Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass program, a subscription service which allows users to download and play a growing library of 100+ Xbox One and Xbox 360 games as often as they want as long as they remain subscribed, has received a significant new update which should make the program much more enticing for dedicated Xbox One users. From here on out, all Xbox One-exclusive games from Microsoft will be available via the Xbox Game Pass program on the same day as their full launch.

The first upcoming game to benefit from this new Xbox Game Pass expansion will be Rare’s upcoming pirate-themed title Sea of Thieves which launches exclusively for Xbox One on March 30. Phil Spencer, Microsoft’s Head of Gaming at Xbox, also confirmed in this announcement post on the Major Nelson blog that future Xbox One exclusives such as Crackdown 3 and State of Decay 2 will also be available to Xbox Game Pass subscribers on their respective launch days. Spencer even went one step further by saying the new expansion will apply to future unannounced games such as new entries in the Forza, Halo, and Gears of War franchises.

Aaron Greenberg, Microsoft’s Head of Xbox Games Marketing, also confirmed via Twitter that if a game is an Xbox Play Anywhere title, Xbox Game Pass subscribers will be able to play both the Xbox One and PC versions at no additional cost, making Xbox Game Pass an especially favorable prospect for gamers who play on both Xbox One and PC.

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Lastly, Spencer’s announcement post also confirmed that starting on March 20, select retailers like GameStop will start offering a six-month Xbox Game Pass subscription card for $59.99, giving potential subscribers more options for how they opt into the service.

Update: When asked for a comment in regards to how long the new Xbox One exclusives will be available via the Xbox Game Pass program, a Microsoft spokesperson provided the following response: “We are adding these new Xbox One exclusive titles to the service with the intention of them being a regular part of the value for being an Xbox Game Pass subscriber.” This means that those who want to subscribe to the service strictly to play new exclusives like Crackdown 3 and Sea of Thieves likely won’t have to worry about those same games being removed from the service in the following months.

Will this new Xbox Game Pass expansion finally tempt you into giving it a shot? Are you already a satisfied subscriber? Be sure to discuss your own Xbox Game Pass experiences in the comments below!    


Nate Hohl

Partner Manager

Dedicated game journalist since 2011, passionate gamer since I was old enough to know what a Game Boy was. My work has been featured on ShackNews, Destructoid, and GameCrate. I'm totally that guy who plays on the easiest difficulty setting and yet some of my favorite games include Bloodborne and Dark Souls...it's complicated.