Analyzing Xbox Game Pass For Console - A Numbers Breakdown (Last Update: February 16, 2020)

MauroNL

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,924
The Netherlands
LAST UPDATE: FEBRUARY 16, 2020

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 right here on ERA. For this analysis I'm focussing 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: 453

Xbox One: 342
Xbox 360: 107
Original Xbox: 4

How is the games library now compared to launch?
The succes 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 56%, 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 frontrunners 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 47 games have been playable since its launch with Game Pass, and you can view all of them in the spoiler below.

Absolver
Aftercharge
Afterparty
Ashen
Below
Bomber Crew
Blazing Chrome
Crackdown 3
Creature in the Well
Demon's Tilt
Felix The Reaper
Forza Horizon 4
Gears 5
Graveyard Keeper
GRIP
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
Riverbond
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
Wandersong
Warhammer Vermintide 2
Wasteland 3
Wasteland Remastered

What are the best months for Xbox Game Pass?
I thought it would be interesting to see in what months we see the most new games come and most old games go. I've combined all the additions and deletions for all months and determined averages for all months to see what are the best and 'worst' months on the service. Blue is games added, green is games deleted. June seems
to be the month with the most new games on average, likely because of the bigger E3 drops. May is the month with the most games deleted from Game Pass, which can be attributed to the higher June addition average, since most games tend to have a 12 month lifespan.



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 possibilty it ends up staying longer.


Upcoming thresholds for possible removals
One advantage I discovered while making the master list is that I can now see what games are nearing a certain 'threshold'. As I have calculated above, roughly two thirds of all games are on Game Pass for at least 12 months, so we can make some well educated guesses on when games will be deleted. This way we can give gamers a bigger heads up than the usual two weeks Microsoft gives in the Game Pass app. I will keep the below list updated for the coming month as it changes so you can easily glance and see what games might be deleted soon.

Please bear in mind that this is in no way a certainty, as games might get deleted sooner than the date mentioned or might be extended or had longer contracts. It should only be used as a tool to give you more time to finish a certain game before it leaves the service.


- Cities Skylines (24 months on 3/31/2020)
- ClusterTruck (24 months on 3/31/2020)
- theHunter Call of the Wild (24 months on 3/31/2020)

- Wolfenstein New Order (18 months on 3/31/2020)
- Westerado Double Barreled (18 months on 3/31/2020)
- Metro 2033 Redux (18 months on 3/31/2020)


- F1 2018 (12 months on 3/13/2020)
- Deux Ex Mankind Divided (12 months on 3/20/2020)
- What Remains of Edith Finch (12 months on 3/20/2020)
- Vampyr (12 months 3/27/2020)
- Operencia The Stolen Sun (12 months on 3/28/2020)
- Marvel vs Capcom Infinite (12 months on 3/31/2020)

Well that is it for now, hope you enjoy all this juicy data! In the future I will keep this thread up to date with all the new releases and removals and will add more in depth analysis when I can. If you see something that is incorrect or you have suggestions feel free to post them in a reply or DM me. If you would like to use this data for your website feel free to contact me via DM.
 
Last edited:

Oluasc

Be more dog!
Member
Oct 25, 2017
3,117
...
Wow!
Amazing job MauroNL.
Thank you for that.

Xbox Games Pass is incredible :o
 

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
12,008
Microsoft and Capcom
Sitting on a tree
A-D-D-I-N-G (games to GP)

Surprised to Squeenix there, and this is before the flood of FF titles coming. So they might get that second spot. Watch out microsoft!

Nice work mauro. blinx is still better than MP3 tho
 

Ojli

Member
Oct 28, 2017
815
Really nice infographics! I see that I have to make sure my schedule is clear in May in order to play titles that might be removed then. I also wanted to post the GIF of an anime girl dancing with the Game Pass logo, but couldn't find it.

My own data. Since I started playing on Game Pass in April 2019, I've played 40 games (and finished 36 of them)
 

ghibli99

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,609
USA
Nice work! It's an amazing service that I admittedly don't spend enough time actually playing, but boy do I have a lot of them installed ready to play. LOL
 

EdgeXL

Member
Oct 27, 2017
1,986
California
In before someone rushes in to claim:

A) They cannot find a single thing to play on Game Pass

Or

B) Game Pass will ruin the industry and the amount of AAA games produced
 

Ebtesam

Member
Apr 1, 2018
3,996
Really nice infographics! I see that I have to make sure my schedule is clear in May in order to play titles that might be removed then. I also wanted to post the GIF of an anime girl dancing with the Game Pass logo, but couldn't find it.

My own data. Since I started playing on Game Pass in April 2019, I've played 40 games (and finished 36 of them)
thank to Slicer Dyster

 

Qwark

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,433
As a data analyst, you really should have a legend for the charts with more than 1 color. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine. I assume the first one mentioned goes with the first color and the context makes that clear, but it's just nice to have at a glance.

Great info though, and a really great service overall. I need to get back to it so I can play Untitled Goose Game and all the other Indies added in the last couple months.
 

SuikerBrood

Member
Jan 21, 2018
12,114
Wow, good job! I imagine the average time in the service will only grow, as XGS games tend to stay forever (besides some licensing problems.. I guess?)

You are missing Forza Horizon 4 in your list, I believe.
 

Deleted member 63478

User requested account closure
Banned
Jan 31, 2020
73
I do agree with Qwark that a legend should've been implemented to make the chart more readable, but the overall presentation is great.

Great work, MauroNL. I look forward to more data threads from you in the future.
 

Goldenroad

Member
Nov 2, 2017
4,281
I know this is a weird thing to say, but I think there may be too many games on Game Pass, to the point where I check "Recently added" pretty frequently, but as soon as a game I was considering playing is no longer under that tab, I have a tendency to forget about them. Maybe they could just do a better job at recommending games based on the overall knowledge of what I've already played and what type of games I gravitate towards. I'm not concerned for myself as a GP subscriber, but just that certain publishers may find keeping their games on Game Pass for prolonged periods of time might not be worth it due to the lack of curation.

Also, the lack of Ubisoft on that publisher chart is a little surprising, though not totally since they did launch Uplay+ last year. I wonder if MS is working with them on a deal to have Uplay+ on XBOX as part of Game Pass, like say offer it for an additional $5-7/month if you have Game Pass. I feel like I have downloaded a ton of Ubisoft games via Game Pass, but I guess those have mostly all been GWG games. If they could have brought those games (AC: Syndicate, For Honor, etc) to Game Pass instead of GWG, I feel like they would probably have more engagement.

It's gonna be wild to see what kind of games they have to announce for Game Pass at E3 anyway.
 

Starlatine

Member
Oct 28, 2017
12,008
I know this is a weird thing to say, but I think there may be too many games on Game Pass, to the point where I check "Recently added" pretty frequently, but as soon as a game I was considering playing is no longer under that tab, I have a tendency to forget about them. Maybe they could just do a better job at recommending games based on the overall knowledge of what I've already played and what type of games I gravitate towards. I'm not concerned for myself as a GP subscriber, but just that certain publishers may find keeping their games on Game Pass for prolonged periods of time might not be worth it due to the lack of curation.

Also, the lack of Ubisoft on that publisher chart is a little surprising, though not totally since they did launch Uplay+ last year. I wonder if MS is working with them on a deal to have Uplay+ on XBOX as part of Game Pass, like say offer it for an additional $5-7/month if you have Game Pass. I feel like I have downloaded a ton of Ubisoft games via Game Pass, but I guess those have mostly all been GWG games. If they could have brought those games (AC: Syndicate, For Honor, etc) to Game Pass instead of GWG, I feel like they would probably have more engagement.

It's gonna be wild to see what kind of games they have to announce for Game Pass at E3 anyway.
Ubisoft is probably due to their own sub plus still supporting GWG heavily (seriously i think only the latest games in their series werent part of it yet)

Theres a feature for discovering GP games at least on PC as well
 

NeoKnight

Member
Oct 28, 2017
340
Amazing OP MauroNL!

Really goes to show how much of a value GP currently is. I would like to see Ubi, EA and Activision try to put some of their older titles on GP at least, but them having their own subscription models does hurt this chance. That said, Omega level props to Microsoft for starting and supporting Game Pass. In 2-3 years, it may be diminished as other services rise and the market splits, but right now, it is 1000% a reason to own an Xbox and even get a Series (I am currently leaning that way based on the value of GP alone). I know my gaming habits have flipped from playing more on PS4 and Switch 1-2 years ago, to now mainly playing Xbox/PC now, majority due to GP titles and that library.
 

litebrite

Banned
Oct 27, 2017
10,915
Amazing OP MauroNL!

Really goes to show how much of a value GP currently is. I would like to see Ubi, EA and Activision try to put some of their older titles on GP at least, but them having their own subscription models does hurt this chance. That said, Omega level props to Microsoft for starting and supporting Game Pass. In 2-3 years, it may be diminished as other services rise and the market splits, but right now, it is 1000% a reason to own an Xbox and even get a Series (I am currently leaning that way based on the value of GP alone). I know my gaming habits have flipped from playing more on PS4 and Switch 1-2 years ago, to now mainly playing Xbox/PC now, majority due to GP titles and that library.
With the increase in output of XGS games due to a bigger first party and studios alone is enough value to subscribe to Game Pass besides the amount of major third party to indie games that join the service.
 
OP
OP
MauroNL

MauroNL

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,924
The Netherlands
Thanks for all the kinds words all!

MauroNL Ashen launched into Game Pass day one too. Looks like it’s missing from your list.
I missed that one, thanks for pointing that out.
As a data analyst, you really should have a legend for the charts with more than 1 color. Sorry, just a pet peeve of mine. I assume the first one mentioned goes with the first color and the context makes that clear, but it's just nice to have at a glance.

Great info though, and a really great service overall. I need to get back to it so I can play Untitled Goose Game and all the other Indies added in the last couple months.
I do agree with Qwark that a legend should've been implemented to make the chart more readable, but the overall presentation is great.

Great work, MauroNL. I look forward to more data threads from you in the future.
Thats a good call, in the next update I will make sure to put that in. Thanks!
Wow, good job! I imagine the average time in the service will only grow, as XGS games tend to stay forever (besides some licensing problems.. I guess?)

You are missing Forza Horizon 4 in your list, I believe.
Ah yes, you are right. Not sure how that slipped by.
 

ImaLawy3r

Member
Jun 6, 2019
599
Really wondering what EA and ActivBliz is doing. No games on Gamepass, Stadia, and GeForce is limited to Apex I believe.
 

xerzewatt

The Fallen
Oct 27, 2017
199
Nice work OP. I wish there was a way to get the lowest price to date for the games at the time of their addition as well. I think adding a game that can be bought for 10$ is worth significantly less than a 30$ one even if they both start at 60$ day 1.
 

Vivian-Pogo

Member
Jan 9, 2018
1,368
I'm really interested in seeing how Game Pass makes the transition from Xbox One to Series X. We all know the 1st party games will show up, but I wonder if there will be much 3rd party Series X games in the first year or so.
 

Polk

Avenger
Oct 26, 2017
1,045
Fantastic analysis MauroNL but graphs would gain a lot with some legend where are two bars on the Y scale.
 
Apr 12, 2018
1,619
Game Pass is my favorite thing in gaming right now. All the benefits of a massive backlog of things I'll never have time to finish, with none of the guilt of having spent more than a few bucks a month on any of it.
 

angel_deamon

Member
Jan 8, 2018
116
I would like to know the Games Launch Year.
You know, something like this:

99 games from 2019
32 games from 2018
3 games from 2017
3 games from 2016
....
2 games from 2001