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Xbox Game Pass Stats Show Clear Benefits for Developers

March 23, 2022

By: Robert N. Adams

 
 

Microsoft made the rare move of sharing Xbox Game Pass Stats at GDC 2022, detailing how game developers benefit from the game subscription program.

As you're probably well aware, Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's game subscription service that gives gamers access to a decently-sized library of games that join and leave the program on a periodic basis. Though the company has been reluctant to share stats, it recently revealed that it hit 25 million subscribers earlier this year. A new GDC 2022 talk has revealed more concrete details about how Game Pass can help developers of all sizes.

 

How Xbox Game Pass Helps Game Developers

As highlighted by @BenjiSales on Twitter, several key Xbox Game Pass stats were shared by Microsoft at a GDC 2022 talk featuring Director of Content Planning Joyce Lin and Senior Manager of Content Planning Eugene Kim.

First, here are some key points of consumer info from the talk:

 
 
  • The average U.S. household has 9 subscription services and 25 connected devices.
  • Consumers spend an average of $273/month on subscription services.
  • Over 10,000 games were released on Steam in 2020 alone

That's a lot of games -- and a lot of potential for adding value. In concrete terms, an Xbox Game Pass subscriber spends (on average) 50% more than non-Game Pass subscribers, split between 60% on games, 45% on add-ons, and 45% on consumables. It's unclear how developers are compensated for people playing their games on Game Pass (which may mean lower profits from initial sales), but it looks like that might be made up on the tail end with subsequent purchases.

Another key point is sheer sales numbers. Indie devs like money just as much as anyone else, but many of them are just happy that their game is getting some attention. The numbers reflect the benefits here, too -- Indie devs see a 300% growth in revenue, split between 190% in participation payments and bonuses for the Xbox Game Pass program and 110% in game add-ons and revenue.

 
 

These numbers were shared by a somewhat more philosophical talk by Xbox CEO Phil Spencer and Head of Xbox Creator Experience Sarah Bond in a separate talk. Essentially, this conversation focuses on how Xbox (and its programs) empowers creators to make great games (and keep making them), and it, too, is well worth a watch.

In the end, it looks like Xbox Game Pass is not just a great value for gamers -- it helps out developers of all sizes, too. We're sure to see the program expand its features in the coming years -- and hopefully, that means we'll see a larger library of available games on it, too.