Head of Xbox Phil Spencer recently sat down with Kinda Funny Games to talk about a bunch of things (via VGC), with a notable point of discussion being classic games on Xbox Game Pass. Phil Spencer believes that classic games are an essential part of the service, and those games doing well on it absolutely incentivises studios to push for reboots.
Basically, Xbox has a bunch of data thanks to Game Pass that helps determine the popularity of a game on the service, which can then be used to ascertain whether rebooting a franchise is a viable option. Phil Spencer cites Fable as an example.
“Absolutely it does,” Spencer said when the question was posed. “Take Prey, which I think was an amazing game when it came out but a lot of people missed.
“Seeing more people playing something like Prey, or Dishonored or going back to Fable and [that] you can talk about those games, for us as we sit back as a creative organisation and watch what people are interested in, it gives us more data to think about things that we might pick up and take forward with new ideas and new teams that might want to go do that.”
“So yeah, Game Pass has definitely been a great source,” he continued. “It was amazing when Bethesda came in and we were able to put so many of the ‘old new’ games into Game Pass and going back with the legacy that we have with some of the IP… even thinking about Rare Replay was a really interesting thing for us to go do and letting people go and experience some of the old Rare IP.”
“We’ll stay on that, because Game Pass gives us a business model where that makes sense. It doesn’t have to be a [game as a service] version of a game, it can just be ‘this game sits there’ and people enjoy it on the service.”
Xbox already has a number of legacy franchises making a return, with Battletoads and Perfect Dark being two standout highlights among others. There’s still no information on Fable‘s release, but we’re hoping to hear from Playground Games sometime soon.