Xbox Raising Game Pass Ultimate and PC Prices, Adding Tier

You know all that financial trouble Xbox has been going through, which caused them to close and merge some Bethesda studios? That’s largely due to Game Pass, Xbox’s subscription service. The service is not profitable for Xbox, and this problem was exacerbated when they bought Activision and Bethesda, the cost of which it hasn’t made back for its parent company, Microsoft. To get more subscribers, Xbox announced in May that it will be releasing Call of Duty Black Ops 6 directly to Game Pass. Now, The Verge reports that the next logical step is happening: Microsoft is raising the price of some of its Game Pass subscriptions. First is Game Pass Ultimate, which will go from $16.99 to $19.99 a month starting September 12, 2024; according to The Verge, Game Pass Ultimate accounts for “the vast majority of Game Pass subscribers.” Then, PC Game Pass will be raised from $9.99 to $11.99, also in September. Xbox will also offer a new tier called Game Pass Standard that will exclude day-one titles and “include online console multiplayer access;” this will cost $14.99 a month.

Again, this isn’t surprising; Xbox has to try to make money from Game Pass, and raising prices is inevitable under those circumstances. The new tier option is also a good idea, giving hesitant potential subscribers more options. However, this may only be part of a larger plan to get more Game Pass subscribers according to former Blizzard producer Mark Kern, who goes by Grummz on social media:

That’s an interesting idea, and considering the billions of dollars Xbox has to make back from their game studio acquisitions – $76.2 billion in total – it’s a desperate gamble. Some people will likely have no interest in Game Pass and want hard copies of their games, so they could be pricing themselves out of some customers. Personally, this makes me happy; after that Ubisoft executive said they want to get gamers “comfortable with not owning games,” I’m glad subscription services are failing and need help. The idea of not owning the goods you buy is a bad place for society to go, so I’d like to see this notion binned. As for Xbox, they got themselves into this mess, and they’ve got to take drastic measures to get themselves out of it.

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