“As [Xbox] 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?’”
- Xbox’s Phil Spencer tells Kotaku that Sea of Thieves would be an entirely different game without Game Pass and that shifting dynamic.
Sea of Thieves is a very different game from when it first launched last year, and Xbox head Phil Spencer counts that gradual evolution as an example of how Xbox Game Pass is changing the way Xbox defines player engagement, and how community feedback plays into its development process.
In one segment of a multi-part interview with Kotaku, Spencer explained how releasing Sea of Thieves when and how they did, and having it be one of the first games to hit Xbox Game Pass on day one, made it a wildly different game than if development had continued another year without community feedback.
“At launch, and I read all the same feedback everybody else did, was: ‘Where’s the other half of the game?’ 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,” says Spencer. “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."