A new Game Pass tier coming along with a price increase – WGB

By admin May12,2024

That’s according to Rand Al Thor who was speaking on the Xbox Two podcast alongside Jez Corden of Windows Central. Rand Al Thor typically isn’t considered a leaker of information, so take everything said with a pinch of salt.

During the discussion the duo tackled Tom Warren’s recent article in which he said Microsoft is “considering” raising the price of Game Pass Ultimate again due to the flatlining growth of the subscription service.

Rand Al Thor stated that the price hike “is actually happening. I’ve even heard that there is a new tier of game pass coming […] but I have no idea what is involved, what it would be, or what it is. Pretty sure it’s happening. Don’t know anything about it, though.”

Thanks to @GPTGamingNews for grabbing the specific section of the lengthy podcast.

The idea of a “free” tier of Game Pass supported by ads has actually been floated before by Xbox gaming CFO Tim Stuart.

“The vision I like to talk about is we have xCloud game streaming, so you can subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate and you can stream hundreds of games to really any endpoint that has a browser experience,” Stuart said during a Wells Fargo TMT Summit, as reported by TweakTown.

“For models like Africa, or India, Southeast Asia, maybe places that aren’t console-first, you can say, ‘hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of an ad and then get two hours of game streaming?’

Xbox’s Sarah Bond has touched upon the exploration of different models, too. Speaking to Rolling Stone, she said: “We’ve talked about how we’re experimenting with other models, like what does it mean for advertising in games which is more prevalent in mobile – are there models of that that work well in PC and console? Are there other models where you might have timed slices of games and stuff like that? 

Game Pass wouldn’t be the first subscription service to offer a free tier or a cheaper tier supported by the use of ads. Both Netflix and Amazon Prime do this, for example.

On the other end of the spectrum, would Microsoft consider a new tier of Game Pass or major revamp in which first-party titles like Call of Duty are locked behind the most expensive tier? Microsoft don’t like to talk about specific numbers, but at this point is seems very safe to say that Game Pass is losing money. Microsoft and Xbox probably don’t want to go back on the core promise that their games launch straight onto Game Pass, but by putting them behind the most expensive tier they would still technically be keeping that promise.

By admin

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