Despite the fact that Game Pass subscribers will be able to play massively-anticipated upcoming sci-fi RPG Starfield without having to buy it, Xbox boss Phil Spencer believes that the company will definitely make money on the title’s release.
Speaking during the Giant Bomb at Nite Show after the Xbox Game Showcase, Spencer explained how the company uses Game Pass to get better reach for its video game releases, and uses the release of Halo 2 as an example of the kinds of decisions that are made around video game releases.
“Let’s say we’re going to go ship Halo 2,” Spencer said. “And we’re not shipping it on Nintendo, we’re not shipping it on Sony. Nobody ever asked me, how does the [profit and loss] for this game work when you’re not selling it everywhere you can sell it?”
“What you did on old school consoles is you said,” continued Spencer, “how many consoles are you going to sell because Halo 2 launches, how long will those players stay on the platform, and how many games will they buy, and does that make it more cost-effective to keep the game exclusive to your platform?”
Spencer then talked about making use of the massive reach that PC and Xbox Game Pass has afforded Microsoft to ensure that Starfield gets in the hands of as many players as it possibly can. According to Spencer, the company looks at it as being about expanding the reach of Microsoft’s titles, and believes that Starfield will prompt further growth of the subscription.
“When I look at Game Pass, we are absolutely going to make money on Starfield, touch wood, that’s the plan. And we will grow Game Pass, and Xbox will be a better platform both on PC and console,” Spencer said. “For us, it’s about expanding our platform reach, and we think important games like Starfield will be catalysts for Game Pass growth on many different platforms.”
In the aftermath of the Xbox Games Showcase from earlier this week, Microsoft and Bethesda have revealed quite a bit of additional new details on the upcoming Starfield, including the fact that the game will be getting “a lot” of post-launch DLC, how Starfield is slated to feature the “fewest bugs” of any Bethesda release, and that the game will run at 4K/30 FPS on the Xbox Series X.