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Xbox Game Pass users are playing 40% more games -- including outside Game Pass

ID@Xbox's Agostino Simonetta shares key learnings from Microsoft's subscription program

Subscribers to Xbox Game Pass are buying more titles and trying a wider variety of genres than they did before joining.

That's the message from ID@Xbox lead Agostino Simonetta, who shared data from the subscription service with attendees at yesterday's GamesIndustry.biz Investment Summit in London.

The first learning he shared was that subscribers are playing 40% more games -- including titles outside the Game Pass catalogue.

"People that join the subscription are way more engaged," said Simonetta. "Well, they have a lot of free games to play -- but actually they're way more engaged outside the subscription. They go out to stores and buy more games than they did before they joined."

He went on to reveal that this increase in number of games played has also shown Xbox users trying a wider variety of games. An impressive 91% of subscribers say they have played a title they would not tried without Xbox Game Pass, while Microsoft has noticed members are playing 30% more genres than they did before joining.

This, Simonetta notes, is perhaps to be expected and echoes the impact of subscription services in TV and film.

"If you look at the video subscription service, you go in for the blockbuster and then you spend hours watching documentaries or stand-up comedy," he says. "We see Game Pass as an opportunity to broaden the horizon of the fans, so they're going to go and discover that, 'In ten years, I've never played a horror game, but guess what? I tried one and now I'm developing a taste for the genre'."

He adds that this means there's greater opportunity for developers who are making something a little more niche: "For us, there's no genre that is not relevant because we really want to offer a great menu where customers can decide, 'You know what? I want to try something new'."

Finally, Simonetta reasserted that, far from cannibalising sales, Game Pass is actually driving players to pick up more titles -- even outside the Xbox ecosystem. The usage for all titles included in Xbox Game Pass has increased by an average of six times.

"We're seeing a massive spike in certain categories, but generally when a title goes into Game Pass, we see an average of six time increase in usage for all the games in the Xbox Game Pass catalogue," he says.

"We're leading on subscription, developers are going on the journey with us and we're seeing them publicly commenting... the Afterparty team the other day said after seeing their game go on Game Pass day and date, suddenly they were seeing a lot of sales on other platforms. No More Robots said when Descenders went into Game Pass from Xbox Game Preview, they saw a positive impact on other platforms."

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