Xbox’s future hinges on Game Pass subscriber growth. Will they stay in the gaming industry beyond 2027?
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In a recent revelation, Phil Spencer, the head of Xbox, stated that the future of Xbox in the gaming industry hinges on the success of its Game Pass subscription service.
Xbox might consider exiting the gaming business if the subscriber base for Game Pass does not see a significant increase on PC and cloud platforms by 2027.
A Bold Statement from Phil Spencer
During the FTC v Microsoft hearing, Spencer made it clear:
“If we do not progress more than this off-console, we will exit the gaming business.”
He was referring to a presentation that projected the growth of Game Pass on various platforms, including console, PC, and cloud, up to 2030.
As mentioned by Wccftech, the report indicated that Xbox might only remain in the gaming industry if the projected growth is achieved.
The Future of Xbox and Game Pass
While the statement from Spencer is quite bold, recent leaks suggest that Xbox has plans for the future.
These leaks revealed a mid-gen console refresh and plans for a next-generation console set to release in 2028.
In the same FTC hearing, a presentation slide showcased the Game Pass subscriber forecast up to 2027 for Xbox, cloud, and PC platforms.
Spencer emphasized the importance of PC and cloud platforms, stating that Microsoft aims for these platforms to achieve much higher numbers faster.
He hopes to see this growth by the fiscal year 2027, contrary to the current predictions.
The slide presented by FTC lawyer James Weingarten predicts that Game Pass will cross the 100 million subscriber mark between FY29 and FY30.
Spencer elaborated, “Most of our customers are found off our hardware.
I hope that by 2030 or even earlier, the numbers from other platforms will be much larger.
If we do not achieve this by FY26 or ’27, we might need to reconsider our position in the business.”
Other Revelations from the FTC Case
The FTC case against Microsoft has brought more than just Xbox’s future into the limelight.
Recently, Microsoft inadvertently released unredacted documents that hinted at the development of remastered versions of Fallout 3 and Oblivion in 2020.
However, these projects might have been delayed or even canceled.
Furthermore, the documents revealed upcoming games in the Doom, Dishonored, and Ghostwire: Tokyo series. Particularly, the new Doom game, subtitled ‘Year Zero,’ has sparked speculations of it being a retro-style game reminiscent of the ’90s.
While Spencer’s statements about Xbox potentially leaving the gaming industry are bold, the evidence suggests that Xbox has long-term plans in the pipeline.
It remains to be seen how the success or failure of Game Pass will influence these plans and the future trajectory of Xbox in the gaming world.