Microsoft marks one-year anniversary of Xbox Game Pass

Xbox One X
Xbox One X (Image credit: Matt Brown / Windows Central)

Today marks the one-year anniversary of the launch of Xbox Game Pass, and Microsoft is celebrating with a look back at how the subscription service has expanded over the past year. In a blog post, Microsoft recaps the service's expansion to new markets, all of the new games added, and how it's seen a growth with Game Pass members playing more games even outside of the subscription catalog.

"So, how is Game Pass creating new opportunities for both gamers and developers? In its first year, Xbox Game Pass has proven to be great for both gamers and game developers as an additive means to drive discovery and engagement of games. The freedom to explore and play more great games is changing gaming habits in incredibly positive ways" Microsoft says.

In the year since its launch, Xbox Game Pass has expanded to more than 40 markets around the world. And while the service launched with more than 100 titles on offer, Microsoft bolstered the lineup by revealing all Microsoft Studios games would be launched into Game Pass alongside their retail releases. Since then, we've seen anticipated games like Sea of Thieves and State of Decay 2 hit Game Pass on the same days they launched.

Microsoft says it's also seeing a "longer tail of engagement" with games in Xbox Game Pass. Those who try a game in the lineup tend to go on to create communities around the title and are more likely to try the next release in those franchises, the company says.

Going forward, Microsoft says it plans to continue to invest in the subscription space with a "belief in making subscriptions a model that benefits gamers with more choice." As for Game Pass itself, Microsoft continues to add more games to the service every month (while, yes, removing a handful of titles as well). With the commitment to offering Microsoft Studios games from day one, we can expect to see further games in franchises like Gears of War and Forza hit the service as well.

Xbox Game Pass is available now for $9.99 per month.

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Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl