How devs get paid through Game Pass

Game Pass sure does sound like good deal for players. But just how attractive is the platform for developers?

In his lenghty conversation with The Verge’s Nilay Patele, Xbox head Phil Spencer explains how exactly devs can earn money through launching on Game Pass.

According to Spencer, there’s no single scheme in place.

One scenario is just paying devs upfront the amount they request request. “One of the things that’s been cool to see is a developer, usually a smaller to mid-sized developer, might be starting a game and say, ‘Hey, we’re willing to put this in Game Pass on our launch day if you guys will give us X dollars now’,” Spencer explains.

Another approach would be to fully cover all development costs while allowing studios to also launch on other platforms. “Then they get all the retail opportunity on top of Game Pass. They can go sell it on PlayStation, on Steam, and on Xbox, and on Switch.”

Still others prefer to base their Game Pass revenues on usage or transactions.

Ultimately, Xbox is willing to experiment with different models. This flexibility is, according to Spencer, one of the biggest attractions of Game Pass. “The thing that’s been heartwarming to me, as somebody who’s been building games for so long, is to see games come to the service that wouldn’t have been built [without it]. When the team, if they’re just out there pitching the publishers on a retail game, if it doesn’t fit into some Excel spreadsheet that tells you what the retail outcome will be, then it doesn’t get green-lit. You see this in things like Netflix. There are clearly shows on Netflix that would have never been greenlit by NBC or CBS, or ABC in the old model, and frankly, can have real success. And my hope is that Game Pass can get to that same level.”

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