Microsoft exclusives coming to Xbox Game Pass — on release day

Gaming / PC / Xbox
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Future unannounced games from Microsoft Studios such as Halo, Forza, and Gears of War, will be released on the Xbox Game Pass on the same day they launch.

Image courtesy Xbox

Microsoft just one-upped Sony in a big way. Starting with Sea of Thieves on March 20th, Microsoft exclusives — those from Microsoft Studios — will be added to the Xbox Game Pass on the SAME DATE AS THEIR GLOBAL RELEASE. You’ll have to excuse my excitement there as the Xbox Game Pass is already a pretty good deal for gamers but this is just the icing on the cake.

Just to reiterate, this is what Phil Spencer, Head of Gaming at Xbox, said via Major Nelson’s blog this morning:

Moving forward, we plan to release all new Xbox One exclusive games from Microsoft Studios into Xbox Game Pass on the same date as their global release. This means that when Sea of Thieves launches on March 20, it will be included in Xbox Game Pass to all members.

This plan to bring new games timed with their global release into Xbox Game Pass not only includes announced titles like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 but future unannounced games from Microsoft Studios including new iterations of our biggest Xbox One exclusive franchises such as Halo, Forza and Gears of War, on the same day they launch.

Crackdown 3HaloForzaGears of War. All available to play for a low monthly subscription fee. With the cost of games these days — $59.99USD/$79.99CAD for the base version of most games — being able to play new releases on release day through the Xbox Game Pass is a pretty big saving and a pretty big deal. With a 14 day free trial, the subscription game service costs $9.99USD/$11.99CAD per month which works out to $119.88USD/$143.88CAD — or roughly the price of two games.

While filled with older games, there are currently over 100 games available to fully play in the Xbox Game Pass library including the Bioshock series, Dead Rising 4DmC Devil May Cry: Definitive EditionHalo 5Gears of War 4, and even a couple OG Xbox games like Fuzion Frenzy and Ninja Gaiden Black. There are a few caveats of course. Games aren’t guaranteed to stay in the Xbox Game Pass library forever, which begs the question to be asked: “How long will these new releases stay in the library for before they are removed?” Hopefully, it’ll be like most of the other games which seem to have stayed so far after they’ve been added with very few games being removed. As well, the games added only include the base game but Xbox Game Pass members save 10% off the price of any DLC and the base game itself if they want to buy it — so long as it’s still in the Xbox Game Pass library. Still, either way you look at it, it’s a pretty good deal and adding Microsoft Studios exclusives on release day is a pretty big deal in my opinion.

In addition to adding select new releases, a 6-month Xbox Game Pass card will also be available starting on March 20th at select retailers. The 6-month subscription card will cost $59.99USD so there are no real savings there but it does allow gamers to subscribe for 6 months at a time. And hey, subscription cards go on sale all the time so you can probably save a few dollars if you keep your eye open.

Spencer also hinted at more changes and additions on the radar for the Xbox Game Pass.

We’ve only scratched the surface of the opportunity this new model brings to the industry and what we can deliver to our fans. We firmly believe Xbox Game Pass will be a catalyst to create new opportunities for game developers and publishers to innovate in the way games are developed and delivered, leading to entirely new ways to play.

Now… where are the rest of those Xbox exclusives, Microsoft?

What do you think about Microsoft’s decision to add exclusives from Microsoft Studios to the Xbox Game Pass on the day they are released? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Twitter, or Facebook.

  Source: Major Nelson
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