Xbox boss Spencer says Game Pass is helping preserve games history

Xbox boss Spencer says Game Pass is helping preserve games history

The head of Microsoft's games business Phil Spencer has said that the company's Game Pass subscription service is a means of preserving our medium's history.

Speaking to Kinda Funny, the exec said he wished that preservation was something that the industry was more focused on. Interestingly, US video games trade body the ESA – of which he is a board member – has in the past opposed changes to the Digital Millenium Copyright Act that would allow for abandoned online games to be preserved

"I really wish as an industry we'd come together and help preserve the history of what gaming is about, so we don't lose the ability to go back," Spencer said.

He continued: "As an industry, I would love it if we came together to help preserve the history of what our industry is about, so we don't lose access to some of the things that got us to where we are today."

Spencer has said that Game Pass works as a means of preserving older titles, pointing to the Bethesda releases that came to the subscription service following the firm's $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax.

"It was amazing when Bethesda came in and we were able to put so many of the 'old new' games, or 'new old' games, into Game Pass and go back with the legacy that we have with some of the IP," Spencer said.

"Even thinking about things like Rare Replay was a really interesting thing for us to go do, and letting people go and experience some of the old Rare IP."

Game Pass now boasts more than 15 million subscribers as of September 2020.

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.