Microsoft: Game Pass has helped reduce risk for building games

Microsoft: Game Pass has helped reduce risk for building games

Publishing giant Microsoft has said that its Game Pass subscription service has allowed its creators to worry less about the business side of things.

Speaking to, head of Xbox Game Studios Matt Booty said that the all-you-can-eat platform has exposed the title its developers are making to a much larger audience than before.

"Our studios are very creator-led," he said.

"But honestly, especially where we are right now, we have a very unique advantage that so many of our studio heads are very senior, very experienced, and very creator-led. We're really trying to stay out of the way and let them make the games that they want to make. And so it's for them to say: 'Hey, when I look at Game Pass, this is what I see'. They might see a game that can bring a bigger audience than they had before, or they see the ability to make a game that might be more built around community, because they know that the second that it goes into Game Pass they have this ready-made community of players. But that's really up for them to figure out."

He continued: "Game Pass itself takes care of being the service and the platform so when we go to design a game, we don't need to be thinking about what our plan is to sustain this for three or four years. We don't need to think about how we come up with a set of content updates so that this thing can run as a service, or whether we're going to be doing Fortnite-style updates every three weeks. It frees us from having to think about that.

"It allows our game creators to do what they do best, which is make a game. Whether that's Outer Worlds, where it's a standalone single-player game that's about 25 hours long, or a game like Bleeding Edge, which probably structurally looks closer to a free-to-play game. It has really freed us up from having to think about designing around a service or around a business model and being able to just design the games that the team wants to make."

Xbox Game Pass launched two years ago with Microsoft claiming that subscribers play 40 per cent more titles than they did before. The service launched on PC in August of this year.

PCGamesInsider Contributing Editor

Alex Calvin is a freelance journalist who writes about the business of games. He started out at UK trade paper MCV in 2013 and left as deputy editor over three years later. In June 2017, he joined Steel Media as the editor for new site In October 2019 he left this full-time position at the company but still contributes to the site on a daily basis. He has also written for, VGC, Games London, The Observer/Guardian and Esquire UK.


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