What you need to know
- Xbox Game Pass is a paid monthly subscription service from Microsoft that offers hundreds of games and access to Xbox cloud streaming.
- Since its launch in 2017, new users have been offered a month for just $1.
- Over the weekend, users started noticing that the promotion seemed to be coming to an end.
Update (March 26, 2023 5:30 PM PT / 8:30 PM ET): Microsoft has responded to our request for comment and confirmation, providing the following statement:
“We have discontinued our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing offers for new members in the future.”
Our original story below.
This could be the end of an era, as Microsoft is calling time on its popular $1 Xbox Game Pass promotion.
Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft’s Netflix-like subscription service, offering hundreds of games for a relatively low monthly fee. Instead of spending thousands of dollars on multiple full-price AAA titles, Xbox Game Pass costs from just $10 per month, and on higher tiers, it even comes with Xbox cloud streaming access for games on the go.
Since the launch of Xbox Game Pass, new users have been offered a month for just $1 to try out the service, but over the weekend, users started to notice (via xgp.pl) It seems that the long-standing promotional prices are over.
tries to Sign up for Xbox Game Pass (Opens in a new tab) Using a new Microsoft account no longer gets you $1 access. Instead, it ties directly into the three existing tiers, either $10 per month for Xbox Game Pass on console, $10 per month for Xbox Game Pass on PC, or $15 per month for Xbox Cloud Gaming access. From what we can tell, the change appears to be global, with the $1 offer not appearing in any country we tested.
It makes sense for Microsoft to start winding down this promotion, as the user acquisition phase is likely over. Probably enough people know about Xbox Game Pass at this point for growth to happen naturally, especially when you factor in the volume of upcoming Xbox games hitting the service. Microsoft may also want to avoid a situation where thousands sign up for temporary one-month accounts to avoid having to pay for highly anticipated titles like Starfield. Starfield is among the most anticipated games in recent memory, crafted by the team behind megahits like Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Microsoft also expects to close its Activision-Blizzard deal, which will result in major games like Call of Duty and Diablo IV coming to the service as well. Avoid scenario where Tens of thousands Signing up for temporary accounts for just $1 is probably a top priority for the team.
We’ve reached out to Microsoft for hard confirmation on whether or not this is a bug, but I suspect the company called for time in promotion, as the service has matured. Microsoft is also slowly rolling out Xbox Game Pass to families and friends, offering up to five Xbox Game Pass Ultimate accounts for around $25. As such, access to Xbox Game Pass will likely be cheaper than ever.
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