A Theory As To Why Microsoft Stopped Its $1 Xbox Game Pass Deal

Forbes: “It’s a bit…abrupt to stop the $1 deal without a “different marketing promotion for new members” to replace it. This has naturally set off a period of console war flaming about how it’s a sign Game Pass is desperate for cash and wants all that money up front without the $1 trial in place.

I don’t necessarily read it that way, but I do see it as a changing sign of the times based on Microsoft’s upcoming catalogue.

What I think is happening here is tied to Microsoft’s pending slate of games, which is moving into Sony territory with big-budget, mostly single player/co-op games. We have Redfall being released in just over a month on May 2. We have Starfield being released on September 6, less than six months away.

My guess here is that Microsoft does not want a bunch of people signing up for the $1 Game Pass trial just for these games during their launch month, beating them, then cancelling the subscription. Both of these games are hugely high-profile releases for Microsoft’s biggest acquired studio so far (Bethesda, given that the Activision deal isn’t done yet), and if you’re going to sub to Game Pass for them, Microsoft wants that $15, not $1 with a pending cancellation on the way a few weeks later.“

Lifexline184d ago

You don’t have to theorize to realize they just want more money it’s as simple as that. $1 deals cut into the profit it was good for growth but they want more profit like the majority of corporations.

Still a good value either way sucks for those who got game pass through it.

shinoff2183184d ago

Will be a great value once starfield hits.

mkis007184d ago (Edited 184d ago )

How it will obviously work is any time a game comes out someone wants to play, they will subscribe for a month to play it and then cancel. $15 instead of 60.

Better yet, wait until 2 or 3 games are out and subscribe for 1 month $15 instead of $180.

Of course there are people who will stay subscribed even if they are not playing, but i cant imagine anyone who is gaming on a budget (gamepass) would throw away money.

Ms needs to find ways to curb this because it wont be sustainable to be making only ~$60 a year for all their first party games assuming they have 4 big ones a year.

EvertonFC184d ago (Edited 184d ago )

ONLY took 6 years/S

closed_account184d ago

@mkis007 this. I've done it a few times, paid just $1 to play Forza Horizon 3 when it hit, $1 for Forza Horizon 4, $1 for Forza Horizon 5.

I ended up buying all of them though (PC) when they went on sale. I rent them first, then buy. It makes it a bit harder to swallow at a $15 rental fee. I just don't have time these days to play much beyond 1-2 games a month. $15 all you can play is good when you're younger & have a lot of freetime I suppose.

Sonic1881184d ago


I've been that for years now

Extermin8or3_184d ago (Edited 184d ago )

@mkis007 there is only one solution. Push games as a service and episodic games and free to play style games. Games that require a massive investment of time over a long period that you have to keep revisiting

Which is why game pass is cancer for the industry as whole long term.

gerbintosh184d ago


Or do the Turkey trick and get 3 years for $120

thesoftware730183d ago (Edited 183d ago )

lol, are you implying that not 1 game currently on the service is worth $15?

Wo Long, Atomic Heart, AoE 2, MLB23, Hi-FI Rush, Forza H5, A Plague Tale 2, Monster Hunter: Rise, HoL, every Halo game, and 100s more lol.

If you feel like SF is the only time subbing, even for 1 month will make it "Worth it" you obviously are not a gamer, a hater, in denial, or just plain being silly.

183d ago
+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 183d ago
lelo2play184d ago

I'm normally done with a game in a month. Prefer spending 10€ a month, then pay 80€ for a game. If Microsoft drastically increases the Gamepass price in the future, then I would likely just purchase the game I'm interested.

EvertonFC184d ago

"$1 deals cut into the profit"

You realise GP bleeds money right 😂🤣 GP will ONLY be sustainable for the long term when sub numbers reach somewhere between 50/100m.

DarXyde184d ago

*50/100M sustained*

I don't know how Microsoft treats their metrics around game pass, but if they're including people who pay once, drop out, join again months later, drop out, etc. I can't imagine that's helpful

Godmars290183d ago

"*50/100M sustained*"

Between what they bought Bethesda and hope to buy Activision, what basis in reality does that number come from?

And yes, realize I'm taking business not reality, but still...

neutralgamer1992184d ago

i just always re-up when GPU is on sale for 3 month $22-24. Signed up for next 3 years. But that $1 got done because MS wants more money and that means many were playing the system to get the $1 deal

blitz0623183d ago

It's the other way around. They stopped it to get the subscriber count lower to show why they need the Activision deal to happen

+ Show (2) more repliesLast reply 183d ago
XiNatsuDragnel184d ago

To be honest it's just not stable or profitable or sustainable imo.

lelo2play184d ago

So you are saying all streaming services aren't stable, profitable or sustainable.
Somebody should warn Netflix, Disney, Amazon, etc.

badz149184d ago

are any of them offering $1/month subs?

realplu184d ago

If MS plans to offer day 1 AAA games for free on GP then no it's not sustainable. They will increase the monthly charge as much as the market will bear.

EvertonFC184d ago (Edited 184d ago )

It took Netflix the best part of 15 years to turn a profit and it's not $1 on Netflix
I'll let that sink in.

darkrider184d ago

Netflix had 200 million and wasn't having profit....

lelo2play184d ago

There were streaming services offering the first month free. Microsoft was taking $1.

Gamepass is already profitable and didn't take 15 years. I'll let that sink in.

crazyCoconuts184d ago

You don't need to warn them, they already know. Profit has been an issue for Netflix and Disney on their services.

LoveSpuds184d ago

And Disney were on the record as stating they didn't anticipate Disney+ being profitable for years too, this is Disney with over 250 million subscribers.

All of these streaming services have the same problem, it costs more to make quality content than they can recoup through subscriptions which is why the quality of shows drops off or great shows get cancelled because they don't make enough of a profit. Which is why I completely mistrust the Gamepass model as I honestly believe it will lead to less ambitious games being made and damage to the industry.

lelo2play184d ago (Edited 184d ago )


We are getting more quality TV shows then ever before... Yes, we get a lot of crap on TV, but we also get a lot of quality shows. We just got The Last of Us TV show a few weeks back.
Do you honestly believe we had better quality TV shows before the streaming services?

wiz7191183d ago

@badz149 they are offering free monthly trials though .. I just subscribed to all of them just because of that

franwex183d ago (Edited 183d ago )

@lelo2play Netflix, Disney, and Amazon aren’t stable. Some one did warn them, and now they are trying to stay alive. Disney brought back the previous CEO, Netflix is cracking down on password sharing that they previously promoted. I’ll add more: Warner Media got spunned off ATT and HBO started dropping shows to save money. Amazon has laid off ten thousand people.

Yeah, it’s not as sustainable. It’s probably going to resemble cable soon.

Also regarding the 1st month for $1 on Gamepass. Sure, you could do that. Or you could get Xbox live for 2 or 3 years then convert that time to Gamepass Ultimate for $1.

oIMyersIo183d ago

Geez, the reaching.
Calm down.

You canNOT be that dense that you genuinely think having first party day one releases as well as a catalogue of other games is sustainable or profitable on $1pcm.

Amazon £8.99
Disney+ £7.99
Netflix £5 with ads, £15 for premium

A far cry from $1 also lets take into account the media being consumed.

A movie is typically what? £3.50 to rent, £10 DVD, £15 Blu-Ray and £20-£25 4K as opposed to videogames ranging from a few pounds to upwards of £70. So let’s calm down eh?

The Wood183d ago

No movie costs 60-70 quid to watch. . . Using those services as a comparative isn't like for like.

DarXyde182d ago


"So you are saying all streaming services aren't stable, profitable or sustainable.
Somebody should warn Netflix, Disney, Amazon, etc."

Not all services are created equally though. Netflix is Netflix. That's it. That's the entire model. Disney owns Marvel, several television channels, movie studios, the world's most popular theme park(s), and theatrical release (to name a few). Amazon owns.... Amazon. And Twitch. And MGM. And bloody Whole Foods. They also don't don't really have the celebrity presence Netflix maintains and tend to rely more on original content than paying third party studios to offer content. To me, you really can't compare them. The difference with these is if these services fail, two of the service providers will say "oh well".

"We are getting more quality TV shows then ever before... Yes, we get a lot of crap on TV, but we also get a lot of quality shows. We just got The Last of Us TV show a few weeks back.
Do you honestly believe we had better quality TV shows before the streaming services?"

I think we had more original stories back then. Quite a bit of retreading these days.

+ Show (10) more repliesLast reply 182d ago
184d ago Replies(2)
EvertonFC184d ago

"A theory" pmsl, you mean the FACT Xbox GP is bleeding money