Xbox Game Pass could be the next subscription service to get a cheaper ad tier

Xbox Series X

Microsoft has floated the idea of introducing a lower-cost, ad-supported membership for Xbox Game Pass.

In a new survey sent to some Spanish Xbox players, per Windows Central, the tech giant looked to gauge interest in a number of hypothetical less expensive Game Pass subscriptions.

One of the proposed memberships would be to pay a lower fee to get first-party Xbox games as much as six months later, a significant change from Game Pass’ current promise of day-one exclusives. An even cheaper tier could also introduce ads into the service, which would presumably play when a game is launched.

Interestingly, Windows Central notes that Microsoft recently patented a method to show personalized ads in games, which is curious timing considering the new survey.

It’s also worth noting that many streaming services have been introducing lower-cost, ad-supported memberships as a way to drive growth. In November, Netflix launched the $5.99 CAD/month ‘Basic with Ads’ subscription in Canada and other markets, while U.S. services like Disney’s Hulu, Warner’s HBO Max and NBC Universal’s Peacock also offering similar ad-enabled alternatives. Disney+ even just got an ad-supported option in the U.S. earlier this month, although it’s unclear if and when it will expand to Canada.

Given how Game Pass already draws inspiration from the on-demand nature of these streaming services, it’s easy to see how Microsoft might also be looking at how they’ve been handling ads. Of course, it’s important to stress that surveys and patents are not the same as an actual confirmation, so it remains to be seen whether Microsoft will go down this route.

For now, Xbox boss Phil Spencer has said the price of Game Pass will inevitably go up, but not until next year at the earliest. The company has confirmed that the cost of first-party Xbox Series X/S games will also increase next year ahead of Starfield.

Source: Windows Central