Every month, the Xbox Game Pass catalog welcomes a dozen new games, including some big productions. Of course, Microsoft keeps the partnerships made with publishers and developers secret, but today we have a price range of previous agreements.
Deals up to $100 million
To attract even more subscribers, Xbox Game Pass must offer a varied and quality offer. From indie games to big “AAA” productions, the titles in Xbox Game Pass must appeal to everyone. In the last few months alone, we’ve been treated to A Plague Tale: Requiem, Norco, Pentiment, Somerville or even Battlefield 2042 for Ultimate subscribers.
One wonders how the negotiations are going for this or that game to enter the service, and although these are of course covered by confidentiality, today we have an idea of the amounts invested through Ben Favreau, Senior Content Planner for Xbox Game Pass.
The person responsible for planning the arrival of games in the catalog reveals several interesting elements of his work:
- Identify and prioritize key games with the goal of adding more than 15 per month on console, PC and cloud.
- Conduct content assessments and develop win/win agreement structures that maximize partner value and ROI for Microsoft.
- Meet with key partners on a quarterly basis to discuss their Xbox businesses, contextualize their performance in Game Pass, and discuss long-term opportunities in their transactional and subscription businesses.
- Head of Game Pass for Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda and 2P, helping the portfolio of 23 creative teams and XGS publishing partners create Day One content for Game Pass.
Ben Favreau also says he has backed in-house developed projects such as Forza Horizon 5, Forza Motorsport, Halo Infinite, Perfect Dark and “many more unannounced.”
But what we’re also learning is that the contracts between Microsoft and its partners start at less than a million dollars and can exceed $100 million. Of course, no games are mentioned, but it’s easy to imagine that it cost a little money to get a game like Battlefield 2042 in Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, just like Red Dead Redemption 2 in its day.
Xbox Game Pass, a profitable subscription for Microsoft
With deals costing millions of dollars to still attract players, many wonder if Xbox Game Pass is profitable for Microsoft. And the question has already been answered as recently as last October.
Phil Spencer, head of games at Microsoft, had confirmed that the company was indeed profitable. Without having more details, we imagined at the time that the price of the subscription was factored into the equation, as was the revenue from the sale of cosmetics and other additional content.
As part of the information related to Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, we also learned through the Brazilian authorities that Xbox Game Pass had generated 2.9 billion in revenue in 2021, or 18% of Microsoft’s games. That’s over $240 million in revenue per month.