Microsoft seems to have hit the jackpot with the incredible success of Xbox Game Pass, which has proven instrumental in turning the tides around for the platform holder this generation (alongside a renewed focus on first-party output, of course). But while the subscription service is most certainly great from a consumer standpoint, there may be some downsides to the increasing popularity of this model, according to Ed Fries, who was formerly VP of Xbox publishing.
Speaking in a recent Xbox podcast, Fries compared Xbox Game Pass to Spotify, and explained that while having so much content available for a single price is absolutely great for a consumer, it isn’t so for the industry. Fries says that Spotify’s unprecedented success and disruptive market strategy halved the annual revenue of the music business, and that it’s possible that Xbox Game Pass does the same to the games industry by pushing people towards buying subscriptions instead of full-game purchases.
“So Game Pass makes me nervous. As a customer, I love it. I love Spotify as a customer, gee I have all the songs I ever want I can just play around with them, it’s great, great deal as a customer. But, it isn’t necessarily great for the industry,” he said (as transcribed by VGC).
“Game Pass scares me because there’s a somewhat analogist thing called Spotify that was created for the music business. When Spotify took off it destroyed the music business. It literally cut the annual revenue of the music business in half, and, it’s made it so people just don’t buy songs anymore.”
Perhaps pertinent to Fries’ argument, head of Xbox Phil Spencer has previously said that subscribers of Xbox Game Pass tend to spend more on games- read more on that through here.