Xbox boss Phil Spencer has revealed how much its Xbox Game Pass subscription service is costing the company, and it's a pretty penny, to say the least.
In an interview with Windows Central, Spencer revealed that while Xbox Game Pass is "financially viable," the company spends "over a billion dollars a year supporting third-party games coming into Game Pass." He then touches on the strategic reasons why Xbox spends so much on its service which is often regarded as one of the best deals in gaming.
"I think a lot of the publishers are naturally drawn to making games that are big hit games, as big as possible," Spencer explains. "We want to do that as well, of course. But because we have a platform, and we have a subscription service, having people play more and stay engaged on the platform, frankly, regardless of the types of games they're playing, is a very viable part of our strategy."
There's certainly some truth to that. Xbox Game Pass is notable for hosting first-party Xbox Game Studios titles like Starfield, Hi-Fi Rush, and Forza Motorsport on day one of release. But each month also brings generous helpings of third-party titles from developers large and small. Recent standout additions have been the shadowdropping of popular soulslike shooters Remnant: From the Ashes and Remnant 2. Last month also saw the addition of games like Spirittea, Thirsty Suitors, and Rollerdrome.
Spencer also commented on the likelihood of Xbox Game Pass making the jump to competing hardware; namely PlayStation 5 and Nintendo Switch. The short answer is no, in spite of the heavy investment Xbox is putting into its service.
"We have no plans to bring Game Pass to PlayStation or Nintendo. It's not in our plans," he said. Owners of those consoles will have to stick with PS Plus and Nintendo Switch Online, respectively, for now then.
Xbox Game Pass is worth checking out if you're a fresh current-gen Xbox console owner. Consider browsing our guide to the very best Xbox Game Pass games to find out which are essential downloads.
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Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.