With Microsoft’s monthly fee service, the Redmond-baed company doesn’t disclose how much money it throws at developers/publishers to have their game on (Xbox) Game Pass, sometimes from the moment of its release.
There is no official data now either, but MST Financial senior analyst David Gibson talked about this and Project Spartacus on Twitter: “Project Spartacus is combining PlayStation Plus and PlayStation Now with tiered pricing. As expected, new releases will not get same-day access to first-party titles. But I expect it to be like Theatres/Pay, where there is a limited window (theatres) before going to the subscription (Pay) service. New games still need to be bought by users when released or wait, and it gets to the subscription at least three months later. So Project Spartacus is not going head-to-head with Game Pass, but it’s still offering a compelling service. That should keep both PlayStation Studios and third-party studios happy. So Netflix of games is still a while away.
Keep in mind that Microsoft paid about US$5-$10m for Guardians of the Galaxy to be on Game Pass… which is like $2 per game when retail is $29. OK, that is all profit, but not too many publishers will be doing that, given the low economics from Game Pass. For all those who wonder where these numbers come from, I have been covering Square Enix as an analyst for fifteen years, and I talk to them regularly. Terms of an Xbox agreement are confidential, but this is my estimate based on discussions with Square Enix and others.”
In a blog post, Chris Charla of Microsoft celebrated nine years of ID@Xbox. He wrote that the company had paid hundreds of millions of dollars to publishers and developers for the licensing rights to Game Pass, and he says the average gamer tries 30% more genres and 40% more games after subscribing. Most of them aren’t even included in the company’s subscription service.
5-10M USD is a surprisingly low amount.