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Games don’t need Game Pass to be viable, says Microsoft

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In an interview during the GDC this Wednesday (23), Phil Spencer, head of Microsoft Gaming, said that the games do not have to be in the catalog of the Game pass be viable on Xbox platforms. According to the executive, the company will continue to support all types of business models, from retail to subscription services and free titles.

“I also want people to understand that for us at Xbox, there’s no business model that’s going to win. Developers often ask us, ‘If I’m not on the subscription service, am I not viable on Xbox?” “It’s true,” said Spencer.

Also according to Spencer, Microsoft is keeping tabs on retail and the people who sell and buy games. He thinks the diversity of business models has been Microsoft Gaming’s biggest difference in the industry. “[O varejo] it’s an important part of our profit and loss statement, you know. It’s something that we’ve put resources into to enable our game creators to do a fantastic job there,” he added.

There’s no denying that this perspective, while misguided according to Spencer, is due to the significant investments Microsoft has made in the subscription service, which debuted in 2017 and already has more than 25 million subscribers worldwide. The catalog, in addition to giving access to games from Microsoft studios from launch day, also receives nice surprises from partner studios — as was the case with Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

In June last year, when the Xbox Series X and S were confirmed as the best-selling consoles in Microsoft history, CEO Satsya Nadella praised the performance of the subscription service. “Game Pass is growing rapidly and transforming the way people discover, connect and play games,” Nadella said. “Subscribers play about 40% more titles and spend 50% more than non-members,” he revealed.

According to a survey of VGChartz, the Xbox Series X and S are estimated to have a total of 13.23 million units sold worldwide. However, this number has never been confirmed by Microsoft. For its part, the Xbox One records a total of 50.56 million units sold, according to the survey.

In addition to the regular Xbox Game Pass subscription, which costs BRL 29.99 per month, players have the option of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, the first month of which costs just BRL 5.00. The common price, however, is R$39.99 per month.

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