Earlier this month, we ran an editorial on how the race to produce a "Netflix of games" could wind up hurting developers, even if it works out well for customers as well as the people running these services. After that article, Microsoft reached out to offer an interview on the subject with the company's head of gaming services Ben Decker and Game Pass head of planning Matt Percy.
Much of the editorial discussed the implications of subscription services like Game Pass becoming the primary way for people to enjoy the hobby in the same way some people rely on Netflix or services like Spotify and Pandora for all their needs in other media. Decker insisted that isn't the plan for Game Pass.
Microsoft's first-party AAA new releases could be a big draw for Game Pass
"When we launched it, we thought an ever-increasing number of titles might be something that was really important to gamers," he admitted. "But as it turns out, that's not really what they're asking for. What we get from our customers isn't, 'I want a subscription that has thousands and thousands of games.' What we heard from them is, 'I want a subscription with 100, or a little more than 100, games. But I want them to be really good games. And I want a curated portfolio where I know what's in there is going to be really great to play.'
"We don't have a goal of being the subscription where you get all your content. This is meant to be additive to the ecosystem. We don't see a future where subscriptions are dominant. We see a future where customers have choice between a subscription and purchase-to-own, where there's a mixed ecosystem because that's what customers want, and that's what developers want."