Home Game Pass needs a Family Plan and quickly – We’re reaching the point where it’s no longer “a great deal”

Game Pass needs a Family Plan and quickly – We’re reaching the point where it’s no longer “a great deal”

Price rises. Everybody is doing it. The problem is that everybody is doing it. What might be seen as “Oh Game Pass is only going up a couple of dollars/pounds a month, it’s still a great deal” is never seen on top of the rise of everything else. I’m not even talking about the cost of living crisis, I am talking about the cost of subscribing crisis. Spotify, Netflix, YouTube – the cost of using multiple services on the internet is rising faster than most people can cumulatively cope with and something will have to give. It’s not like Broadband/fiber is cheap to start with.

Take Game Pass in my household – I have to pay for two Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions – one for me (probably for work, ahem) and one for our son. In the UK the price will rise to £14.99 from £12.99. So times that by two and that’s £4 a month more. Times that by 12 and that’s a £48 a year increase. Don’t forget the price also rose last year as well and who is to say it won’t again next year.

Now when you consider a single game can cost $70 or so it still looks okay, but the problem is I probably still have to buy most games anyway. It will still cost £80 when EA FC 25 comes out (his favorite game). The best games of last year, BG3, Alan Wake 2, etc were not on Game Pass – in reality, between us both, we don’t play 99% of what is on Game Pass, and this is a stat that is probably replicated the world over but we still need two accounts to keep saves separate or play at the same time.

I’m not stupid, prices go up and never come down and we are told they are down to wars here and there, energy costs, Brexit and currency strength, and the like, but also, and here’s the kicker, costs go up because of greed.

There is no single reason that Microsoft could ever get me to accept that’s not BS that there is no Family Plan for Game Pass beyond a financial one. YouTube has one, Spotify has one, and Netflix has one. So what’s going on? A household pass for £20 or even £25? Throw me a bone, I am a loyal customer. Aren’t you supposed to look after me?

In 2023 Microsoft cancelled their brief trial of a Friends and Family tier and it’s not been mentioned since. So if both of us want to play Starfield after the price rise (we probably don’t but stick with me..) it’s going to cost £30/$40 a month. It’s getting to the point where even for the Day One releases we kinda might as well just buy them if we are going to play them for a period of time.

I talked yesterday about the ridiculous changes to Apex Legends Battle Pass – another game our kid plays. It just looks to the little guy like corporate profiteering and I am not on board.

Don’t get me wrong, these are all first-world problems but something is going to give, and if it is going to give in our household it will give elsewhere. Microsoft needs to be very careful, it is in a weird place in gaming at the moment and if it is now trying to claw back its massive investments in the likes of Activision Blizzard by squeezing the customer and closing small studios, well no, there needs to be a consequence for that original decision, even if it is just losing £15 a month from me and a few others. We need a Family Plan and we need it soon.

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Paul McNally
Gaming Editor

Paul McNally has been around consoles and computers since his parents bought him a Mattel Intellivision in 1980. He has been a prominent games journalist since the 1990s, spending over a decade as editor of popular print-based video games and computer magazines, including a market-leading PlayStation title published by IDG Media. Having spent time as Head of Communications at a professional sports club and working for high-profile charities such as the National Literacy Trust, he returned as Managing Editor in charge of large US-based technology websites in 2020. Paul has written high-end gaming content for GamePro, Official Australian PlayStation Magazine,…

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