xbox game pass

Xbox Game Pass deal returns: $1 first month offer back with a twist

Microsoft brings back the popular $1 first month Xbox Game Pass deal with a conversion ratio change that affects subscribers.

In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has reintroduced its popular $1 first-month Xbox Game Pass deal, which was previously discontinued at the end of March 2023. However, there is a notable change concerning the overall Game Pass offering.

Currently, users can avail themselves of the first month of Xbox Game Pass for $1 if they subscribe to Game Pass Ultimate ($17 per month thereafter) or PC Game Pass ($10 per month thereafter). Console-only Game Pass, priced at $11 per month, does not include the dollar deal.

game pass plans
Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass Deals

The timing of these changes raises questions. Was the suspension of the $1 deal always intended to be temporary, or did Microsoft reinstate it due to poor sign-up numbers in the previous quarter? Microsoft has refrained from reporting console sales figures, and Xbox Game Pass subscriber numbers have not been disclosed since January 2022, when it was revealed to have 25 million subscribers.

There appeared to be a slowdown in growth at that time, and one would assume that reaching the milestone of 30 million subscribers would have been announced. The current number of subscribers remains unclear. Microsoft claims that Game Pass is profitable, contrary to speculation. In FY21, it reportedly generated $2.9 billion in revenue, accounting for 18% of the total Xbox business.

starfield xbox exclusive
Starfield: An Xbox Exclusive

Another factor to consider is the timing in relation to the upcoming release of Starfield on September 6, just two months away. As an Xbox-exclusive title, it will be available on Game Pass from day one. This means that players could potentially subscribe to Xbox Game Pass for $1, enjoy a month of Starfield, and then cancel their subscription. Alternatively, they could pay $18 to access the game for two full months before canceling.

Microsoft aims to discourage this behavior. While the inherent risk of players exploiting Game Pass and the $1 first-month deal has always existed, Starfield is poised to be the standout launch of this gaming generation. It is worth noting that this game could have easily sold 10-20 million copies priced at $70 each if it were not included in Game Pass.

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