Would you exchange time spent watching ads to gain access to Xbox Game Pass? Well, according to Xbox CFO Tim Stuart, Microsoft is considering such a move to expand its reach in more regions of the world.
During the Wells Fargo TMT Summit (which I’m sure you’re very upset you weren’t invited to), Stuart talked about the company’s expansionist desires via Game Pass and xCloud streaming, indicating that it has its sights set on developing regions. The company sees areas where the population has a lack of “high-end disposable income” as an opportunity to expand its gaming platform.
As reported by TweakTown, Stuart said:
“For models like Africa, or India, Southeast Asia, maybe places that aren’t console-first, you can say, ‘hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of an ad and then get two hours of game streaming? […] 50% of [Africa’s] population is 23 years old or younger with a growing disposable income base, all with cell phones and mobile devices, not a lot of high-end disposable income, generally speaking.”
So whether or not this plan comes to pass, it’s not clear if markets such as North America, Europe, or parts of Asia will be included.
Gaming subscription services have gotten more expensive
Xbox has recently made Game Pass more expensive. In March, the company axed its enticing $US1 offer for the first month. In June, Microsoft hiked the price of Game Pass Ultimate by two bucks (in addition to raising the prices of Xbox consoles) Then, just before the launch of Starfield in September, Microsoft pulled its free trial offering entirely.
Microsoft isn’tt alone in raising prices. Sony revamped its pricing structure for Game Pass competitor PlayStation Plus, raising the cost by as much as $US40 annually for certain tiers back in August.
While these services still are a comparatively affordable way to get instant access to a large variety of games, rising costs are definitely making subscriptions more of a burden.
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