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Xbox Game Pass: Why Microsoft Calls It a Blessing, Not Threat to Consumers, Developers

August 23, 2018 / Liz Lanier

On its surface, Xbox Game Pass seems like a sort of Netflix for video games. The Microsoft-run service charges players a monthly fee for unlimited access to a library of titles.But the results of that service, which has been live now for about a year, show a number of surprising, meaningful changes in the way its users consume games.“Netflix is what we hear, but that’s not what we think of it as. When we started out with the program we wanted to be additive, something that grows the entire ecosystem,” said Ben Decker, general manager of services at Microsoft. “So we tracked how customers are using Game Pass and how it interacts with the purchase model. How much time are you spending and how many games are you purchasing?”The result, Microsoft found, was that Game Pass members spent 20% more time playing games than they did before signing up. And not just with Game Pass games, but with other games on the Xbox One as well. The company also saw a 40% increase...