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Xbox Reportedly Paid $5-10 Million to Add Guardians of the Galaxy on Game Pass

Xbox Reportedly Paid $5-10 Million to Add Guardians of the Galaxy on Game Pass - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 April 2022 / 2,930 Views

Senior Analyst at MST Financial David Gibson says that Microsoft paid around $5 million to $10 million to Square Enix to add Guardians of the Galaxy on Xbox Game Pass.

"Keep in mind that MSFT paid about US$5-$10m for Guardians of the Galaxy to be on Games Pass... that is like $2 per game when retail is $29," said Gibson. "Ok that is all profit but not too many publishers will be doing that given the low economics from Game Pass.

"For all those who wonder where these numbers come from- I have been covering Square Enix as an Analyst for 15yrs and talk to them regularly. Terms of a Xbox agreement are confidential but these are my estimate based in discussions with Square and others."

Guardians of the Galaxy released for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC on October 26, 20212. It was added to Xbox Game Pass on March 10. 

A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel dedicated to gaming Let's Plays and tutorials. You can contact the author at or on Twitter @TrunksWD.

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Bandorr (on 27 March 2022)

The game came out October 26th 2021. Came to game Pass March 10th. 135 days or so.
At that point the people that got it at full price probably would have already gotten it.

The people that got it on game pass may have not gotten it if it weren't "free". Plus they may have gotten it used/cheap etc.

So $5/$10 million seems like a good deal.

  • +13
Pemalite Bandorr (on 28 March 2022)

Not to mention that Square was pretty disappointed in the sales of this title.

So any extra revenue they can get is probably a good thing.. And it's a crying shame as it's actually a fantastic game.

  • +5
Ka-pi96 Pemalite (on 28 March 2022)

Seems like they're disappointed in the sales of every game they've ever released. Not once have I seen an article about them being happy with sales.

  • +3
ironmanDX Ka-pi96 (on 28 March 2022)

The avengers that proceeds it left a sour taste in people's mouths and for good reason.

Buggy, mtx riddled grindfest with missing content on multiple platforms?

Too bad this game was released after. Would have done better had it released first.

  • -1
aTokenYeti (on 27 March 2022)

If this number of accurate the “gamepass is hemorrhaging money” arguments seem increasingly without merit. This is absolutely nothing for a game of this quality and scope. They are likely paying even less, by a large margin, for the AA, A, and indie titles, even the day and date AA, A, and indie titles.

  • +11
twintail (on 27 March 2022)

He confirmed in a later tweet that this was just a guess. He doesn't actually know.

But this range was probably good for SE.

  • +7
UnderwaterFunktown (on 27 March 2022)

What I wanna know is where the $2 "per game" figure comes from. Does that imply that 2.5m - 5m have played it on Game Pass? Probably would be another estimate tho if that is what he's saying.

  • +5
VAMatt (on 27 March 2022)

Most of the people that play on GP 5-17 months after launch (assuming it stays on for one year) weren't going to buy the game anyway. And, of the ones that would, many would be buying years down the line at $10-$20, or possibly used where the pub gets nothing. Also, of that theoretical $29 sale, the retailer gets a good chunk.

So, the math isn't even close to $2 vs $29. Its probably more like X ×$15 versus 5X×$2.

This business model certainly does incentivize mtx though, as those 5X players spending another $5 on average in mtx makes the GP option clearly better for the publisher than the X option.

  • +5
dane007 VAMatt (on 27 March 2022)

Not necessarily. If the gabe is good then I will buy it I always wait till the game drops in price first before buying lol

  • -1
Giggity_goo (on 27 March 2022)

it was not selling very well everyone was probably thinking like me that it was going to be another avengers. but now ive tried it i regret not giving it a chance sooner, im really enjoying it ive nearly completed it

  • +1
ironmanDX (on 27 March 2022)

Thanks. Plan on playing this after Tunic.

  • +1
xMetroid (on 27 March 2022)

With the absurd pricing some games are pushing for, a GamePass option is only good for consumers for now. It will be interesting to see once companies realize how much MS is making later on and a situation similar to what is happening with the show/movie business. If Ubisoft, Sony, MS, Nintendo, Tencent, SE all go towards that goal later on, it could just become a messy business model with too many subscriptions. Also looking at Netflix that is trying so hard to keep their revenue higher by ranking up the price and testing to punish password sharing, i fear this business model is doom to never be satisfied once the market is saturated and the only option for more revenue will be desperate measures. Hopefully this is not where this industry will be heading

  • +1
chakkra xMetroid (on 27 March 2022)

As opposed to the current business model where companies charge for the game only once and never sell MTXs, cosmetics, Director's Cuts, etc, etc, etc.

  • +1
Azzanation (on 28 March 2022)

I mean, how much do people actually think they pay for these games? As much as the entire game development? If they are paying anywhere near as much as the game development, than they might aswell just buy the entire exclusive rights to it.

  • 0
Mr Puggsly (on 27 March 2022)

That would be a bargain when you consider its only a tiny fraction of revenue.

  • 0
eva01beserk (on 27 March 2022)

Expected that games that are out the spotlight and have no legs that they would be cheap. Its the cost of the day and day titles that we need to know the cost of.

  • 0
chakkra eva01beserk (on 27 March 2022)

I wonder how much they are paying for MLB The Show.

  • 0
eva01beserk chakkra (on 28 March 2022)

I'm guessing a lot.

  • 0
Mr Puggsly eva01beserk (on 28 March 2022)

I would have to assume MLB The Show would be higher simply because it came at launch. However, the player potential for Guardians of the Galaxy is bigger even though it came to Gamepass months after launch. Its higher on the Most Played list.

  • 0
eva01beserk Mr Puggsly (on 28 March 2022)

No way. The buzz that came from MLB was due to it being a sony game snatched by gamepass. Theese are people who where never gona try this game but will just for that. While guardians just wasent selling. It already did all it was going to do.

  • 0
Mr Puggsly eva01beserk (on 29 March 2022)

MLB The Show came to Xbox, as I predicted it would, because it wasn't that popular. And again, Guardians of The Galaxy gained a lot of activity based on the most played games list at the moment.

  • 0
KratosLives (on 27 March 2022)

Was the game even selling at retail? I heard low sales, and the game is discounted everywhere

  • 0
Mr Puggsly KratosLives (on 28 March 2022)

Might be a sleeper hit. Critical reception along with the IP helps.

  • 0
KratosLives Mr Puggsly (on 28 March 2022)

I don't think this game got any marketing

  • 0
DeEscapist (on 28 March 2022)

0,04 per month/ user and 0,5$ per user for 12 months. Not that much.

  • -2