The recent leak of internal Microsoft documents gives an indication as to what the company expects to pay to get games on Xbox Game Pass.
For instance, Microsoft estimated it would take $300m to get Star Wars Jedi: Survivor on Game Pass, or $250m for either Mortal Kombat 1 or Suicide Squad.
As we reported earlier today, a 2022 email thread initiated by Phil Spencer had Microsoft scrambling to fill the hole in Game Pass left by Starfield’s delay and included a long list of potential third-party games.
Each game was listed alongside the likelihood to be accepted for Game Pass, its wow factor, and an “expected partner ask” in USD.
To continue with Star Wars Jedi: Survivor, this was given a “low” rating for likelihood of being accepted, but “very high” for wow factor. Mortal Kombat 1, meanwhile, has a “very low” likelihood rating but “med-high” wow factor.
Other games included Dying Light 2 ($50m), Gotham Knights ($50m), and Assassin’s Creed Mirage ($100m).
Microsoft has never released the figures it pays to studios to include games on Game Pass, so this leak is a major indication.
At the lower end of the spectrum are Ubisoft’s Just Dance, Return to Monkey Island, and Baldur’s Gate 3, all at $5m. Take-Two’s Red Dead Redemption 2 and Grand Theft Auto 5, meanwhile, are listed with a per month cost – $5m/month and $12-15m/month respectively – suggesting some games are given a flat fee while others are time limited.
As Grand Theft Auto 5 recently returned to Game Pass, this may indicate a ballpark cost.
In the email thread, Phil Spencer went on to suggest the Dark Souls games as possible Game Pass candidates, though it’s unknown if this was discussed with FromSoftware, or what the cost may have been.