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Microsoft Reiterates Xbox Game Pass Stats, Explains How It's Different From Netflix

Game Pass subscribers play more games, in more genres, and spend more money overall, Microsoft says.


Xbox executive Sarah Bond has once again shared the data about Xbox Game Pass that illuminates some of the trends and behaviors of its subscribers. As she first said on Kahlief Adams' Spawn On Me Podcast in November 2020, Bond reiterated to Forbes that Game Pass subscribers tend to play more games overall, and--very importantly for Xbox and its partners--spend more money.

Bond said Game Pass users:

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Now Playing: Can PlayStation And Nintendo Compete with Xbox Game Pass?

  • Spend 20% more time playing games
  • Play 30% more games
  • Play 40% more genres
  • Spend 20% more money on gaming overall

Also in the interview, Bond said Game Pass has a different value proposition compared to a video streaming service like Netflix because Game Pass leads to even further ways to spend money.

"When you subscribe to a channel that enables you to watch a video, like Netflix, that's kind of the end of the monetization cycle that you have with that piece of content," she said. "In gaming it's the opposite: there are items that you can buy in the game, there are extensions you can buy, there's a next franchise you can purchase, there are other genres that you can leap to."

Bond also mentioned that Microsoft is pushing its xCloud streaming service because the overwhelming majority of people who play games don't have a console, so streaming helps reach people who might only have a phone or who have no desire to play on console/PC.

"There are 200 million people who buy a console, and there are 3 billion people who play games," Bond said. "Today, a lot of those people don't have the option to play many of these amazing experiences and iconic games that you see. When you really look at what we're doing with Game Pass is we're making that possible by linking that to subscription, and putting our streaming into subscription. We're able to make the economics of all that work."

Xbox Game Pass had 18 million subscribers as of January 2021. The catalog grows each month with additional titles, including 20 from Bethesda that arrived this month after Microsoft's $7.5 billion acquisition of ZeniMax. The former Nintendo Switch-exclusive Octopath Traveler is coming on March 25. For more, check out all the games coming to and leaving Game Pass in March.

In addition to older back-catalog games, Xbox Game Pass features first-party games that release into the program day-and-date, which means subscribers can play Halo Infinite this fall at no extra cost.

For more games to play on Xbox One or Xbox Series X this month, check out our guides to the best Xbox One games of all time and the best Xbox Series X games available so far. Plus, Game Pass subscribers should check out the best games available with Xbox Game Pass right now. To play those games and take advantage of this month's Games with Gold freebies, new subscribers can get their first month for $1.

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