Former PlayStation CEO Ponders About Xbox Game Pass’ Long-Term Sustainability

Shawn Layden thinks about the ballooning budgets of game development could conflict with the price tag of a subscription service.

Posted By | On 28th, Jul. 2021

xbox game pass

Xbox Game Pass has emerged over the last several years as a new publishing strategy for Microsoft. The subscription service was not exactly the first of its kind, but definitely the first to be done on the scale it has been. The service has been a boon for players, too, as a constant stack of games come and go from the service, not to mention the ever growing slate of first party titles that will remain there forever. But it’s still a new venture, and one that leads to much speculation about just how sustainable a model it is for the future, as pondered by one former CEO of PlayStation.

Speaking with GamesIndustry, former Sony executive Shawn Layden, who served as many different major positions within the platform holder, spoke about a lot of things relating to the current gaming industry. When talking about Game Pass, he expressed some doubt that the service could be sustainable on a long-term basis. He cites the ballooning budgets of game developer as doubt that the service can continue without some changes.

“It’s very hard to launch a $120m game on a subscription service charging $9.99 a month. You pencil it out, you’re going to have to have 500 million subscribers before you start to recoup your investment.

“That’s why right now you need to take a loss-leading position to try to grow that base. But still, if you have only 250 million consoles out there, you’re not going to get to half a billion subscribers. So how do you circle that square? Nobody has figured that out yet.”

Layden’s thought isn’t a new one, by any means, but it’s also something that is difficult to know without some type of inside information. Xbox’s Phil Spencer has been largely dismissive of concerns of sustainability for Game Pass, saying the service is less about numbers of players and more about engagement and overall the revenue from gaming has been in the net positive for Microsoft. What that means for the math Layden is referencing here is simply unknown for anyone outside the office, so to speak, but it’ll be interesting to see what changes come to the service as time goes on.


Amazing Articles You Might Want To Check Out!

Share Your Thoughts Below  (Always follow our comments policy!)



Keep On Reading!

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Launches to Mixed User Reviews on Steam Due to Difficulty Backlash

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Launches to Mixed User Reviews on Steam Due to Difficulty Backlash

In contrast, the expansion has received widespread acclaim from critics, becoming the best-reviewed DLC of all...

The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom’s File Size is 6 GB

The Legend of Zelda: Echoes of Wisdom’s File Size is 6 GB

The newest traditional, top-down entry in Nintendo's action-adventure franchise will launch for Switch this Se...

Palworld PS5 Release is Seemingly Being Teased – Rumour

Palworld PS5 Release is Seemingly Being Teased – Rumour

The recent social media activity of Palworld's community manager might be pointing to an upcoming PS5 release ...

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – How to Complete Count Ymir’s Questline And Metyr, Mother of Fingers Boss Location

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree – How to Complete Count Ymir’s Questline And Metyr, Mother of Fingers Boss Location

Here's how to complete Count Ymir's quest and obtain one of two rewards - a new Spirit Summon or the Sword of ...

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Guide – Early Weapons, Armor Sets and Talismans to Pursue

Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree Guide – Early Weapons, Armor Sets and Talismans to Pursue

Curious about what new armaments, Talismans, Incantations and other items the expansion has to offer? Here's h...

Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater – 10 Things It Needs

Metal Gear Solid Delta: Snake Eater – 10 Things It Needs

We dive into the weeds for the improvements we want to see in the upcoming remake.