Xbox Game Pass is changing the way Microsoft evaluates the success of its first-party games, but according to new data shared by ID@Xbox's European lead, the subscription service is helping drive actual sales of games across the board.
Presenting on Xbox Game Pass at a GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit, ID@Xbox's Agostino Simonetta says that, on average, Game Pass subscribers are playing 40% more games and 30% more genres than they did previously. Simonetta adds that "when a title goes into Game Pass, [Microsoft sees] an average of six time increase in usage for all the games in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue."
According to Simonetta, that 40% average increase in playtime isn't limited to titles on Xbox Game Pass. "Actually they're way more engaged outside the subscription," says Simonetta. "They go out to stores and buy more games than they did before they joined."
91% of Game Pass subscribers say they have tried a game through Game Pass that they wouldn't have touched otherwise, which helps explain that average 30% jump in genre variety. That could also bolster Microsoft's commitment to making a wide variety of games available on Game Pass, including niche indies and self-published ID@Xbox games.
"For us, there's no genre that is not relevant," Simonetta assures. "We really want to offer a great menu where customers can decide, 'You know what? I want to try something new.'"
As for the average six times increase in usage across the Xbox Game Pass catalogue, it's worth noting that Game Pass usage is an inherently limited metric. As with the launch of Gears 5, though increases in usage, player count, and subscribers' overall time spent with games is encouraging for the success of Game Pass, it doesn't say much about individual titles' performance.
To that point, Simonetta notes that the developers of Afterparty and No More Robots witnessed an increase in sales on other platforms after being announced. As Microsoft moves away from emphasizing on sales figures for software and hardware, it wants the industry to see its subscription model not only as a way to get games in front of more people, but to boost sales as well—even if it's not through Microsoft.