Microsoft is going all-in on Xbox Game Pass and Xbox Cloud Gaming this year, as CEO Satya Nadella and Xbox head Phil Spencer have just announced some pretty exciting news this morning. Microsoft’s cloud gaming service is coming soon to TVs, PCs, and iOS devices, and the Xbox Cloud Gaming servers are also being upgraded with Xbox Series X hardware, a process that's now almost complete.
As for Xbox Game Pass, the company didn’t share an update on its 18 million subscribers number from January, but the company is planning to grow its subscription service by releasing new first-party exclusive games on Xbox Game Pass more regularly going forward. "With more than 23 studios worldwide creating games for Xbox, our goal is to release at least one new, first party game into Game Pass every quarter. Role playing games, shooters, strategy titles, adventure games, and more are all being built by our first party teams to ensure that there is a steady stream of compelling exclusive content to explore," the company said today.
To grow the number of Xbox Game Pass subscribers, Microsoft is also working on new tiers that could make the service even more accessible for gamers. "Xbox is exploring new subscription offerings for Xbox Game Pass so more players around the world can experience the most immersive and fun games across devices, geographies, and financial realities," the company said today, without sharing further details.
Microsoft is also teaming up with telecommunications companies to create new offerings similar to Xbox All Access, which currently allow consumers to get an Xbox console and an Xbox Game Pass subscription for a low monthly price. “I think we are going to get to a point where the majority of Xbox users are signing up for Game Pass,” Xbox head of game creator experiences Sarah Bond told Axios.
If gaming subscription services like Xbox Game Pass are still pretty new, Microsoft has new data to show that it can be a great opportunity for game developers and publishers. "Whether it’s purchasing games inside or outside of what’s available in the library, or purchasing additional content for the games they like, members spend 50% more than non-members,” the Xbox team explained today.
Microsoft also confirmed today that Xbox Game Pass members play 30% more genres and play 40% more games, and publishers willing to launch their new games on day one on Xbox Game Pass can really benefit from the bigger exposure. There are two recent examples with Square Enix’s Outriders, which was the #1 selling digital game on Xbox during its launch week and a top 10 selling digital game on Xbox in the month of April. MLB: The Show 21 was also the #1 selling paid game on Xbox in April, and the second biggest sports game of all time on Xbox.