In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, former Xbox veteran Richard Irving spoke about how Xbox CEO Phil Spencer doggedly resisted internal doubts at Microsoft when he created Xbox Game Pass.
According to Irving, Spencer’s team didn’t take “no” for an answer and continued to persevere despite the fact that not many publishers were involved in the early stages. Irving talked about how the model didn’t look sustainable or profitable, but Spencer’s team was successful anyway.
At the meetings, Mr. Spencer’s staff presented arguments for why Game Pass wouldn’t work – publishers wouldn’t participate or it would eat into profits. Phil Spencer wouldn’t take “no” for an answer. He was always trying to find a way to make it work.
Suffice it to say that Xbox Game Pass was exactly what Microsoft needed to stay relevant in the console market, especially with the Xbox One when Sony hopelessly outdid them in the release of the first batches. With over 25 million subscribers to date, Xbox Game Pass has become the most compelling in the Microsoft console ecosystem. In this connection, there are rumors that Sony plans to abandon its current subscription and replace it with a Game Pass equivalent, codenamed Project Spartacus.