Xbox Game Pass ditches day one games and raises prices for standard tier

Xbox Game Pass ditches day one games and raises prices for standard tier

Call Of Duty on Game Pass comes at a cost (Microsoft)

Major price increases are coming to all tiers of Xbox Game Pass, as the Console service is phased out and replaced by one with no day one games.

Back in May, Microsoft confirmed that Call Of Duty would be coming day one to Game Pass and that despite rumours that wouldn’t involve the creation of a new, more expensive tier for the subscription tier.

That’s not really true though, as massive changes are coming to the service, which will see both price increases across the board and the end of day one releases of new first party games for the new Standard tier.

The current Xbox Game Pass for Console service will be cancelled and replaced by the more expensive Xbox Game Pass Standard on September 12. Importantly, it will not feature first party games from day one or cloud gaming options.

The UK price of the new Standard service has not yet been confirmed but it will be $14.99 in the US, so you’d assume the UK price will be over £10.

For that price you’ll still be able to freely download existing Xbox first party games and the usual rotating selection of third party titles, and you’ll also be able to play online as it includes the equivalent of Xbox Live Gold/Game Pass Core.

In order to access cloud gaming and new titles from day one you’ll have to pay for the more expensive Xbox Game Pass Ultimate option, which is currently £12.99 a month but will now see a price increase to £14.99.

Surprisingly, PC Game Pass will still be getting first party games on day one and while it’s also getting a price increase it’s a more modest increase from £7.99 a month to £9.99 in the UK.

Finally, Xbox Game Pass Core, the subscription service formerly known as Xbox Live Gold, will be keeping its monthly price at £6.99 in the UK but will see its annual price increase from £49.99 to £55.99.

In typical Microsoft fashion, it’s all horribly confusing, but while there’s not yet been any public announcement there is a brief FAQ page on the Xbox website, after the changes were initially leaked by website Windows Central.

If you currently have Core membership, nothing is being taken away and you will be able to keep your subscription. However, from September 12 you’ll only be allowed to stack Xbox Game Pass for Console for a maximum of 13 months.

Although this is the second year in a row that Microsoft has raised the prices of Game Pass this is a much more significant change to how the service works, in terms of pricing, with the Standard service now far less appealing that the outgoing Game Pass for Console.

No doubt, it’s a reaction to the fact that Game Pass, and subscription services in general, have not caught on as well as expected and that adding Call Of Duty to the service risks losing revenue from Xbox and PC owners that otherwise would’ve paid full price for it.

Microsoft claims that the majority of Game Pass users already use Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, which includes console and PC options, and so from those customers’ perspective the only thing that will change is the price increase.

No matter how it’s spun though this is yet more evidence that subscription services are not the killer app once imagined by Microsoft and that Game Pass was not sustainable at its previous, lower prices.

Call Of Duty has changed everything (Activision)

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