This year, Xbox Game Pass has hit 18 million subscribers, proving once again that the efforts made by Microsoft over the last year have not been in vain. The Game Pass is called the Netflix of games because it offers a similar library, but of games, instead of films. Users can browse and download titles on their devices and play them remotely on Android smartphones, all for a fee of $15 for both PC and console.
Similar Model to Online Casinos
This model follows in the footsteps of online casino platforms, as they provide access to a large library of titles for free, with the option of paid-for content for specific titles. This industry allows its users to try out a variety of games, before moving onto the real money live casino
option. The new casino experience consists of the same games that players can access for free, such as poker, blackjack, and roulette, but in a real-time environment with extra payment features. Because of the success of this model, companies across other industries have started taking an interest in it.
Just like online casinos continually improve their offerings by bringing new titles from a variety of software providers, Microsoft has done so by looking into studio acquisitions that would strengthen the games offering on its Game Pass. The acquisition of ZeniMax Media
, the parent company of Bethesda Softworks, was one of the most important agreements. Bethesda’s iconic franchises, including Doom, Fallout, and Wolfenstein, were added to Xbox Game Pass for console and PC. Moreover, the company’s future releases and creative teams will be supported by Microsoft's resources.
The marketing strategy is also important when it comes to promoting a product and in this sense, Microsoft has been working tirelessly to boost the popularity of Xbox. Similar to online casinos, offering incentives to new customers was the way to go and Microsoft has decided to offer the first month of Game Pass for $1. Furthermore, to motivate Xbox Live Gold customers to switch over to the new game streaming feature, they were offered a free Disney Plus month.
A Success with Gamers and Developers
The biggest achievement of the Game Pass Ultimate is that it no longer ties gamers to just PC or console. Instead, it has opened up a whole new gaming world to them with the availability of xCloud, Microsoft’s cloud gaming service. This feature, paired with the Pass and the launch of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, has increased the company’s revenues by 51%, opening up new expansion opportunities for the future.
The subscription service, which offers access to a selection of more than 100 games, has not only enticed gamers, it has also driven more developers
to the ID@Xbox program. Not that different from what has happened in the online casino industry. Microsoft has turned the service into a great platform for independent developers to show off their work. The fact that the Xbox Game Pass merges across two different platforms, Xbox and PC, allows the independent development community to work with different tools and processes, and not be limited to just one.
The future in this area is also looking pretty bright for both the Game Pass and the ID@Xbox program, as there are some impressive names on the way, including Edge of Eternity, The Ascent, and 12 Minutes. Two of these titles will be launched directly on the Pass through the program. With all this effort, Microsoft may have learned from the online casino world and is now working towards re-establishing itself as an innovative console, as well as a place for the independent developer's community to gather and thrive together.
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