And in talking to Decker and Crump, they make it clear that this game exists in part because of Xbox Game Pass. That Netflix-like subscription service provides some creative slack and empowers creators to take chances — especially for first-party Microsoft studios. And instead of only thinking about making games that sell units, The Coalition can build something with the purpose of expanding the reach of the Gears universe. That’s why the game is hitting Game Pass for PC as well as Steam on the same day
“We have certain expectations, and we will measure against those in terms of unit sales,” said Crump. “But Game Pass just frees us up a little bit from having to be solely reliant on those kinds of metrics for success. … But when we’re deciding whether to make a game or not. It’s nice to have all those different metrics for success and not be tied to just one measure of ‘did you sell a certain number of units at a certain price point or not’ because I think it really allows us to take risks and try things that we wouldn’t otherwise.”
So in a gaming world where the top games are doing better than ever but developers are producing fewer smaller and riskier releases, Game Pass could mitigate against that. Decker says that’s the approach Microsoft is taking. And that’s also because subscribers are asking for a variety of experiences.
Gears Tactics is the next big first-party Microsoft launch for Xbox Game Pass. Developer The Coalition made the game in part because of Game Pass.