Xbox Game Pass: The deal is scheduled to close in 2023; however, Microsoft is committed to bringing as many AB games as possible to your service. In the end, all roads lead to Xbox Game Pass. An informative earthquake shook the headlines of video games on Tuesday afternoon, when nobody expected it: Microsoft reaches a purchase agreement with Activision Blizzard in exchange for 68,700 million dollars. It gives vertigo. But it is real, because Redmond’s signature contradicts the seemingly impossible. His search for the creation of a “definitive” video game ecosystem continues and, if the transaction closes next year 2023, we will be talking about more than thirty internal studios with an infinity of weight licenses. Xbox Game Pass is the main beneficiary.
25 million subscribers are just the beginning
On the occasion of the statement, apart from the strictly informative of this financial blow, we learned two more things. The first, that Xbox Game Pass has reached 25 million subscribed members as of January 2022; a substantial growth from the 18 million subscribers in January 2021. The second, the commitment to bring “as many Activision Blizzard games as we can within Xbox Game Pass and PC Game Pass, as well as new titles from the incredible catalog of Activision Blizzard ”.
It had to be made clear. Because the Xbox user – whether on Xbox One, Xbox Series, PC or a mobile device – automatically associates that green logo with Xbox Game Pass. This is what Phil Spencer’s team wants, who will soon respond as CEO of Microsoft Gaming (Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda Softworks, Activision Blizzard).
“The communicative task will be fundamental from now on”
It is early to know the immediate effect of the movement and we lack information to determine what this implies at the level of exclusivities, license management, worker management and communication. The communicative task will be fundamental from now on. There is so much they have to manage that the relationship with the player will be more important than ever.
Xbox Game Pass is the main beneficiary of this agreement, regardless of whether you start receiving exclusive titles or not. Actually, it’s the least of it. The reality is that the user who subscribes to the service will have in the Ultimate mode a selection of two hundred titles from Xbox, Bethesda, Activision, Blizzard, Electronic Arts and dozens of other works from third-party publishers, partners and indie studios.
Are we prepared for a price increase in Xbox Game Pass?
Whether they are telemarketers or digital store chains with a wide range of services, price increases are generated based on increasing the value of the service. The higher the value (in this case, the more games of higher quality), the easier it will be to justify a price increase or, what I personally think will happen, the arrival of tiers or categories with different price ranges.
The first thing that comes to mind are the cinema and series services, which allow you to enjoy their content in higher resolution or with more simultaneous devices if you pay more. Or less if you settle for something more basic.
It seems impossible to me that Xbox Game Pass Ultimate will continue to cost 12.99 euros in the near future. Therefore, I think that Microsoft will try to manage it by offering different tiers: the more you are willing to pay, the more you can receive. You may not be interested in everything, but you are interested in Xbox and Bethesda exclusives, without thinking about the PC or the option to play via streaming on your mobile. A middle term, in short, that has three or four subscription options; according to different types of public and different pockets.
The evolution of Xbox Game Pass is dizzying, proportional to the increase in its value. 25 million subscribers seems like the tip of the iceberg right now. Its appeal is undeniable and the options are maximum when you don’t need an Xbox console to be part of the ecosystem. A declaration of intent, in short, to which the competition must respond before it is too late.