According to a famous expression, it seems that we are not twenty years old every day. But while many players remembered the release of the very first Xbox in recent days, Microsoft is taking advantage of this milestone to make a shattering revelation.
So it’s been two decades since Microsoft launched an assault on the home console market with a certain Xbox first of the name. And if the previous generation will not have been easy, far from it, the American brand will once again have blown up the (good) old model of traditional sales by launching the Xbox Game Pass in June 2017, with the success that we know.
While it’s still unclear which Microsoft or Take-Two Interactive CEO comes closest to Microsoft’s current portfolio of actual subscription subscribers, Xbox industry thinker Phil Spencer took advantage of it. anniversary of the brand to give an interview to the British edition of GQ, and thus indulge in astonishing confessions. After evoking the famous “impostor syndrome” which may have existed when taking over the post of Don Mattrick in 2014, Spencer finally leaves the floor to Sarah Bond, director of the entire video game ecosystem at Microsoft.
And it is precisely the latter that lets go. The Xbox Game Pass, in gestation since 2013, could have taken a completely different form:
Codenamed Arches, Game Pass started out as a video game rental service, but the team preferred to go for a subscription model, as services like Netflix and Spotify began to take off. multiply. The idea was to find a response to the rapid decline in sales of a game: 75% of the revenues were made in the first two months of marketing. Today, they are spread over more than two years.
The road was long and strewn with pitfalls
Despite the statements of Aaron Greenberg, who explained last year that the Game Pass would probably only be profitable in the long term, Microsoft would therefore have found “its” way of ensuring more sustainable income. But as you can imagine, the idea was not necessarily well received by industry players:
The representatives of the company were going to talk about it with the various publishers, but they encountered a lot of resistance: “No way, the Game Pass will contribute to devalue our games!”. We then proposed to experiment with their old titles, because they presented less risk. The response from the players exceeded all of our expectations. Finally, Microsoft decided to release its first-party games directly on the Game Pass on the day of their release. Sea of Thieves was the first to take the plunge, and it set the company apart. On Nintendo or Sony consoles, players still have to spend 60 euros for a new game.
The rest, you know it: after a running-in period, the subscription will finally be launched at the very end of spring 2017 with a first salvo of a hundred titles, before declining in many forms, like the Game Pass Ultimate and other Game Pass for PC. Earlier this year, Phil Spencer even referred to it as an accelerator that would allow the return of some missing licenses …