Spencer had to fight Microsoft for Game Pass


Microsoft originally thought a subscription service like Game Pass would be doomed from the start, but luckily for the Xbox community, Phil Spencer was in no mood to hear no.

According to a Wall Street Journal article (via PureXbox) over the past week, Spencer was often told how and why Game Pass would fail, which posed quite a challenge for him to first convince Microsoft and then see through building the subscription service.

“At meetings, Mr. Spencer’s staff would present arguments as to why Game Pass wouldn’t work – publishers wouldn’t participate, or it would cut into profits…” said Richard Irving, who led the team at the time. Xbox One user experience. “[Spencer] wouldn’t take no for an answer…”

Game Pass, available on Xbox and PC, gives subscribers access to a rotating catalog of games, including day one releases, at a very low monthly subscription price. The service has often been dubbed the Netflix of gaming and for good reason. It has seen phenomenal growth as it enters its fifth year with over 25 million subscribers across the board.

Game Pass has become central to how Microsoft views its gaming future and the Xbox brand as a whole. The legendary success has even convinced Sony Interactive Entertainment to create its own Game Pass-like subscription service for PlayStation, which Spencer says would be the right move.

“I don’t want to say we have it all figured out, but I think the right answer is to allow your customers to play the games they want to play, where they want to play them, and give them the choice of how they want to play them. build their library and be transparent with them about our plans in terms of CP initiatives and intergenerational initiatives and other things.

“So when I hear others doing things like Game Pass or coming to PC, that makes sense to me because I think that’s the right answer,” Spencer said at the time.

Microsoft executives weren’t the only ones doubting the future of Game Pass. Shawn Layden, former president of Sony Interactive Entertainment America, raised concerns last year about Game Pass-like services recouping skyrocketing development costs in the long run.


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