Game Pass. It’s that subscription service you can get on Xbox or PC that provides access to hundreds of games. It’s a great deal for anyone who flips from one release to the next; so great that it recently surpassed 25 million subscribers. It’s especially great for finding new indie games, as [email protected] expounds in a new blog post.
Chris Charla, general manager of content curation and programs over at Xbox, shared some interesting statistics on Xbox Wire today. So far, Xbox has over 3,000 indie games on its platform, which accounts for 4,600 developers from 94 different countries. A full thousand creators signed up for [email protected] in the past two years.
And those indie devs are making bank. Charla said that Xbox has paid out over $2.5 billion in royalties since [email protected] got started. "We’ve also paid developers and publishers across Xbox hundreds of millions of dollars in Game Pass license fees.”
This is notable as the exact mechanics of Game Pass from the developer side haven’t been disclosed. We can safely assume that Microsoft pays developers and publishers to have their games on Game Pass, as we know roughly how much Game Pass takes in from consumers, but how much it pays out has remained a carefully guarded secret.
Although Xbox loves to tout how good Game Pass can be for indie developers, some indie devs aren’t quite convinced. Several indie devs expressed concern that Game Pass might eventually become so powerful that it forces indie games to release on the platform in order to be seen at all.
That may in fact happen. Analysts have estimated that subscription services like Game Pass (which remains the biggest one out there) might account for 8% of all gaming by the year 2027. Whether that will be a good thing for indie developers remains to be seen.
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