This website is a community website, built from and with the community of Xbox fans on Resetera.com. A notable contributor and member of the community named MauroNL, also known for his threads on the backwards compatibility program, has made a great numbers breakdown on Xbox Game Pass for console. The following was also posted on ResetEra.com:
A Numbers Breakdown
After Microsoft took away my sweet supply of new Xbox Backwards Compatibility titles, my analysis thread was left in the dark. As the BC program is either cancelled or on hiatus until at least the end of this year my craving for a new analysis thread has grown. What better topic is there than Xbox Game Pass right now? After its inception over 2.5 years ago I thought it would be fun to see how the service has progressed from the start to where it is now. How many games did we get? What are some of the best supporters? What are the best months? These questions and loads more will be answered by the end of this post!
What is Xbox Game Pass?
For those unfamiliar with Xbox Game Pass, Microsoft describes it as “Xbox Game Pass has unlimited access to over 100 high-quality games—with titles added all the time. Whether you play console games, PC games, or both, there’s a plan for you. Join Xbox Game Pass for one low monthly price and discover your next favorite game”, but its also often described as the ‘Netflix for games’. For more in-depth information you can view the official website or the OT on ERA. For this analysis I’m focusing solely on Xbox Game Pass For Console, since that is where it started and because the PC side is still in beta.
How Many Games Have Been On Xbox Game Pass?
Xbox Game Pass saw the light of day on June 1, 2017. Since it is a Netflix type subscription, games are added and removed all the time. So how many games have actually been on the service since launch? There currently is no list that covers all Game Pass games past and present, so I created a master list that includes all games that have come and gone since launch. This way we can determine the breakdown of total games, and what platforms.
Total Number of Games: 452
Xbox One: 341
Xbox 360: 107
Original Xbox: 4
How is the games library now compared to launch?
The success of a service like Game Pass all depends on the content. The more content, the more appealing it is to subscribe to it. Game Pass launched with 114 games on June 1, 2017. So how has the service been developing over these past 30 or so months? Combining all the added and removed games we can see a healthy growth in terms of a baseline of games on GamePass. From about 150 games at the end of 2017 to nearly 250 games at the end of 2019, you can clearly see GamePass has been delivering more bang for buck over the last few years. These are the number of games on the service in said period, so that takes into account all games that were added and deleted in that period.
What is the average lifespan of a Game Pass game?
Game Pass being a subscription model means games usually don’t stay on there forever. Outside of Microsoft’ own titles, which do remain on there indefinitely, publishers can determine how long they want to have their game on the service. Now we still don’t know anything about how revenue and profits for Game Pass are determined and shared between publishers, how much or if Microsoft ‘pays’ publishers to put their games on it, what periods publishers can choose from, all of these are still unknowns so all we can do is speculate or make educated guesses.
Having said that, I’ve gathered all the games that have come and also gone from Game Pass and rounded them up to see how the split is and what the averages are between titles. Now this only takes into account the games that have been added AND removed, so all the games that have been on there since launch are not accounted for as are all the new games that have yet to be removed. The graph below shows interesting results, as we can see that a little over 18% are on Game Pass for less than 12 months, 2% for 6 months or less. The vast majority of games, over 55%, are on Game Pass for at least 12 months. A sizeable chunk, roughly 17%, doubles that period and remains on Game Pass for over two years.
What is the platform split of new additions?
When Game Pass launched the split between Xbox One and Xbox 360 titles was still in favour of Xbox 360 titles. But what about all the new titles that have joined the service since? How many of those have been Xbox One and how many Xbox 360? Grouping this into 6 month periods its clear to see that Xbox One games have been the major focus of all the games that have joined since launch. In fact, Xbox 360 games have almost become non existent in terms of new additions, which to me is a sad development but was bound to happen since there have been no new backwards compatible titles.
Who are the best supporters of Xbox Game Pass?
For Microsoft to grow the number of games on the service it needs to entice publishers to support it. Microsoft are obviously front-runners of their own service and have declared full support for it, even putting its own titles on the service right at launch. But what about all the other publishers out there? Who has been the most supportive since launch and who has been missing from it completely?
Checking the master list has determined that 134 different publishers have had at least one game on Game Pass. This of course includes all the self published indie titles but also all the major publishers out there. In the graph below you can see the top 15 publishers and how many titles they have had on Game Pass past or present.
So we can say there is already widespread support for Game Pass but there are still a lot of major publishers missing that have yet to publish a single title. Electronic Arts and Activision Blizzard are some of the bigger ones, but major publishers like Rockstar and Ubisoft have only supported with a single game (GTA V and The Division), so there is still work to be done. Of course this can have various reasons like said publishers having or planning its own subscription service like EA (Origin) and Ubisoft (Uplay+) or just plain not believing in the subscription model yet.
How many games have released Day 1 on Game Pass?
Likely one of the bigger reasons people might not yet believe in the subscription model is that you can’t play games on day 1 of release. But there have been games releasing day 1 on Game Pass outside of Microsoft’ own. In total 46 games have been playable since its launch with Game Pass, and you can view all of them below.
- Bomber Crew
- Crackdown 3
- Creature in the Well
- Demon’s Tilt
- Felix The Reaper
- Forza Horizon 4
- Gears 5
- Graveyard Keeper
- Kingdom: Two Crowns
- Laser League
- Lonely Mountains: Downhill
- Munchkin: Quacked Quest
- Mutant Year Zero: Road to Eden
- My Friend Pedro
- Next Up Hero
- Operencia: The Stolen Sun
- Ori and the Will of the Wisps
- Outer Wilds
- Pathologic 2
- Pumped BMX Pro
- Robocraft Infinity
- Sea of Thieves
- Secret Neighbor
- Sinner: Sacrifice for Redemption
- Slay The Spire
- State of Decay 2
- Supermarkt Shriek
- The Bard’s Tale IV: Director’s Cut
- The Bard’s Tale Trilogy
- The Gardens Between
- The Lord of the Rings Adventure Card Game
- The Outer Worlds
- Thief of Thieves
- Two Point Hospital
- Untitled Goose Game
- Warhammer Vermintide 2
- Wasteland 3
- Wasteland Remastered
Games being removed……or not?
Another oddity I found when making the list was that there are multiple games that were set to be removed but ended up staying. Since Microsoft hasn’t always been super clear about what games are being removed until only recently, digging into the past hasn’t been easy. Currently there are 5 games in the Xbox Game Pass Library that were previously given a notion of being removed at the end of said month. However, checking the list again shows that these games are still available. Those games currently are Brothers – A Tale of Two Sons, Dead Island Definitive Edition, Guacamelee!, JetPac Refuelled and theHunter: Call of the Wild. There are also multiple games that were supposed to leave but ended up staying longer and were removed at a later time.
Why is this happening? Well, we don’t really know. The Xbox Game Pass App shows what games are leaving each month and that is probably driven by an algorithm or something like that that renews each month, so there could be errors in there. Another possibility is that publishers get another chance to renew or extend the games’ stay on Game Pass, so it could be that some of them take advantage of this and some don’t. Either way its good to know that even though a game is set to leave, there is always a slight possibility it ends up staying longer.
Thanks to MauroNL for this contribution. You can read the original post on ResetEra.com here. MauroNL plans on keeping it updated – so if numbers are your jam, you might want to keep it bookmarked!