GDC 2022 is taking place right now. This conference dedicated to gaming players is an opportunity to talk about something different technical aspects game development, but also to address different points of our favorite media business.
Microsoft is obviously part of it and Phil Spencer (CEO Microsoft Gaming) and Sarah Bond (Xbox Executive) discussed for about twenty minutes the current position of Xbox and the diversity of its business model.
There is no single viable business model for Xbox
If the Xbox Game Pass has even more subscribers and remains one of Microsoft’s greatest successes in gaming, Phil Spencer has already mentioned that there was not a single winning model.
While gamers and even developers sometimes wonder if there is still room for the game buying and reselling model in the Xbox strategy, Phil Spencer wants to be very clear once again.
For us at Xbox, no business model will win. Developers often ask me: “If I don’t participate in the subscription, am I no longer usable on Xbox?” And this is absolutely not true.
Explain that there is room for different approaches and that “retail” is an important part of the company’s P&L (profit and loss). He also takes the example of the free-to-play model he wants to see flourish on the platform and specifies that diversity really prevails on Xbox. We also remind you that Halo Infinite multiplayer is offered for free, a novelty for the series.
A unique force for video games
Compared to other sectors such as music or video, which have gradually seen subscription models impose themselves almost exclusively, video games are able to bring together several strong economic models.
It is really about the diversity of business models, and this is where I sometimes contrast it with other forms of media that we are compared to, be it music or video. There the models have really condensed into one or two business models that work.
Basically I believe that a strength for us in the gaming industry is the diversity of business models and the strength of those.
This is often noticeable with the release of great exclusive games from Nintendo or Sony, as well as cross-platform games. Recently, for example, we have learned that a certain Ring of the Elden had sold more than 12 million copies.
With Microsoft’s strike force from the acquisition of Bethesda and’Activision BlizzardIt goes without saying that Xbox players will have the opportunity to enjoy many games and above all to consume them as they please.