Xbox Game Pass Could Evolve to Have Episodic Content

Phil Spencer sees the possibility of games developed specifically for release through the new service, similar to Netflix shows and HBO Originals.


Microsoft took the wraps off its new Xbox Game Pass subscription service last month, which will offer more than 100 Xbox One and backward compatible Xbox 360 games for a $9.99 monthly fee. Xbox chief Phil Spencer said that he sees that service evolving to possibly include original episodic content further down the road.

"I think there's an opportunity here for this to not just be about games that have already shipped," Spencer said on Major Nelson's most recent podcast. "I'd actually like to see this grow to a program that you can see frontline games, first shipped games, come into Xbox Game Pass as something, as a way that they get distributed. I think you've seen this in the TV space with Netflix. You've seen Netflix at first was really about movies or TV shows that I might have missed and I subscribe to Netflix and I go watch it. Now some of the best TV out there is actually being created as Netflix originals, Amazon originals. HBO's doing the same thing. I'd love to see us be able to grow Game Pass to a program where maybe like episodic and smaller story based games could see this as a way that they actually launch because obviously there's a business model behind Xbox Game Pass and I think it could really support that."

He added that he felt the $9.99 fee was a fair price for access to so many games. "Best thing for me, parent walks into the store, they buy a console. For a fairly minimal monthly amount, they're able to get access to a hundred games for everybody in the family. That's great."

Spencer also addressed why the lineup of games would change every so often, saying that third-party publishers would likely be the reason some drop off the list while others are added. "It is true that certain games will come into the program for a little while, certain games will go out of the program for a while, but obviously our motivation behind this is a majority of the games are there month in and month out," Spencer said. "We just know some publishers will make decisions, so we wanted to be transparent about when games will be there."

Microsoft doesn't have a launch date for Xbox Game pass yet, other than some time this Spring. Some of the announced games include Halo 5: GuardiansPayday 2NBA 2K16SoulCalibur 2Saints Row IV: Re-ElectedMad MaxLego BatmanMega Man Legacy CollectionTerrariaGears of War: Ultimate EditionFable 3, and Tekken Tag 2. Some games are already in testing for Xbox Insider Program Alpha Preview members.

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