Xbox Game Pass 'quadrupled' Descenders sales says developer Mike Rose

Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass (Image credit: Microsoft)

What you need to know

  • Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service like Netflix for games.
  • You can subscribe for $10 a month or $15 if you bundle it with Xbox Live Gold.
  • Third-party developers are witnessing increased sales because their games are featured.
  • All Xbox exclusives are part of Xbox Game Pass (opens in new tab) at launch.

Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service that gives you immediate access to over 100 games for $10 a month. You can even bundle Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Live Gold together with Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $15 a month. According to a recent interview with Xbox's Phil Spencer, the subscription service as "millions of subscribers" and it seems like it's growing.

While Xbox Game Pass saves gamers a lot of money, it's beneficial to developers as well. According to a report by GamesIndustry, the service is seen as more of a promotional tool by third-party studios. For example, if you take a look at Descenders, it has been played by 600,000 gamers. Creator Mike Rose credits part of that success to Xbox Game Pass.

Rose said the following to GamesIndustry in a recent interview.

Sounded like b*******, right? Weirdly, it's true. It surprised me. Being on Xbox Game Pass means that you basically have constant featuring on Xbox. Your game is on the dashboard all the time... People are seeing our game every day. And because of that, during launch month, our Xbox sales — we didn't do any discounts on it or anything — quadrupled, and have now settled to about three times as much as before. It's essentially an advert; a straight-up advert. And now Xbox is asking, 'Oh, can we feature Descenders in more of the Xbox Game Pass advertising?' Yes, you can. Of course you f****** can.

While Microsoft has said that Xbox Game Pass boosts sales in the past, it's more concrete when a developer says it. The fact that it quadrupled how many copies Descenders sold is quite a feat. Hopefully, this success will continue into the future even as more titles are added to the service.

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Asher Madan

Asher Madan handles gaming news for Windows Central. Before joining Windows Central in 2017, Asher worked for a number of different gaming outlets. He has a background in medical science and is passionate about all forms of entertainment, cooking, and antiquing.

  • It's a great game that I would have never tried without game pass.
  • It's true off many games in xbgp... I downloaded 8TB of games with that and bought a lot of stuff I would never heard of otherwise and add ons to some games when I probably wouldn't have bought anything if it hadn't been free in game pass... And I don't have nearly as much time to play than a few years back... If when I was a student I had access to such a service... I probably would have spent more than I did and probably more informed decision so better experience overall it's huge win win situation... I never really sold any of my games so owning a disk wouldn't have change anything and I always hated having to use so much space for all the boxes...
    I'm convinced that gamers and devs will benefit greatly of such a business model and curration will naturally occur with gamers decision to pay for games or not and the overall quality will go up... Contrary to what people opposing it try to make us believe...