The subscription-based service presents an “opportunity for discovery”.
For all the scepticism it had at launch, Microsoft has been doing a very good job with Xbox Game Pass, its subscription-based service that grants access to more than 180 titles. For $9.99 per month, subscribers not only get access titles like Warhammer: Vermintide 2, Fallout 3, and DOOM, but also get launch access to upcoming titles like Forza Horizon 4, Gears 5, and Halo Infinite.
Even Halo: The Master Chief Collection will be hitting the service on September 1st. Given all the content that’s available on the platform now, the question still remains: Will Xbox Game Pass replace traditional game purchases? According to Ben Decker, head of gaming services at Microsoft, it will exist as another option.
Speaking to Variety, Decker said, “Sometimes there is a narrative around either subscribe or buy, but we want to make sure it’s a mixed ecosystem. For gaming to be healthy you want to create choice for developers and for customers. Game Pass is a great way to do that with customers. It’s simply an opportunity for discovery. I don’t see it replacing purchase to own.”
He also believes that “balancing content” and making every game appealing is vital. Quantity wins out over quality in this case. “It’s more about balancing content. We want to make sure there is something for everyone. We want to retain a highly curated catalogue so that we think every game in the catalogue is great. Initially, we thought that the number was going to be really important. But what we hear now is, ‘I don’t want thousands and thousands of games, I want really good games.’”
Head of Xbox Game Pass Ashley McKissick further said, “We think of it more as a membership than a subscription. We are constantly looking at ways to add value. Game Pass members get discounted DLC. That doesn’t exist in Netflix’s world.”
Xbox Game Pass will be available for $2 until August 31st, and if you purchase it by then, a second month will be provided as well, free of cost. That’s enough to cover the launches of Halo: The Master Chief Collection and Forza Horizon 4, the latter out on October 4th. It only applies to new members, but it’s a great deal all the same.