Microsoft survey suggests Game Pass could be getting a new ad-supported tier

Daniel Sims

Posts: 824   +33
Rumor mill: A survey isn't much to go off of, but Microsoft treats Game Pass as the crux of its gaming platform and has confirmed that it's trying to expand the service with new plans. The plan that the survey describes would significantly undercut Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus.

A ResetEra user shared a Spanish survey implying that Microsoft is exploring a lower-cost, ad-supported tier for Game Pass subscriptions. In addition to access to the Game Pass library, the proposed basic plan would include online multiplayer gaming for only €3 a month, making it one of the cheapest online multiplayer subscriptions in the console market.

Online multiplayer for non-free-to-play titles on Xbox currently costs $10 a month with an Xbox Live Gold subscription, or $15 a month with a Game Pass Ultimate subscription. The cheapest PlayStation Plus plan is also $10 a month.

Lowering the minimum monthly cost of online multiplayer with a €3 Game Pass subscription (around $3 US) could convince a much larger portion of Xbox owners to try the service. The only console multiplayer subscription that is cheaper is Nintendo's $20-a-year plan for the Switch.

The purported new tier would let users choose between playing downloaded games on Xbox or PC, similar to current Game Pass plans. However, the ad tier wouldn't include cloud gaming, and users would have to watch ads before starting a title. It would also delay access to first-party Microsoft games for six months after launch and wouldn't include EA Play or discounts on purchases.

A €3 subscription wouldn't just undercut other online gaming services, but also other game catalog subscriptions. Apple Arcade's $5 monthly price and EA Play's $5 plan currently represent the cheapest services offering new release titles.

Nintendo's is even more accessible overall, but only grants access to vintage games from the 80s and 90s. Furthermore, none of the companies offering gaming subscriptions have attempted ad-supported tiers yet, so it's unclear how customers would respond.

The Microsoft survey contrasts the ad-supported plan with the family-sharing tier that Microsoft started testing in Colombia and Ireland in August. That plan – currently available to Xbox Insiders – lets up to five accounts share access to Game Pass features. Microsoft hasn't shared a final price for the Family subscription or hinted if that will roll out globally, but the survey lists it at €22 a month.

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Posts: 529   +360
Paying extra for online service vs free for PC is one reason I have not considered any console since my O.G. Xbox. But I would consider a cheaper ad-supported tier for Game Pass for PC.

kira setsu

Posts: 489   +485
I'm gonna be the devils advocate here.

How cheap is too cheap? if you're willing to watch commercials for a game...gaming maybe isn't the hobby you need right now, probably need to just drop hobbies for a bit and focus on getting a better job.
Paying with 6 months delay AND ads.. naaah. IF it would be free +ADS then yeah maybe, but the question remains... the ads gonna be based on tracking user activity ? or random ?


Posts: 587   +929
When I started gaming.......... games were on Tape cassettes or Floppy disks, and I played all important games since then.
P2P sharing and torrents worked just fine for me. Young and broke back then and worked summers to pay the hardware. And I still have this habit even after I got a job. Aka wait for a cracked version.
But only pay for one single game in my life like $15 for GTA5 online.
Pay once and own for life I can understand, but monthly pay to play.......not my thing.
Also consoles tariff to use a owned game online.......not sure what happened here or when.


Posts: 908   +1,547
I see no reason to pay monthly for selection of games someone else wants me to play.
And I see no reason to waste any time watching ads. I don't have TV at home simply because I seen no reason to pay for being a commodity.
I will keep buying games I actually want to play (preferably on gog) and definitely not getting feed by a megacorpo with ads they think I should listen too.