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Xbox spends "over a billion dollars a year" on third party Game Pass titles, Phil Spencer says

Having a service with lots of games at people's fingertips costs a lot of money, who'd have guessed!

Turns out that to regularly add third party games to a service like Xbox Game Pass means you have to spend an unthinkable amount of money.

For those that can't necessarily afford a full £70 game every month, but can manage to spare £13 a month, Game Pass is a pretty unmissable deal. It has a huge number of games, and adds several titles every month, including some big hits. But, as it turns out, adding games so frequently costs a fair bit of dough; according to a recent interview with Xbox head Phil Spencer from Windows Central, it costs more than a billion dollars a year, which is an amount of money pretty much none of us will ever come close to in our entire lives.

When asked about how Xbox is able to revive some nicher titles, and how its marketing strategy works, Spencer explains that with "we have a service that is financially viable, meaning it makes money, in Game Pass. 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."

It isn't exactly surprising that Xbox has to spend so much, as it'll have to make sure that developer's are appropriately compensated for game sales they might miss out on (and obviously for AAA devs, that'll be even more costly).

In the same interview, Spencer also shared that, despite recent claims, there aren't any plans to bring Game Pass to either PlayStation or Nintendo consoles. And yes, Banjo-Kazooie fans, Spencer is also very aware of how desperate you are for a new game.

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Oisin Kuhnke avatar

Oisin Kuhnke


Oisin is a non-binary writer based in the UK with bylines in Polygon, Fanbyte, Uppercut, Rock Paper Shotgun, GameSpot, and many more besides.