Game Pass Core will replace Xbox Live Gold & Games with Gold in September

Xbox Bethesda Showcase 2022 Header

Microsoft has announced Xbox Game Pass Core, a replacement for the Xbox Live Gold subscription for online multiplayer on console, and the end of Games with Gold in favour of a mini 25 game library. The new subscription service will debut on 14th September.

Retaining the Xbox Live Gold pricing, Game Pass Core will cost $9.99 / £6.99 per month, or $59.99 / £49.99 annual subscription price point.

With this change, Xbox are finally killing off the anaemic monthly games that they have been offering through Games with Gold over the last few year. The launch collection will feature over 25 games that includes some of Xbox’s biggest exclusives, games from Bethesda and other third party developers. New games will be added 2-3 times a year, instead of the fortnightly cadence that main Game Pass has.

Here’s the games confirmed so far, with a handful more to come:

  • Among Us
  • Descenders
  • Dishonored 2
  • Doom Eternal
  • Fable Anniversary
  • Fallout 4
  • Fallout 76
  • Forza Horizon 4
  • Gears 5
  • Grounded
  • Halo 5: Guardians
  • Halo Wars 2
  • Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice
  • Human Fall Flat
  • Inside
  • Ori & The Will of the Wisps
  • Psychonauts 2
  • State of Decay 2
  • The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited

There’s a few important things to note for Xbox Live Gold members though, with regard to existing subscriptions and GwG access. These are:

  • On September 14, Xbox Live Gold members will automatically become Game Pass Core members, with no change in pricing, and have immediate access to a new library of over 25 high-quality games.
  • Member deals & discounts will also be part of Xbox Game Pass Core.
  • Games with Gold will come to an end on September 1.
  • Players can continue to access any Xbox One games they previously redeemed through Games with Gold if they remain a Game Pass Core or Game Pass Ultimate member.
  • Regardless of subscription status, any Xbox 360 titles redeemed via Games with Gold in the past will be kept in a player’s library.

On the whole this looks like a pretty significant reboot of Xbox’s baseline multiplayer subscription option. However, you do end up in an awkward spot of having Game Pass Core at $10, the full Game Pass library for $11, and then the all encompassing Game Pass Ultimate at $17. That’s pricing Microsoft hasn’t done a great job of really justifying through the later Live Gold years.

Another unanswered question is how upgrades from Core to Ultimate will be handled, which has been a long-standing trick to get a cheaper ultimate sub for the last half decade.

Written by
I'm probably wearing toe shoes, and there's nothing you can do to stop me!