Phil Spencer Assures That Game Sales Are As Important To Xbox As Game Pass

Xbox's Game Pass subscription service has become successful beyond Microsoft's wildest expectations. The fact that first-party games launch day-one on the service should tell you how big a part Game Pass plays in the company's overall sales strategy. However, head of Xbox, Phill Spencer wants to assure players as well as developers, that individual game sales are also just as important.

During a GDC Fireside Chat segment, Spencer and Xbox creator experience head, Sarah Bond, spoke about how they aim to empower game developers (thanks, Eurogamer) . "I often get asked by developers 'if I'm not in the subscription, am I just not viable on Xbox anymore?'. It's absolutely not true," said Spencer. "We look at retail; people selling games, buying games… it's an important part of our [profit and loss]."

Bond added that the continuous success seen by the Game Pass system always leaves the Xbox team stunned. "We look at this data over and over again…consistently, the engagement in a game when it goes into a subscription goes up eight times above where it was before, and members actually spend 50 percent more," she said. "It's really lowered the barrier for entry and created a whole new market and love for games and gaming experiences that otherwise wouldn't have existed."

Game Pass is a great deal for gamers, especially those who flip between games or want to try out older titles. However, it's also a great way for indie developers to gain some much needed reach. In fact, general manager of content curation, Chris Charla, just shared some interesting stats – Xbox has over 3,000 indie games on its platform, which accounts for 4,600 developers from 94 different countries. A full thousand creators signed up for [email protected] in the past two years.

However, the most notable thing Charla said was that Xbox has "paid developers and publishers across Xbox hundreds of millions of dollars in Game Pass license fees.” This is an interesting little tidbit, as the exact deal or offer that Microsoft gives developers has never really been brought to light, or openly discussed by any of the parties involved.

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