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Microsoft reportedly preparing to introduce a cheaper Game Pass

The cheaper subscription service would effectively replace Xbox Live with Gold, which is long overdue for a replacement.

microsoft preparing introduce cheaper game pass
A cheaper Game Pass would be a big win for subscribers but we doubt Microsoft will be so willing to throw Xbox Live Games with Gold under the bus just like that.

Xbox Game Pass is the best video game subscription service on the market, and it isn't even close. The Game Pass' dominance even forced Sony to revamp PS Plus earlier this year. But, while it's an industry-leading service, the Game Pass isn't as successful as you'd like to think. Microsoft mentioned in an earlier report that the Game Pass has failed to hit its growth rate for two years straight. In an attempt to stop it from being three in a row, Microsoft wants to undercut its biggest competitors in terms of price point.

According to several credible resources as well as a ResetEra thread, Microsoft is asking its users what they'd fall if they added a cheaper tier to the Xbox Game Pass, preferably one that's supported by ads. If implemented, the ad-supported Game Pass tier would cost only $3 dollars a month and give users access to quality games content albeit with limitations. For example, instead of getting new games day and date, subscribers will have to wait for 6 months for new games to hit the service. But, past first-party Xbox games will be available. Also, the only other caveat is you'll need to view an ad before you start playing a game.

microsoft preparing introduce cheaper game pass
It'll be interesting to see how a Game Pass tier without day one launches will fare.

The still-unconfirmed service will also include online multiplayer access, which is available for $9.99 a month with Xbox Live Games with Gold. This would imply that Microsoft is also working on a replacement for the much-criticized service. However, this would mean that Microsoft is sacrificing a $10-a-month service for a significantly cheaper one. The decision doesn't make that much sense financially even if this leads to a massive surge in subscriber count. After all, what's stopping current Game Pass subscribers from stepping down a tier instead of stepping up to get Ultimate?

We're doubtful Microsoft is willing to go as low as $3 for a "lite" variation of the Game Pass even if it's supported by ads, but then again, who knows? Nobody would've expected the tech giant to pony up $70 billion to buy Activision Blizzard, but here we are. The economics might work out when you consider that a $3-a-month subscription service would be well-loved by millions of potential new subscribers as well as the money that the ads could bring in.

microsoft preparing introduce cheaper game pass
The general audience aren't very receptive to ads so we doubt gamers will take it to more kindly.

If Netflix and Disney are willing to explore ad-supported tiers, Microsoft should at least be considering if it's feasible.

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Ray Ampoloquio

Ray Ampoloquio // Articles: 5904

Ray is a lifelong gamer with a nose for keeping up with the latest news in and out of the gaming industry. When he's not reading, writing, editing, and playing video games, he builds and repairs computers in his spare time. You can find Ray on Twitter and LinkedIn.
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