I was doing some number crunching and I feel that we can finally debunk the idea that Game Pass isn’t sustainable or can’t support big AAA games
Before the Bethesda I was going to assume that Xbox would release 1 maybe 2 big AAA games a year ei Avowed, Fable etc and then release 4-5 smaller scale games like Plague’s Tale or Ori per year. However its clear that they want to go through with the goal of one AAA game per quarter according to ZhugeEX (supposedly)
Now I see that happening. So lets say 4 AAA games per year and maybe 8 AA games per year to get a game on Game Pass every month
Game budgets vary of course. Horizon Zero Dawn cost 50 million to make, Shadow of the Tomb Raider cost 75-125 million to make
But lets say every AAA game gets a 100 million budget (which is probably on the high end but for this example) and every AA get gets a 30 million budget (again highly unlikely but for demonstration purposes
Your total content investment per year on the EXTREME high end is 640 million, of course that’s not including third party deals so lets just flat out state 1 billion dollars. Clearly 1 billion is more than enough for Game Pass content for a year
Game Pass currently has 15 million active subscribers and is going to continue to grow. If these 15 million subs are paying 10 bucks a month for the year, the revenue solely from Game Pass subs is 1.8 billion per year. That’s not including Game Pass ultimate which many are probably subscribed too. Also not factoring in things like MTX, DLC and expansions, and of course flat out buying the game
So the revenue would be much higher, the cost of the games would be much lower. In fact if MS truly wanted to they could even put out an AAA game per month of course that would require a ton of manpower so naturally they’d want a nice flow of smaller AA games ei Plague’s tale, Hellblade, Ori to buffer between the bigger AAA games
Of course we have to factor in things like taxes, maintaining the servers and upkeep of Game Pass etc.
But its pretty clear that Game Pass is more than sustainable even on the extremely high cost end of game development, getting third party deals and such.