Microsoft’s biggest title of 2019 was unquestionably Gears 5 from studio The Coalition. Just how big you may ask? Well according to Microsoft Gears 5 had “the biggest launch week of any Xbox Game Studios title this generation.”
More than 3 million players played the game during the opening weekend in fact and that is no doubt due to the game being available on Xbox Game Pass. Pretty much every advertisement leading up to the release of Gears 5 ended by telling players to play it on Xbox Game Pass. Microsoft has even been running promotions making it easy to into the subscription service like a $2 for 2 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Microsoft also said that the first-week player base for Gears 5 doubled that of Gears of War 4 that released back in 2016. It was also the largest for any Xbox Game Studios title going back to Halo 4 that came out in 2012. The game is also doing well on the PC side with Microsoft saying that Gears 5 almost tripled Gears of War 4’s numbers on PC, was Xbox Game Studios’ best-ever launch on Steam, and it was the biggest launch for Xbox Game Pass for PC.
While actual copies sold will likely take a hit it seems that Microsoft more than likely doesn’t care too much. Their strategy seems to be to get as many people playing games on Xbox Game Pass as possible and Gears 5 is helping to lead that charge.