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Phil Spencer: Xbox Game Pass means developers don't have to "chase service-based games"

(Image credit: Microsoft)

At a pre-briefing event ahead of today's X019 show, Xbox boss Phil Spencer argued that Xbox Game Pass and subscription-based services like it can help game developers avoid the pressure to "chase service-based games." 

Between looter-shooters, pseudo-MMOs, and increasingly gargantuan multiplayer components, more and more modern games are designed to be played and updated for years. Spencer noted that this is largely because some titles "felt like they had to last forever in order to recoup the investment that big studios were making in games." However, Spencer said,the evergreen reach and accessibility of Xbox Game Pass can help offset this pressure and give devs the freedom to make games with conventional endings and sustainability models. 

"We see Game Pass as a really critical way to bring new games to new players, with a business model that just has more approachability for many players," he said. "We see players willing to take risks on new games and new genres, because when you're already in the subscription it's as easy as clicking on something, downloading the game, and starting to play. The diversity of content in Game Pass, the genres in Game Pass, the things that people play… I think it's a really healthy part of our industry. 

"The nice thing about Game Pass is that it actually wraps the game inside of a service itself," Spencer continued. "So a game can just be a game. And it's nice to be playing games that have a beginning, a middle, and an end. And that, as a subscription, we completely support those types of games.

"And in fact, a lot of the new games that a lot of the first-party [studios] are working on, and the third-party [studios] are working on, take advantage of the fact that they don't have to carry the service themselves. They can actually just live inside of the service and be exactly what they are." 

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Austin Wood

Austin freelanced for the likes of PC Gamer, Eurogamer, IGN, Sports Illustrated, and more while finishing his journalism degree, and he's been with GamesRadar+ since 2019. They've yet to realize that his position as a staff writer is just a cover up for his career-spanning Destiny column, and he's kept the ruse going with a focus on news and the occasional feature.