The Xbox Game Pass, a subscription-based streaming service which provides subscribers access to a library of games from the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, has proven a big success not only for Microsoft in its first year of operation, but for the developers whose games are offered on the console as a whole.
In an interview with Variety, members of Microsoft spoke on how the program has done in its first year of operation since launching on June 1, 2017. While specifics on the program’s profit margins were not revealed, they were happy to provide some promising statistics gathered from users and their play habits: Subscribers to the program reportedly spent 20 percent more time playing games after signing up for the program. The company also reported that they saw a 40 percent increase in the number of games users played, not only from the library of games offered from the program but from titles across the system’s entire library. Most promising of all, however, was that users were more likely to purchase, download and play titles across multi-entry franchises if one entry was offered through Game Pass.
“I will say it has significantly exceeded our expectations,” Ben Decker, general manager of services at Microsoft, said to Variety. “The feedback from our developers and customers has been really positive. Those metrics, as well as the raw number of subscribers, have made us really happy.
“This is a big investment for us,” he continued. “A real focus for us. There was a bit of a leap. It was, in many ways, kind of new, something we hadn’t tried before, but we’ve been blown away by the response.”
This success has extended to some developers who see the chance to more readily expose players to their product as a big boon.
“We are very excited when another opportunity to bring our content to consumers comes along,” Tim Woodley, vice president of global brands at 505 Games, said. “The reason why we were so excited with such a service is that it gives consumers more choices for how they access content.”
Xbox Game Pass is currently available for $9.99 a month. For more on Microsoft, check out our coverage of the impressive roster of developers forming at the publisher’s new studio The Initiative.