chief Phil Spencer has suggested the success of Game Pass could free the company up to expand franchises, commission spin-offs and experiment creatively. How? Because it will be free the company from the traditional ‘units sold’ measure of success for a game.
It’s something Netflix has achieved with aplomb, as it blends a mix of old classics with the widest array of original content, based upon data showing what has proved popular among its subscribers – keeping them engaged and keeping that subscription ticking over month after month.
Speaking to Polygon, Spencer said: “Now we can say, ‘Well wait a minute, we have over 10 million subscribers in the subscription. How many of those people will play and get retained and be a part of the subscription?’ It really creates a different way for us to evaluate what games we go off and build, and allows us to do some things that frankly, we wouldn’t go do if we were just driven by the retail dynamics of the industry.”
Spencer went on to say that the success of Game Pass “can really support us taking more creative risk”, as it seeks to cater to gamers in different ways at the dawn of the new-generation of consoles.
He added: “I think absolutely there’s an opportunity for us to do that with more franchises, whether it’s … kind of spinoff genres, or even revisiting things like Flight Sim, and bringing those back. They’re actually part of the same lens for us of, ‘What is it in our portfolio that we have? And what ideas would we either like to go back and revisit or experiment with more?'”
Microsoft previously revealed that its Ultimate Game Pass subscription – which offers access to more than 350 console and PC games, as well as access to Xbox Live and monthly access to Games With Gold – will include access to the forthcoming Project xCloud streaming service at no extra cost.