Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass subscription service has drawn comparisons to Netflix, with some calling it the “Netflix of Games.” Xbox’s Jason Ronald said in a new interview that he is flattered by that comparison–as Netflix is one of the biggest and most successful entertainment brands on Earth–but he also pointed out that it’s not exactly a great comparison.
“To be compared to somebody like Netflix is flattering, but we think about it differently,” Ronald told Inverse. “It really comes down to how can we find new ways to get more people to enjoy the art form that we all love. Plenty of people prefer physical media, and we support that with Xbox Series X. Then you look at something like Game Pass, which gets people trying and playing more games. Maybe you’re new to a franchise, or have limited funds to devote to entertainment. With Game Pass, we eliminate that barrier. That’s what we’re really focused on–how do we reduce barriers so more people can find and play games they love?”
Before this, Xbox boss Phil Spencer also spoke out about how calling Game Pass the “Netflix of Games” is not quite accurate or even what Microsoft is trying to achieve.
One of the biggest differences between Game Pass and Netflix is that the content available on Xbox can be purchased, while Netflix only offers titles to stream through a subscription.
“I love the fact that games are for sale and people can go buy them. We have no goal, there’s no slide deck anywhere that says ‘hey, we want to turn everyone into a subscriber, nobody should buy.’ That why sometimes when people use ‘the Netflix of games’ I bristle a little bit, because Netflix doesn’t sell the content that’s in Netflix,” Spencer said on Gamertag Radio (via USGamer). “For us, if people want to go buy their games, we think that’s a really healthy part of the industry. If there’s games that you’re not gonna go buy, and you want to subscribe to get access to them, we see that as a strong part of Game Pass.”
Xbox Game Pass has 15 million subscribers currently, and it is a major point of focus for Microsoft going forward. All of Microsoft’s own games launch into Game Pass right away, meaning subscribers can play Halo Infinite on day one at no extra cost in 2021.
In other news about Game Pass, Bethesda boss Todd Howard recently spoke about why he feels “extremely optimistic” about the service and the impact it could have on gaming.
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