With Game Pass being as central to Xbox’s strategy as it has become over the years, it goes without saying that Microsoft has pumped a massive amount of money into the service, especially given how many third party titles the service features in its catalog (many of which launch day and date). How much money exactly, though?
Speaking during a recent interview with Windows Central, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer revealed the answer to that very question. As per Spencer, Game Pass is a “financially viable” service that “makes money” for Microsoft, and that’s in spite of the company spending over $1 billion every year on third party games available via the service.
“We have a service that is financially viable, meaning it makes money, in Game Pass,” Spencer said. “We’ve put a lot of money into the market, over a billion dollars a year supporting third-party games coming into Game Pass. What we see in Game Pass is a service that supports all kinds of games, from the biggest games, to the unknown indie games that you didn’t know you would love until you played it.”
That’s certainly an eye-watering figure, but not one that’s totally surprising. Earlier this year, a leaked internal Microsoft document revealed the figures that third party publishers would hypothetically ask for to release certain titles on Game Pass (given the impact the service has on games’ sales), and it mentioned some pretty steep prices, including $50 million for Gotham Knights, $100 million for Assassin’s Creed Mirage, $250 million for Suicide Squad: Kill the Justice League, $300 million for Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, $5 million per month for Red Dead Redemption 2, and $12-15 million per month for Grand Theft Auto 5.
Questions have, of course, frequently been asked about the financial viability and long-term success of Game Pass (including by PlayStation CEO Jim Ryan), but Spencer has stressed time and again that the service’s model is a sustainable one.
As of January 2022, Game Pass had over 25 million subscribers.