According to The Verge, the company starting informing staff this week that the benefit will be removed in January 2024.
While Xbox staff will continue to receive the perk, staff not employed in the gaming division will instead have to buy a discounted 12-month subscription at Microsoft’s internal store if they want to continue using the service.
After some employees voiced unhappiness with the changes, Xbox boss Phil Spencer reportedly said he’d been unaware of the plan and was looking into the situation.
Microsoft raised the price of some Xbox Game Pass subscriptions in July, with Ultimate now costing $16.99 / £12.99 per month, and increased the Xbox Series X price in most countries in August.
The platform holder also replaced its long-running Xbox Live Gold subscription service with the new Xbox Game Pass Core membership tier in September.
Game Pass has over 25 million subscribers as of January 2022, when Microsoft last provided a figure for the service’s total number of paying members.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said last week that Starfield‘s launch in September set a new record for most new Game Pass subscriptions in a single day.