It appears that Xbox Game Pass may have plans for a no-charge, free tier available but with ads (for specific gaming markets).
While there are offers that allow potential users to get a trial of the first 14 days of the service for $1, and some that come as add-on when you purchase a new laptop, it does transition to a monthly price tag after that. To bring in more new players that may stick around, Xbox is reportedly exploring the option to provide gaming access in exchange for advertisement views.
This potential free tier of Xbox Game Pass with ads comes as a suggestion from Xbox gaming CFO Tim Stuart.
As reported by TweakTown, Tim Stuart mentioned in a Wells Fargo TMT Summit interview that “Microsoft could offer free game streaming over xCloud in exchange for ad viewership.”
Here’s a snippet of the interview:
“For models like Africa, or India, Southeast Asia, maybe places that aren’t console-first, you can say, ‘hey, do you want to watch 30 seconds of an ad and then get two hours of game streaming?’
Africa is, you know, 50% of the population is 23 years old or younger with a growing disposable income base, all with cell phones and mobile devices, not a lot of high-end disposable income, generally-speaking.
So we can go in with our own business models and say…there’s millions and millions of gamers we would never have been able to address there, and now we can go in with our business models.”
Xbox seems to be setting its sights on expanding its gaming empire, especially in countries where it has not yet been able to make a huge dent. If the free tier comes into the picture, players who don’t want to commit to a monthly subscription can still experience some of the latest releases, opening up the Xbox ecosystem to a wider audience than before. The feedback for games and the online discussions that could come from such an option could be valuable to the platform.
Adding to these speculations, WindowsCentral has mentioned that security researcher @XB1_HexDecimal shared some code snippets from the Xbox OS that have aspects of “earned time” that give you access to games on Xbox Game Pass.
Once Microsoft is done with experimenting with these features, via the Xbox Insider Program, surveys, or otherwise, we might just see waves of gamers flocking to the platform to give it a shot. It also gives more opportunities to gamers who don’t own PCs and consoles to try out Game Pass games via xCloud Game Streaming.
The Xbox Game Pass games library consists of hundreds of games, old and new, with many even being available via day one access. As of today, there are two subscriptions that you can have of Xbox Game Pass for PC, Console, and both – Core, and Ultimate.
It’s worth noting that the ads have to be carefully planned and not disruptive. If advertisements get annoying eventually it may lead to the user either stopping their use or transitioning to a paid model. Any freemium option also comes with restrictions and many hardcore gamers might not like the limitations that come with it.
It’s not yet known whether this option will be available in 2024 or 2025 and Microsoft remains tight-lipped. However, with the combination of Activision Blizzard King and Xbox, some of the aspects of ads in Candy Crush might just transition to Game Pass. We will keep our eyes peeled for the latest information. For more latest gaming news and updates that you don’t want to miss, follow us on Google News.