Africa and India are in Microsoft's sights for ad-supported game streaming

The Xbox giant is planning on using ads to reach new players and expand its audience

Africa and India are in Microsoft's sights for ad-supported game streaming

Windows and Xbox giant Microsoft is exploring options for expanding its Game Pass subscription model, including the potential introduction of new tiers. One consideration involves an ad-based model that will allow players to access its game library in exchange for watching streamed advertisements.

During an interview transcribed by TweakTown from the Wells Fargo TMT Summit, Microsoft chief financial officer Tim Stuart says, “The vision I like to talk about is we have xCloud game streaming so that you can subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate and you can stream hundreds of games to really any endpoint that has a browser experience."

With an aim of a geographic expansion, the CTO went on to say that, “For models like Africa, or India, Southeast Asia, maybe places that aren’t console-first, you can say, ‘hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of an ad and then get two hours of game streaming?’"

No console? No problem

As outlined in our breakdown of the Africa Games Industry report, 50% of the continent's population is 23 years old or younger, which Stuart says has a burgeoning demographic with a, “Growing disposable income". Adding to that a significant portion of the population uses cell phones and mobile devices with minimal high-end disposable income.

“So we can go in with our own business models and say... there's millions and millions of gamers we would never have been able to address there, and now we can go in with our business models," said Stuart.

It seems like the model is being considered as a way to grow the Game Pass audience in countries where expensive gaming consoles aren't widely adopted. Microsoft's approach could bring high-end gaming to a new audience by making it accessible upon their increasingly ubiquitous at any time.

Staff Writer

Isa Muhammad is a B2B writer and video games journalist with 5+ years experience covering games, interviewing industry professionals, tracking industry trends and understanding the market.