Phil Spencer on Game Pass: “It’s very, very sustainable”

A metric fuckton of AAA games for – let’s say – ten bucks a month, whoever thought that would work out for everyone? You wanna know who? Xbox’s top dog Phil Spencer does. during a chillaxing pow-wow with Axios’ Stephen Totilo, Uncle Phil tried to ensure everyone that Xbox Game Pass is doing just fine. To all those haters claiming that Xbox is burning money with the service, Spencer had one word in particular on repeat: sustainable. Game Pass is sustainable. Very sustainable. Sus-tain-a-ble.

But let’s be honest, everyone has thought about it at least once. How can Microsoft make money by underselling brand-new AAA games for just a fraction of the retail price? Well, it’s actually quite simple. The answer is math. Take that $10 fee and multiply it by the number of subscribers, and you still have a pretty big cash stream. And that’s coming in every month, even in slow months. But who am I to tell you all of this? Let Uncle Phil tell you.

“I mean, you could do the math on Game Pass. I guess you don’t know how many subscribers [we have] or how much each subscriber is paying, but you can make some fairly informed decisions and literally just do the math on what we think Game Pass could eventually be – you can do that on aby part of the business.

“But absolutely, Game Pass is sustainable.”

Let’s also not forget that Game Pass isn’t Xbox’s core focus. Sure, it’s part of a grand scheme, but Xbox isn’t solely relying on the success of Game Pass. Once again, not my words, but Spencer’s, who also feels like re-emphasizing the service’s sustainability.

“It’s not the only thing that’s growing in Xbox. Game Pass is not the only focus of the organisation, and it, as a standalone thing, is very sustainable as it sits today. It’s sustainable.

“I know there are a lot of people that like to write [that] we’re burning cash right now for some future pot of gold at the end. No. Game Pass is very, very sustainable right now as it sits and it continues to grow.”

Right. Gotcha. Game Pass is sustainable if I got this correctly. And that’s absolutely great because Game Pass was a gamble and had a pretty hard time getting started. Developers weren’t exactly thrilled with the pitch, feeling that their games were being devalued by it. Microsoft even thought about making it a rental service at some point. But here it is now, basking in all its glory.

All hail Game Pass! Sustain, sustain, sustain!