Microsoft is shifting its strategy, it seems.

Way back when I first heard about the Xbox Game Pass, I felt that Microsoft definitely had a shift in focus. Instead of the streaming option, they chose to make a subscription service that saved gamers on their bandwidth usage, for a lower cost than competing services like PlayStation Now.

Now Microsoft has announced that all future Xbox One first party games will be accessible through the Xbox Game Pass.

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 ThievesState 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.

What Does This Mean?

The trend of the gaming industry seems to be moving more towards the “games as a service” model, and while other attempts have been more along the lines of MMO-lite games featuring microtransactions as a means to extend their profitability, this seems like it could be a step in a direction that can benefit gamers more.

The option will soon exist for a player to have a library of games that is populating itself with brand new games, while subsidizing the cost through a subscription service. Other options similar to this currently exist in the form of rental services like GameFly, but being able to download the title you want to play instead of waiting for it to ship is a magnificent value proposition.

Additionally, part of what makes this announcement interesting is that the Xbox Game Pass allows subscribers to purchase games featured in the catalog with a 20% discount, nearly rivaling other subscriptions like Best Buy’s Gamer Club and Amazon Prime’s now-curtailed video game discount. Granted, the Xbox Game Pass subscription only gives the 20% discount on games in the catalog, and the subscription itself costs $10 (US) a month, but this will be one of the first times that gamers can get a discount on a brand new, digital version of a major release.

That means that a subscriber could download and play Halo 6 or Forza Horizon 4 on day one without needing to make a trek to the store or make an additional purchase in the Xbox Store.

About the only thing holding this back from being the best news in the games industry in a long time is that Microsoft Studios isn’t exactly producing that many truly first party titles as of late. Sure, Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 are coming out soon, but unless Microsoft really steps up their game, this news won’t exactly be a major shake-up in the industry. Microsoft needs to empower their publishing division and first party developers to begin creating more original IPs for the Xbox One if they want to keep up their momentum. That means less focus on sequels for the HaloForza, and Gears of War series, and more stuff like Sea of Thieves.

Source: Xbox Wire


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Posted by Shelby "Falcon509" Steiner

I'm just a gamer that enjoys talking about my hobbies. I do a little more than that too. I love cooking, grilling, being outdoors, going target shooting, etc.

5 Comments

  1. Nice analysis. I think you hit on it here with:

    “About the only thing holding this back from being the best news in the games industry in a long time is that Microsoft Studios isn’t exactly producing that many truly first party titles as of late. Sure, Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 are coming out soon, but unless Microsoft really steps up their game, this news won’t exactly be a major shake-up in the industry.”

    I think Microsoft is going to re-focus more on its first-party, exclusive games – but they’ll need more exclusive games to make the case! Adding the games to the Xbox pass will help generate interest.

    Liked by 1 person

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    1. Perhaps they’re setting the foundation for something big. Like more original IPs and a larger stable of exclusives to help make the case for the Game Pass. I’m interested to see what happens.

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  2. Last year was undeniably bad in terms of output but I think Microsoft has been somewhat unfairly painted as a company that hasn’t tried to deliver new IP this gen. They have, it just hasn’t stuck with most gamers.

    Anyway, I don’t necessarily feel that Microsoft is shifting its strategy, this seems to have been their goal with the release of the Xbox One but it was set so far back due to the toxic response their plans at the time received.

    I think that MS coming out today and clarifying that these new games added to the service would be permanent residents in Game Pass was a good move on their part and if they can stick to their usual out put of 5-8 retail releases a year, this ends up being a pretty good deal for most gamers. For me personally, I planned on getting Sea of Thieves, Crackdown 3, and State of Decay so, I’ll be making out on it this year at the very least.

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    1. I do think they tend to get a bad rap, but this 2017 was pretty meh for Xbox. 2018 might be better with so much coming out though; I just hope they continue with with first party releases.

      They do seem to be coming back around to the original vision of the Xbox One, at least in part.

      This seems like a good move on their part regardless of how their first party studios do though. It’s a good time to be an Xbox One owner.

      Liked by 1 person

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  3. […] Update: Microsoft announced on January 23rd 2018, that the Xbox Game Pass will include all Microsoft Studios first party titles from here on out. You can read more details in Falcon Game Reviews’ post regarding the topic, titled: Xbox Exclusives Heading To Game Pass. […]

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