It's no secret that Microsoft is heavily invested in the Xbox Game Pass subscription service, both for Xbox One and PC, and Xbox chief Phil Spencer has opened up about that in an interview with Eurogamer, revealing that one of their biggest games of the year - Gears 5 - actually still sold well despite its release on Game Pass at launch (as Microsoft does with all their releases).
"Gears 5 sold well for us. It sold better than Gears 4. And we feel good about it," he explained. "If people want to make the choice of buying Gears, that's an option we want to give them. I'm not trying to funnel everybody who wants to play Gears into the subscription. It's about giving gamers choice. Certain players will make the decision as part of Game Pass that they'll either want to start to subscribe, or they're already a subscriber and they stay subscribed."
"Right now the easiest metric to talk to Rod or anybody about the success is, how many players did we find with this game? And let the gamers choose how they actually want to get the entitlement for the game. It is an evolution, there's no doubt. Studios have been trained that, what I look at is what are my day one sales, what are my week one sales? And as an industry, the press wants to know. Hey, how do I judge if Gears 5 has been a success?"
"What I will say is we're incredibly happy with Gears 5. It did review well. It has a tonne of players. We're taking feedback on certain things. The economy - I see the feedback on the game as well. But I thought it was a great release in the Gears franchise and it drove a tonne of players who wanted to go play, and that's awesome."
Later on in the interview Spencer talked about the business of Microsoft with relation to Game Pass, and it seems as if the subscription service is a core part of their plans moving forward, along with the Ultimate subscription that bundles in Xbox Live Gold:
"We're building an Xbox business for the long run. I'll tell you, Game Pass today is a strong part of that, and it continues to get stronger, and it supports the building of great IP."
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