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Forums - Microsoft Discussion - Phil Spencer: GamePass is completly sustainable as is, no plans to jack up the price

Good to know, but it will happen eventually. MS is still trying to win back consumer's favor, so it would not be in their best interest to do so now. Once the new Bethesda games drop on there however, among other games, we could see the narrative change. At least then consumers will SEE the value of the price increase, rather than more promises with nothing to show for it at the moment.



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Do most people just buy gamepass and keep paying for it every month, or are people buying it for a month or two playing the games you want, cancel it for a few months and sign back up when another game or two you want to play comes out? I used to pay and leave Netflix years ago until the prices started to rise and I realized I wasn't watching anything some months. Now I sign up for it a month or two and have it cancelled more often than not.



In general, I'm supportive of everything going up 2% a year based on inflation. However, in this case, their profit margins increase exponentially as subscriber counts go up, and so they probably won't need to increase the price for a long time. Last update they had 15 million subscribers, right? Assuming some got the deal of a really low amount mixed with others paying for ultimate and/or xbox live gold, let's just assume they are averaging $10 a person. That's $150 million a month in revenue for their games. They make the games they make and release them when they are ready, regardless of how many subscribers they have. So if they were to expand their subscribers to 50 million, they could decrease their price of monthly subscription down to $3 a month and generate the same revenue. Granted, costs for servers and whatnot will go up with a larger userbase (unless the games microtransaction purchases increase and offset it, so let's just be safe and assume $4 a month would generate the same revenue with 50 million subscribers as $10 does with 15 million. This is why I don't see the subscription going up for many years to come!



rapsuperstar31 said:
Do most people just buy gamepass and keep paying for it every month, or are people buying it for a month or two playing the games you want, cancel it for a few months and sign back up when another game or two you want to play comes out? I used to pay and leave Netflix years ago until the prices started to rise and I realized I wasn't watching anything some months. Now I sign up for it a month or two and have it cancelled more often than not.

I've been a subscriber since April and couldn't be happier. There's always a game I want to play. Now granted, I may have time for a game or 2 a month max so for me GP is absolute great value. Plus at my age (30) I no longer care about collecting things. When I did that in my teens and college years I bought excessive amount of games I was "going to play" but instead never played and that were sold with the old console. Now I'm married and starting a family soon so this brings me all I need and ironically I'm playing Tales of Vesperia which was part of one of my old collections I never played and sold. 



rapsuperstar31 said:
Do most people just buy gamepass and keep paying for it every month, or are people buying it for a month or two playing the games you want, cancel it for a few months and sign back up when another game or two you want to play comes out? I used to pay and leave Netflix years ago until the prices started to rise and I realized I wasn't watching anything some months. Now I sign up for it a month or two and have it cancelled more often than not.

That's a really good question. I've subscribed consistently for 2+ years, but I often wish I had done what you do with Netflix. I think GamePass is a great value, but it's certainly more valuable if you only play video games in the Xbox ecosystem. I'm often playing Switch or PS4 titles, or chipping away at my backlog, so I don't have the time to fully take advantage of the huge library of games in GamePass. 



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"Sustainable" is not the same as "Profitable".
I very much doubt that currently its the latter but even if it was losing 100's of millions per year, it could easily be sustained as those losses are covered by gains in the other divisions of Microsoft. One thing to factor in is with subscriber growth, MSFT could get better deals with games coming onto gamepass which could aid its drive to profitability. End go the day, Game Pass is here to stay.



Yeah sure, that what Netflix said as well, it's now more than double the price it started at.

This is what saddens me the most
- Developers are approaching them with projects that are more compatible with a subscription model, episodic like content.
The damage is already being done.



catofellow said:
Why don't third parties hate Gamepass? It seems like the subscribers to Gamepass will be dramatically less likely to buy individual games. The only way the price seems sustainable to me is if they keep it primarily Microsoft published games.
If the goal is to load game pass with a lot more third-party games over time, that would be a smaller slice of the revenue to Microsoft, and therefore I don't see how the price doesn't go up to compensate.
I certainly won't argue the value to ubscribers.

Because it increases the game's sales:

Oxenfree co-director Sean Krankel from Night School Studio talked about what Xbox Game Pass did for his game.

When we brought Oxenfree to Game Pass it was really interesting because we initially thought it could cannibalize our other sales or what’s that gonna do, and actually it was just the opposite. It was something that lifted sort of all of our sales because we found that we found a lot of new audiences.

We found people who tried the game who wouldn’t have otherwise tried it, they might not have understood the genre… It has really become a super-important part of our ecosystem because it’s just really discoverable.”

Krankel also confirmed that thanks to the experience with Oxenfree, Night School Studio’s next game Afterparty is going to launch on Xbox Game Pass day and date with its traditional release (even if he’s not yet ready to say when that date will be).

He then mentioned that it’s a new way for the studio to reach new audiences and get people talking about the game to people that aren’t subscribed to Game Pass, so this actually improves sales on other platforms as well.

Krankel believes that the size of the games made by Night School is also perfect for Game Pass. Being about seven hours long, people aren’t intimidated by the time investment necessary to try them out.

“It’s an exciting time for developers certainly of our size, because looking at something like Game Pass, it’s a new way to get games out there, right? I think if you look a few years ago, a team of our size, even taking a swing at Oxenfree — a single-player fairly short experience — was semi-risky, and fortunately, the game paid off.

Yet, now working with you on Game Pass, we get to find a much larger audience in a way that isn’t “how do we jam this game full of free to play mechanics” which is something that really doesn’t jive with the creatives for it.”

Gamepass leads to more time invested but gamepass owners also buy more games/DLC etc thanks to gamepass discount service.  






As long as it's sustainable, it doesn't need to be profitable.
Other companies have expressed how such a service wouldn't be sustainable (for them).

So I'm not sure where they're going with this. Maybe they'll get better deals from publishers, or maybe they'll introduce different subscription models, or increase the price eventually like Netflix. But it is very interesting to follow, because for consumers it's arguably the best deal in gaming.

Last edited by Hiku - on 31 October 2020

SvennoJ said:
Yeah sure, that what Netflix said as well, it's now more than double the price it started at.

This is what saddens me the most
- Developers are approaching them with projects that are more compatible with a subscription model, episodic like content.
The damage is already being done.

Yep, the price of Netflix has gone up, but it's certainly warranted considering how much original content is on the service and still doesn't have ads. I'll gladly continue to pay for the service. 

Literally one game has released on Game Pass which was Episodic, Tell Me Why, and each episode was only 1 week apart. Compare this to previous episodic games that take months just to get all the content. This is also from DontNod who specializes in these kinds of games. Hardly the norm going forward for Game Pass.