Exclusive: Microsoft is moving ahead with an Xbox Game Pass Family Plan

Xbox Game Pass
Xbox Game Pass (Image credit: Matt Brown | Windows Central)

UPDATE August 4, 2022: Microsoft has now begun officially testing the Xbox Game Pass Family Plan in Ireland and Colombia. Head here for details.

Original article:

What you need to know

  • Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's Netflix-like game subscription, providing access to hundreds of games for a relatively low cost.
  • One way in which it isn't like Netflix is the lack of a Family Plan, allowing you to attach additional accounts to one subscription.
  • That is all set to change, as we can exclusively confirm plans for an Xbox Game Pass "Family Plan" are moving ahead.

Rejoice, Xbox fans, for Microsoft is about to plug an annoying gap in its Xbox Game Pass (XGP) service. Xbox Game Pass is Microsoft's all-you-can-eat Netflix-like game subscription service, giving you access to hundreds of games for a relatively low monthly fee. Multiple plans give you games across PC, Xbox consoles, or the cloud on mobile devices, featuring all of the best Xbox games from Microsoft on day one.

One glaring omission from Xbox Game Pass, historically, has been the lack of any sort of Xbox Game Pass "Family Plan," which would let you share access to the service among a household. We've written about the need for such a plan before, especially since Nintendo offers a Family Plan for its online services, and platforms like Disney+ and Netflix (via its multi-streams plan) have had it for years now.

I'd heard about Microsoft's desire to create a Family Plan quite a while ago at this point, although there were details to work out about how royalties might be distributed, and how licenses from third-party publishers would be compensated for users who weren't attached to the main plan. According to trusted sources familiar with Microsoft's efforts, we can now confirm that Xbox is moving ahead with an Xbox Game Pass Family Plan, which could be set to launch sometime this year.

Xbox Game Pass at Gamescom 2018

Source: Matt Brown / Windows Central (Image credit: Source: Matt Brown / Windows Central)

From our information, paying on a higher tier for an Xbox Game Pass Family Plan will net access for five players for games across the entire library, and will be far cheaper than paying for five separate XGP accounts as is necessary today. Utilizing Microsoft's Family Account system already in use for Office 365, players within the same country will be able to play together using a single XGP subscription managed by a central account holder, in much the same way as similar services.

Some details remain unclear for now, though. For example, will there be separate Family Plans for PC Game Pass and Xbox Game Pass console, or will it all be exclusive to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate? And the exact pricing is also unknown as of writing, besides that it will reportedly be far cheaper than having to pay for several separate accounts as required today.

We're not sure exactly when all of this will be announced, but it does seem as though Microsoft is readying up to make this public in the relatively near future.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!