Xbox is hinting at cheaper Game Pass tiers to expand the service’s reach
Microsoft says it’s “investigating” new Game Pass subscription models
Microsoft has said it is exploring introducing new Xbox Game Pass subscription plans to bring the service to a wider audience.
Xbox Game Pass launched in June 2017 and has become central to Microsoft’s gaming business, attracting over 18 million subscribers as of January 2021.
Starting at $9.99/£7.99, subscriptions offer access to a library of over 100 games, including all Xbox Game Studios titles at launch.
But Xbox’s experiences and platforms boss Liz Hamren hinted at the potential introduction of lower priced tiers during a recent video presentation to media and analysts.
“We need to innovate to bring our games and services to more people around the world. And we’re investigating how to introduce new subscription offerings for Xbox Game Pass,” she said.
“The point is that we’re being creative and dynamic in thinking about how to deliver the joy and community of gaming to everyone on the planet across devices, geographies, and financial realities.”
Hamren added: “We’re doing all this because Game Pass works. It works for consumers, and it works for publishers. With Game Pass, players spend 20 percent more time playing games. They play 30 percent more genres and play 40 percent more games overall, including games outside their Game Pass subscription.”
Xbox boss Phil Spencer said in October 2020 that Microsoft had no plans to rack up the price of Xbox Game Pass. “We like the value that Game Pass is today and from a business model it’s completely sustainable the way it is and I mean that,” he told the Dropped Frames podcast.
During the recent media briefing, Hamren confirmed Microsoft is planning to bring Xbox cloud gaming to internet-connected TVs in a move that will let players access services like Game Pass with no extra hardware required except a controller. And it’s also building its own streaming devices to bring cloud gaming to any TV or monitor without the need for a console.