Microsoft has ended their $ 1 offer for one months of Ultimate Game Pass.
As reported by the Verge, Kari Perez shared this statement confirming the news. Kari is Xbox’s head of global communications.
“We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future.”
Word of mouth rapidly spread online that the Game Pass offer was being removed, not just in America, but in different parts of the world.
Kari’s suggestion of different marketing promotions suggest that Microsoft had already been planning on this matter for some time, and they were just waiting on something else to drop. Of course, it is hard to ignore that this is happening when the CMA had revealed they were no longer counting the PlayStation’s complaints in their investigation of the Microsoft – Activision deal, focusing on cloud gaming instead.
This doesn’t seem to be contingent particularly on their rivalry with PlayStation, but simply the fact of the deal pushing through.
What future marketing promotions Xbox has planned is up for speculation for now. Our source looked at their Friends and Family Plan, which can pull in more players from one successful client evangelizing their product.
But other possibilities exist. If Microsoft expands their cloud gaming offering thanks to their new partners, they could focus on that. For example, Xbox could offer a ‘free’ or ‘freemium’ version of Game Pass, where players didn’t even pay to play their games. Instead, they could play their games on the cloud for a certain period of time, then the game will be paused while Microsoft shows the player an ad, and then the game goes back on Quick Resume.
The way the $ 1 Game Pass deal has worked so far is customers get Game Pass for $ 1 for one month, and will then be charged full price for the product. It was a great way to get players to try the service before they decide to pay for a subscription.
But as I had outlined above, Microsoft could now be looking at more aggressive strategies to draw in players to play their games. A free or freemium version of Game Pass with ads has a decent chance of making Microsoft more revenue than selling these games full price. Furthermore, they would be offering considerably more impressive games than mobile gamers are used to now, in a way that they are already familiar with and won’t be intimidated to try.