Xbox Game Pass Has a Remarkable First Year Creating New Opportunities for Gamers and Developers
It’s been one year since Xbox launched the Xbox Game Pass, a monthly membership built for gamers. From the very outset, the goal with Xbox Game Pass has been to provide gamers with more value and choice by delivering a diverse library of games reflective of the long history of Xbox, as well as create new opportunities for Xbox’s industry partners that make a positive impact. According to Xbox, this last year has been remarkable.
Over the last year, the team have achieved several important milestones based on feedback from fans. Gamers from around the world wanted Xbox Game Pass, so the team expanded and now support 40 markets across the globe. Feedback from gamers also showed that the number one must-have feature was to have more AAA blockbuster titles available. In response, Xbox announced in January that going forward, they plan to release all new Xbox games from Microsoft Studios into Xbox Game Pass the same day as their global launch, including new iterations of future unannounced games from some of our biggest franchises such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War.
So, how is Game Pass creating new opportunities for both gamers and developers? In its first year, Xbox Game Pass has proven to be great for both gamers and game developers as an additive means to drive discovery and engagement of games. The freedom to explore and play more great games is changing gaming habits in incredibly positive ways.
After joining Xbox Game Pass, Game Pass members are playing more games than ever before — not only games in the Game Pass catalog, but also other Xbox games outside the catalog. As a result, there are more active players for games across the board, which is having a notable positive impact for publishers and developers, including increased sales for games in Xbox Game Pass.
Xbox Game Pass is also creating bigger player communities, more buzz and excitement, and longer lifespan for games that enables Xbox partners to drive more business opportunity. For example, in March, Sea of Thieves marked the first Xbox title to release into Xbox Game Pass timed with its global release, which contributed to a thriving Sea of Thieves community that saw more than 2 million players within its first week of release. And building on this momentum, in May, Xbox made the second Xbox exclusive title from Microsoft Studios available to Xbox Game Pass members with the release of State of Decay 2 on May 22. The response from the community has been extremely positive, contributing to the over one million players across the globe playing and creating their own zombie survival story. In addition to its first-party portfolio, Xbox has continued to add a variety of new titles for gamers to explore and enjoy every month, so that there’s always something new to play. There’s been an incredible community response to newer titles in the catalog such as Pro Evolution Soccer 18, theHunter: Call of the Wild and Clustertruck, with more popular titles in the year ahead.
It’s also been exciting to see titles in Xbox Game Pass experience revived gaming communities across a variety of genres and franchises. Games in Xbox Game Pass have a longer tail of engagement, sustain their community and help developers connect with new audiences than before. What’s more, those same community members often go on to then try the next major release from those franchises thanks to being introduced to new genres and content they may not have otherwise explored, simply by having unlimited access through the Xbox Game Pass catalog.
Xbox has a long-term commitment and belief in making subscriptions a model that benefits gamers with more choice and game creators with more opportunity. The has said that they’ll continue to invest in this space. We certainly are looking forward to what’s in store for Xbox Game Pass in the year ahead.