Although we are beginning to get used to the different formulas of subscriptions to a catalog of video games, it is often difficult to realize the extent of this mode of consumption. A study conducted by Ampere Analysis, and more specifically Piers Harding-Rollsgives us very precise information about the position of Xbox Game Pass vis-à-vis its competitors but also about the prospects for this market.
Strong dominance in a still young market
Not long ago, the analyst hosted a conference and delivered to us in the course of a slide a distribution of the forces present according to the market shares they represented.
It is very impressive to notice that Microsoft’s service accounted for 60% of the subscription gaming market in Q4 2021. This is all the more striking as the closest competitor represents only 9% of the sector. Nevertheless, as remarkable as it is, this performance should be compared with the overall figures for the Video Game industry. Indeed, if the sector we are talking about today represents 3.7 billion dollars, it remains very modest compared to the 81 billion in overall expenditure mentioned by Axios. Note, however, that this gap seems destined to narrow if we consider the growth of 57% compared to the 2.3 billion in 2020.
The place of cloud gaming
The study also important to distinguish between different methods of accessing catalogs of titles based on an approach focused on downloading, streaming or a mixture of both.
Something that may seem paradoxical, if cloud-based offers only account for 5% of subscriptions, however, it is the mixed formulas that are the most successful. Especially if we are to believe the forecasts for 2027 which count on nearly 60% representativeness. It’s hard to predict the future effectively, but playing in the cloud is more of an add-on to a package deal than a stand-alone solution. This is supported by evidence from how consumers use their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription in the United States. Local installation therefore remains a big winner with more than 65% of members making it their preferred method, even if remote gaming is still used by a significant proportion of subscribers. Would Microsoft’s recipe be the right one to convince the widest possible range of players?
The keys to success
Piers Harding-Rolls underlines the way in which the Redmond company was able to modulate its subscription, not only by the different ways of accessing the catalog, but also by its content. According to him, the fact ofoffer access to its exclusives or other opuses from third-party publishers as soon as they are published is a very strong argument to succeed in seducing players. The pace of releases could also have a big impact for 2022 and the lesser Day One juggernaut on the service could provide a big boost.
But what has helped Microsoft is also its legitimacy in the world of Gaming. This has indeed something to reassure about the seriousness of the proposal but also the ability of the service provider to understand the good practices of the sector. Thus, while Nvidia manages to find its place, others like Telco are struggling considerably to break through and find an audience despite the huge sums invested in the creation of a video game subsidiary. It is difficult to change the habits of players, especially if you are new…
All these findings show that the next few years are going to be exciting as far as changes in the Industry are concerned. Even if Xbox has a clear advantage in terms of subscription gaming and this sector is growing strongly, we will have to continue to take care of the Game Pass formula so that it retains what is its strength. What is certain is that Phil Spencer managed in a short time to find a convincing and seductive recipewhich has become a real game changer.
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Xbox Game Pass accounts for 60% of the Western Subscription Gaming market
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