Having access to day one Xbox games and familiar classics makes Game Pass a must-have subscription, and for Microsoft employees, they’ve been enjoying a free membership over the years. Though is it an appealing employee benefit, Microsoft workers could potentially lose access to a free Game Pass Ultimate subscription amid internal shifts. Now, Microsoft Gaming CEO Phil Spencer is reversing this decision.
Microsoft’s decision to allegedly swap out free Xbox Game Pass access for a reduced price membership won’t be going forward, according to a new report from The Verge. The decision comes just after the recent drop of the Xbox Game Pass November 2023 games roster, and appears to be an out-of-the-blue choice. With nearly 240,000 employees under the Microsoft umbrella, this report now clarifies that Spencer’s personal overview on the decision will ensure employees keep their access.
In the same report, The Verge displays an internal message from Spencer, that reads “after looking into this more with the team, I just want to confirm that no change will be made to Game Pass availability in 2024.” Furthermore, Spencer says that “If you have access to the Game Pass offer today, you will continue to have access. I appreciate the time to get up to speed, and sorry for the questions and confusion created. And thanks for supporting Xbox.”
The option for Microsoft employees to be able to play all the best Xbox Game Pass games for free was originally instated in 2019. Alongside working on tons of new Xbox games, employees previously had free Xbox Live Gold for 10 years before the service evolved into what it is now. It is unknown as to exactly why Microsoft would consider removing this benefit for its work force, but for now, games like Starfield can still be enjoyed without a cost.
According to Circana analyst Mat Piscatella, Starfield saw record-breaking highs earlier this year, as he claims that “Starfield was the best-selling game of September, instantly becoming the 7th best-selling game of 2023 year-to-date.”
In related Xbox news, a recent policy regarding some of the best Xbox accessories like third-party controllers meant that some accessories won’t be able to be used. While it doesn’t affect all brands, at present, it is a detriment to players who require specific gaming gear for competitive play and beyond. Currently, controllers are the main piece of hardware affected, but we doubt it will affect other hardware like the best Xbox headsets on the market.