“We’ve paid more than a billion dollars in royalties to independent developers in the past 4-5 years,” Charla told Stevivor back at PAX AUS 2018, adding that he thinks that Xbox Game Pass is likely to improve that figure.
“We have this great marketplace but there’s still a lot of people that don’t know about all these games,” he said. “By putting these games in Game Pass, developers get this opportunity.”
Charla thinks the one-fee nature of Xbox Game Pass program means players are more likely to try new games.
“People are getting to download these games at no additional cost, they check out a lot of games, they’re playing these games,” he said. “They’re popping achievements which are showing up on the community hub. They’re streaming the games on Mixer.”
That newfound interest by the consumer translates into opportunity for the developer.
“We knew that Game Pass was going to be a really great value proposition for players and we of course worked to make sure that it’s a great value proposition for developers on the business side,” Charla said. “We maybe didn’t understand what a great discovery tool it was going to be. It’s actually turning out to be a really interesting discovery tool for a lot of developers to have their game in Game Pass. People are playing it, their friends see it, they start buying.”
It’s perhaps for that reason – those with Game Pass prompting those without to make additional purchases — that ID@Xbox titles won’t be distributed exclusively through Xbox Game Pass at any time soon. Though ID@Xbox titles like Below and Ashen can be played at no additional cost through the subscription service, those games are also offered through normal retail channels as well.
“I don’t see [exclusive distribution through Xbox Game Pass] happening any time soon,” Charla said. “I think [Game Pass] will remain like a tightly curated selection of games for the foreseeable future. I do think it’s going to be a great way to discover new games and it’s been really popular with fans and the value proposition is huge.
“We’re always looking at what the future could bring and as we look at Game Pass and how games perform at Game Pass, how players interact with the games that are in Game Pass, we’re constantly making suggestions to developers, thinking about how we run the program and everything like that and always trying to make sure it’s the biggest win for the players and our developers.”
Stay tuned for more from our chat with Chris Charla in the coming days.