Xbox executive Sarah Bond has shared some new data about Xbox Game Pass that illuminates some of trends and behaviors of subscribers. She told Forbes that Game Pass subscribers tend to play more games overall, and--very importantly for Xbox and its partners--spend more money.
Bond said Game Pass users:
Also in the interview, Bond said Game Pass has a different value proposition compared to a video streaming service like Netflix because Game Pass leads to even further ways to spend money.
- Spend 20% more time playing games
- Play 30% more games
- Play 40% more genres
- Spend 20% more money on gaming overall
"When you subscribe to a channel that enables you to watch a video, like Netflix, that's kind of the end of the monetization cycle that you have with that piece of content," she said. "In gaming it's the opposite: there are items that you can buy in the game, there are extensions you can buy, there's a next franchise you can purchase, there are other genres that you can leap to."
Bond also mentioned that Microsoft is pushing its xCloud streaming service because the overwhelming majority of people who play games don't have a console, so streaming helps reach people who might only have a phone or who have no desire to play on console/PC.
"There are 200 million people who buy a console, and there are 3 billion people who play games," Bond said. "Today, a lot of those people don't have the option to play many of these amazing experiences and iconic games that you see. When you really look at what we're doing with Game Pass is we're making that possible by linking that to subscription, and putting our streaming into subscription. We're able to make the economics of all that work."
Xbox Game Pass had 18 million subscribers as of January 2021. The catalog grows each month with additional titles, including 20 from Bethesda that arrived this month after Microsoft's $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax. The former Nintendo Switch-exclusive Octopath Traveler is coming on March 25. For more, check out all the games coming to and leaving Game Pass in March.
In addition to older back-catalog games, Xbox Game Pass features first-party games that release into the program day-and-date, which means subscribers can play Halo Infinite this fall at no extra cost.