Categories: Gaming

Phil Spencer details how devs get paid on Xbox Game Pass


The Xbox Game Pass offers tremendous value for what little amount it charges. Xbox head Phil Spencer explained how they pay devs to be on the platform.

There are more than 100 games in the Xbox Game Pass catalog, including first-party and third-party titles.

In an interview, the Xbox boss explained how the devs are making money off the platform. He noted that every studio gets a different deal, depending on what they need.

Different devs receive different deals

In an interview with The Verge, he notes that they make all types of deals with various devs. These deals change depending on the situation. Many cases, he notes, are unique for the company.

“Our deals are, I’ll say, all over the place. That sounds unmanaged, but it’s really based on the developer’s need,” said Spencer. “One of the things that’s been cool to see is a developer, usually a smaller to mid-sized developer, might be starting a game and say, ‘Hey, we’re willing to put this in Game Pass on our launch day if you guys will give us X dollars now.’

“What we can go do is, we’ll create a floor for them in terms of the success of their game. They know they’re going to get this return.”

Microsoft is well-known to be generous but also immensely supportive of devs under them. There will be cases where a studio can get the entire production cost of the game funded by Microsoft. The devs will then receive money from its retail sales.

Microsoft also decides if they think the game should be on multiple platforms such as the PC, Switch, and the Playstation.

The devs take in that revenue, too, while Microsoft benefits from a Day 1 launch on their platform.

Game Pass offers superb value and flexibility

The Xbox Game Pass currently has more than 15 million active subscribers. At $15 a month, that translates to $165 million per month, at the very least.

This still doesn’t count the cut they get from the retail sale of games on their platforms.

“For them, they’ve protected themselves from any downside risk. The game is going to get made. Then they have all the retail upside, we have the opportunity for day and date,” noted Spencer in the interview.

“That would be a flat fee payment to a developer. Sometimes the developer’s more done with the game and it’s more just a transaction of, ‘Hey, we’ll put it in Game Pass if you’ll pay us this amount of money.”

Microsoft even allows usage and monetization schemes with other devs. Their flexibility when it comes to the Xbox Games Pass is quite legendary.

Featured image courtesy of Xbox/Youtube Screenshot

Jerome Castro

Digital marketer and nerd culture writer with an inordinate love for gaming and cooking. Reads medical journals regularly. Loves to read esotericisms and Lovecraft.

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