Xbox big dog Phil Spencer recently took the stage at Barclays Global Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference in San Francisco to talk about their methods of hiring new studios, Project xCloud and what the future holds for Xbox Game Pass service.
He mentioned that Microsoft will hesitate to go for a studio that’s only capable of making games just for one device, because he thinks that you’re going to miss opportunities if you don’t think that games should be playable everywhere. It’s now upon user choice instead of the device.
“We think about content as a critical, critical aspect as gamers play games. The community around these games, allowing people to be connected to their players and their friends and their content across all the devices is why we invest in Xbox Live and Mixer, our video streaming platform, and then cloud. So, we think about it as three Cs, content, community and cloud. Cloud is the way we can deliver community and content to a player on any device. Yes, I’d say I’d hesitate to look for a game studio that’s only capable of building on one device because gamers play games on all devices, and I think you’re missing out on an opportunity if you’re not thinking about games that can work everywhere players show up.”
Now when he says all devices, he’s referring to their latest new Cloud service called Project xCloud. He believes that Project xCloud will allow them to reach more players as all of their games will be available across all devices including Android phones.
“We focus first on Android phones, because there are 1 billion Android phones on the planet and it’s a place with the content that we’ve natively built up over the past decades on our platform, has it been able to reach. But, we look at cloud streaming as a way over the years where we’re able to bring content to customers on any device that they have, regardless of the local compute capabilities. Again, building the experience around the customer, giving the customer choice on where they want to play. And obviously, when you look at that, we have multiple business models that will work with streaming. But, the connection of streaming with the subscription model makes a ton of sense. You see it in music, you see it in video. So, you can look at Project xCloud and you can look at something like Game Pass, and you can see there is a natural synergy between those two.”
Spencer then also talked about Xbox Game Pass and it eventually coming on mobile devices through their streaming service.
“We’ve built Game Pass and it started on the Xbox One console. It will come to PC and eventually it will come to every device. We use the flywheel that we have with customers on an Xbox to start the growth in Game Pass. But if somebody is sitting back and taking a longer-term view of where our business is going, you should look at that as a business model that we think scales to billions of people, not hundreds of millions of people like retail does. So, for us, growing Game Pass early, we’re seeing the success in Game Pass today. It’s been critically important where the content investment, first party studious investments we’re making now are all about accelerating the flywheel of customers coming in and we’re seeing that work.”
The idea of having a Netflix style gaming service does sound tasty, but since the Xbox Game Pass catalogue isn’t the greatest, it would require some defining before it becomes viable.