Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s VP of Gaming, claims Xbox Game pass is the reason behind Sea of Thieves’ success. In an interview with Kotaku, Phil Spencer talked about the effect of the Xbox Game Pass and how it can help bring in new players.
He talked about how Sea of thieves as an example, an Xbox exclusive meant to compete against the wave of PS4 console exclusives was criticized for being lackluster. Continued improvements through the Xbox Game Pass helped save Rare’s Sea of Thieves.
At launch, and I read all the same feedback everybody else did was: ‘Where’s the other half of the game?’”But continued improvements through the Xbox game pass had resulted in becoming a late success” The other thing that I would add as [Xbox subscription service] Game Pass continues to grow, it’s been an interesting way to watch our whole dynamic of, ‘What does it mean to engage customers with that game?’But he didn’t really regret releasing the game a year beforehand saying that the journey was necessary.“But I would also say it’s a game where what it is today wouldn’t be what it is if we had just waited another year and kept it to ourselves. It is a game that was literally created with the feedback of the community, and how you manage that through the traditional lens of how people think about what a game launch means is interesting for all of us.
Sea of Thieves struggled with during its initial launch period. The game couldn’t justify its price tag with in-game content. Gameplay turned to be repetitive among other issues.
This interview combined with Xbox’s plan to launch the game pass on the PC seems to signal Microsoft’s plans to make more games community experiences like this, where the game are developed by listening to the voice of the players.