Microsoft announced Xbox Game Pass for Xbox One owners three months ago with the promise of a spring 2017 release date. The season is coming to a close, and now a T-Mobile promotion confirms the subscription game service will arrive this June.
A message sent to T-Mobile Tuesdays app users announced Xbox promotions would be returning for the month of June to coincide with the Xbox E3 media briefing. The message also announced T-Mobile customers would receive a free month of Xbox Game Pass.
The promotional message points to Xbox Game Pass launching this June on the Xbox One, likely around the time of the Xbox E3 media briefing on June 11. The event will take place at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT at the Galen Center in Los Angeles, as previously covered. Those interested in watching the event live should mark their calendars to tune into one of the usual live-streaming outlets, such as YouTube, Twitch, the Xbox consoles themselves, and likely SpikeTV.
For those unfamiliar with Xbox Game Pass, it is essentially a Netflix-like subscription service for games. It will cost $9.99 a month and grant access to a library over 100 Xbox One and Xbox 360 backward compatible games to download and play.
Xbox Game Pass is more similar to Electronic Arts’ EA Access than Sony’s PlayStation Now subscription service for the PS4 and PC. The Game Pass allows for full game downloads, which Microsoft touts as providing “full-fidelity gameplay without having to worry about streaming, bandwidth or connectivity issues.”
The games confirmed so far include Halo 5: Guardians, Payday 2, NBA 2K 16, SoulCalibur II, Saints Row IV, Mad Max, LEGO Batman, Terraria, Fable III, and Gears of War Ultimate Edition. Meanwhile, publishers like 2K, 505 Games, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Codemasters, Deep Silver, Focus Home Interactive, SEGA, SNK, THQ Nordic, and Warner Bros have all signed on.
Game Pass subscribers will also have the opportunity to purchase any games from the library at a 20 percent discounted price along with their add-ons getting 10 percent. The only caveat is that it appears games will only be in the library for a limited time and Xbox LIVE Gold will still be required for multiplayer.
The program was recently tested as part of the Xbox Insider program where a selection of Xbox One users were able to run Game Pass through its paces. The alpha testing concluded at the end of April with Microsoft presumably now getting ready to launch the service to coincide with E3. It is the kind of announcement that can be expected to go along with the Xbox Scorpio plus new game titles and services at the event.
For now, it does not appear that Xbox Game Pass will negate the Xbox LIVE Games with Gold program that gives two free Xbox One games and two free Xbox 360 games every month with an Xbox LIVE Gold subscription. The Game Pass will be in addition to this.
The Netflix-like mode for games has worked well for Electronic Arts and EA Access. It has been an incredibly popular and profitable service for Electronic Arts. During its Q2 2016 earnings call on October 29, 2015, CEO Andrew Wilson described EA Access as “accelerating,” with the subscriber base doubling in the two previous quarters.
That growth has continued as Electronic Arts revealed in its most recent earnings call for Q3 2017, via Seeking Alpha. The company stated: “Subscription, advertising and other digital purchases contributed $104 million to net sales, up 16 [percent] year-on-year. EA Access and Origin Access continue to grow.”
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[Featured Image by Xbox/Microsoft]