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To that end, Microsoft has clearly projected an opportunity. More games in Xbox Game Pass likely means more retail sales to boot. As a discovery engine, Xbox Game Pass almost reinvigorates the experience of the arcade machine or Blockbuster video, letting you try-before-you-buy with upfront knowledge that a lot of these experiences, and progress, will leave the service potentially after a few months. But just like Netflix, Xbox Game Pass has its own “Originals” which will remain in the subscription forever, and to facilitate that, they want a new exclusive title every single quarter.
Xbox Game Studios lead Matt Booty reiterated that they’re continuing to invest in their core studios to build a “predictable pipeline” of high-quality games.
Xbox CFO Tim Stuart hailed the growth being reflected in Microsoft’s financials, but conceded that Microsoft had to reach new customers in order to see continued growth, stretching beyond the quite-possibly-saturated 250 million-strong console audience. The wider market incorporating mobile devices and PC stands at a staggering 3 billion, and to reach them, Stuart sees an opportunity for Microsoft to provide “meaningful value” to audiences in new demographics and geographies. Stuart admitted that Xbox went through a period of refocusing the business, after losing sight of their core mission of delivering the “best gaming experience.”
Stuart sees Xbox in a period of execution now, delivering the experiences from the likes of Bethesda, Ninja Theory, and other studios they recently acquired, to bolster the Xbox name as a destination for top-shelf gaming experiences.
Beyond that, Xbox Game Studios lead Matt Booty reiterated that they’re continuing to invest in their core studios to build a “predictable pipeline” of high-quality games. Booty also noted that acquisitions are still on the table, and emphasized that they’re taking a “disciplined” approach to acquisitions, focusing on studios that Microsoft had prior relationships with, alongside “a proven track record of new ideas.” I’ve certainly heard rumors that more acquisitions are in the cards, and this could be the first sign that we could get a major announcement in that vein fairly soon.