What you need to know
- Xbox Game Pass Ultimate was previously only available to Xbox Insiders.
- Now, anyone can get the bundled subscription for $15 a month.
- Developers think Xbox Game Pass is fair, but some believe it could be better.
- You can purchase Xbox Game Pass Ultimate through the Microsoft Store.
Xbox Game Pass is a monthly subscription service on Xbox One and PC which offers over two hundred games for $10 a month. Just like Netflix, certain titles rotate in and out, but Microsoft exclusives remain there forever. Now that Xbox Game Pass has been available for many months, developers have had a chance to determine if their games should go up on the service. While there are some complaints, it seems like studios are quite happy with Microsoft's effort to create a Netflix for games.
Recently, Eurogamer compiled a selection of opinions from acclaimed developers. While smaller developers like Playdead said that Xbox Game Pass was fair, publishers like Paradox Interactive expressed concerns over the number of hours played.
Dino Patti, the cofounder of Playdead, said the following. The quote has been edited for clarity.
Consumers want as many games as possible, as free as possible, and you can't get anything for free, so you need to find the right price, but that's the angle. Developers need to look at what does this get me, and for me, and I might be biased, but I think the way business is for Xbox Game Pass, it's the first time it's actually what I would consider fair for developers... I've been suggested subscriptions that never worked out because they don't know what developers need, and in the end, it is developers putting out a game for free... with Xbox Game Pass, they're doing it correctly for the developers.
Patti thinks that Xbox Game Pass is fair. It's good to know that it's working out for smaller developers. Paradox's former head Fred Wester discussed how it could be improved, though. He said the following.
Now at Paradox, we loved that business model, because people play our games for three or four thousand hours. While the Xbox Game Pass model to us is still a decent model, we think we're not getting paid enough, because people play our games more than they play very single-player driven narratives.
It seems that Webster wants additional compensation if someone plays his company's games for longer. Hopefully, Microsoft will find a way to take this into account going forward.
You can currently purchase Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for $15 a month. The subscription includes Xbox Game Pass, Xbox Game Pass for PC, and Xbox Live Gold.
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