Xbox Game Pass gets price increases, drops day one games on Standard tier

xbox game pass
xbox game pass

Microsoft has made some big changes to Xbox Game Pass, shaking up what is offered on the “standard” tier and generally increasing prices for subscribers. Most significantly, access to first party Xbox games on day one will now not be included with the incoming Xbox Game Pass Standard for new console subscribers.

Going forward, the prices and general offerings will be:

  • Xbox Game Pass Core – $9.99 per month or $74.99 / £55.99 for 12 months (previously $59.99 / £49.99) – Includes Xbox online multiplayer and limited game library.
  • Xbox Game Pass Standard – $14.99 per month  – Includes Xbox online multiplayer, full library of back catalogue games, but does not include games released on day one.
  • PC Game Pass – $11.99 / £9.99 per month (previously $9.99) – Includes day one games and full library of back catalogue titles on PC.
  • Xbox Game Pass Ultimate – $19.99 / £14.99 per month (previously $16.99 / £12.99) – Includes PC Game Pass, Xbox online multiplayer, day one games, full back catalogue, EA Play, cloud gaming.

See the full breakdown of price changes here. Xbox Game Pass Standard is “coming soon”, likely by September.

Any one with a current Xbox Game Pass for Console subscription will be able to continue paying with recurring billing for the foreseeable future and still have access to the current offering – the $10.99 / £8.99 price will also continue. This includes day one games and the full Xbox Game Pass catalogue, but Xbox Game Pass for Console does not include Xbox online multiplayer, cloud gaming or PC Game Pass.

A further change will come for the ability to stack subscriptions. From 12th September, you will only be able to stack Xbox Game Pass for Console for 13 months, doing so using pre-paid cards and conversions. Anyone with the current maximum of up to 36 months will be able to carry that forward, and other plans will also still have a 36 month stacking maximum.

All in all, this is a canny way for Microsoft to get through a price increase and break the long-standing pledge for all Game Pass subscribers to have day one games, and to make the most of the coming inclusion of Call of Duty: Black Ops 6 as a day one launch game – previous speculation had been that a new higher priced tier would be added specially for Black Ops 6, but Microsoft is maintaining the general structure through this price increase and relaunch.

This appears to fly in the face of promises by Microsoft that Xbox Game Pass would not increase in price as a direct result of the Activision Blizzard acquisition. Microsoft will be able to argue that they are simply following market trends and value, though all effective price increases are greater than inflation from the time of each product’s introduction.

Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will still be the all-in-one package, but now comes at a higher price once again, while the annual price increase for Xbox Game Pass Core (formerly Xbox Live Gold) annual subs is a nasty sting in the tail. However, what’s more interesting is how Xbox Game Pass Standard is morphed out of Xbox Game Pass for Console.

Game Pass for Console previously didn’t include online gaming, so the main upsell to Game Pass Ultimate was to get that, as well as PC games and the option of cloud. Game Pass Standard flips that around, so online gaming is now included, but you don’t have day one games instead.

Of course, all of this will put more pressure on the pockets of gamers, at a time where there are so many subscriptions all vying for customers, and all steadily increasing prices as the market has become saturated.

Source: Xbox Support

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