Is Microsoft exploring a cheaper ad-supported Xbox Game Pass “Lite”?

what you need to know

  • An alleged survey published on ResetEra suggests Microsoft may be investigating an ad-supported tier of Xbox Game Pass that also grants Xbox Live Gold.
  • The cheaper tier would include Xbox’s entire exclusive games library, including key first-party titles six months after launch. However, these games would run ads at launch to help fund the stage.
  • Microsoft also recently patented personalized advertising for display in games, which seems suspiciously timely given this survey.
  • It can also be nothing.

A recent confluence of events has led some (including me) to speculate that Microsoft may be exploring a cheaper, ad-supported tier of Xbox Game Pass.

A post buried in a ResetEra thread appears to show a recent poll sent to some Xbox users asking how they would feel about an additional tier of Xbox Game Pass.

If that’s really the case, the rumored tier would cost $3 per month and give access to a wide range of Xbox Game Pass content with some pretty generous restrictions. It would feature an EA Access-like vault of previous first-party Xbox games, with a similar 6-month delay on new Xbox games before they reach the service. Those who have accessed these download-only Xbox games through this tier will be prompted to view an ad before the game begins.

The survey suggests that Microsoft is investigating a tier of Xbox Game Pass priced at €3 per month that would include first-party online multiplayer Xbox games after six months, supported by advertising. (Image credit: AImalexia @ ResetEra)

Assuming the above table is genuine, this tier also includes online multiplayer access, which currently costs $9.99 per month and offers no games other than the heavily restricted Xbox Live Games with Gold program. Games with Gold now typically features just two Xbox One indie titles a month and has been the subject of criticism and ridicule for some time.


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