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Why Is Xbox Game Pass More Important Than Xbox Consoles and Even Xbox Game Studios?

There is a big plan!

By Mehrdad Khayyat

September 18, 2021

What would be the future of the Xbox Game Pass? How big is it going to be? We might have some answers to these burning questions of yours.

Xbox Game Pass has undoubtfully been one of the biggest things that happened in the video game industry over the last generation of consoles. Of course, there is both positive and negative feedback on the service, but you can barely find someone who ignores it as a big change in the industry.

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Microsft didn’t innovate anything, but it managed to execute an existing idea in a way that no one has ever done. And they resisted the costs and losses, though there is no clue if the service has turned into profit yet.

However, Microsoft still continues to make Xbox Game Pass even greater. All these resources go into the Xbox Game Pass because there is a big reason behind that. You need to see the bigger picture.

The Ultimate Goal for Game Pass Is to Make It Something Like Android

When Phil Spencer once said that they saw Google and Amazon as their rivals rather than Sony, he was making a point there. Microsoft doesn’t want to be the best single-player narrative-driven video game developer and publisher in the world.

Microsoft’s main goal is to own a platform similar to Google’s Android or Amazon’s Twitch in the gaming industry. Microsoft wants Xbox Game Pass to become so popular and common in the world that it never needs Xbox Game Studios to develop games for it.

To make it more clear, let’s have a look at Android. Does Google even need to bother itself to develop new apps and games for Android? Of course not. They do develop some great apps for Android right now, but it wouldn’t change the popularity of the OS even if they stop it.

Currently, there are many rivals to Google’s own apps on Android. I mean who uses the outdated Google Hangouts anymore? And this isn’t something bad for Android.

The same goes for Amazon’s Twitch as the company doesn’t need to create any specific content to keep the site going.

This is what Xbox Game Pass is supposed to be. Microsoft wants Xbox Game Pass as widespread as Android, driven by third-party companies and individual developers. That’s why the company tries to launch Xbox Game Pass on as many devices as possible without worrying about the drop in the number of sales for Xbox consoles.

How Is Xbox Game Pass More Important Than Xbox Game Studios?

Unlike systems like Android or Windows, developing and expanding Xbox Game Pass has different requirements.

When Microsoft first launched the service the most impressive feature was the fact that it was going to let you play all first-party titles at launch with no additional cost. But the company didn’t have enough studios to launch at least one first-party game per season.

On the other hand, although Xbox Game Pass hosted third-party games, it was almost like a mystery box as you would never know which game would eventually come to the service.

As a result, Microsoft’s biggest promotion for the service to make it grow is to develop more first-party games, and that could be achieved either by founding new studios or buying new ones.

So, when you put it this way, studios are means to make Xbox Game Pass even more popular, and convince big publishers to launch their titles on the service on day one.

Right now, you can get EA Play titles on Game Pass Ultimate at no additional cost, but do you think EA would ever agree to do it when the service was first launched in 2017? Of course not.

Now, Microsoft follows the same goal for other companies as well. So, don’t get surprised if sometime in the future you see Uplay Plus and Prime Gaming join the Xbox Game Pass.

The service just needs to become big enough to absorb all gaming subscriptions in the world into it. And it needs time, resources, and resisting the losses.

Currently, Game Pass is on the right track, but it needs much more time to reach its ultimate goal. And remember, some parts of the plan are out of Microsoft’s control.

Although xCloud is a great platform, it could never become widespread until the internet resources and tech improves in most regions of the world and its costs reduce to a reasonable amount.

Is Xbox Game Pass A Threat to the Gaming Industry?

It’s not really fair to call Xbox Game Pass a threat, but there is not really a proper answer to whether Xbox Game Pass is good or bad for the industry.

It’s like finding an answer to whether Netflix is good or bad. There are both positive and negative views of the service.

Remember how streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and HBO Max reduced the losses for movie companies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But also, there is a negative side to such platforms, and you see some well-known directors are totally against streaming services. So, it will never come to a conclusion.

The same goes for Xbox Game Pass. It will continue to become stronger as Netflix did. So, the only thing that opposing voices could do is to avoid it.

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Mehrdad Khayyat

Mehrdad is a Senior Staff Writer at DualShockers. He started writing about video games since he was a high-school student. He's probably one of those rare Rainbow Six Siege fans that have the game installed and updated on every available platform.

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