Microsoft Updating Xbox Game Pass Branding


May 4, 2013
For the past few weeks, we have seen a few changes to Xbox Live and now we can add Xbox Game Pass to the equation. Microsoft announced today a subtle, but important change.

The company is rebranding Xbox Game Pass to simply Game Pass. This move distances the companies Game Pass subscription from being explicitly tied to its gaming console. The company is also changing Xbox Game Pass for PC to simply Game Pass for PC.

While this is a minor update, this may be the start of a bigger transition for Microsoft. The company recently removed Xbox Live pre-paid cards for 12 months from its website and many, myself included, believe that this is the start of phasing out Xbox Live Gold.

What will be replacing Xbox Live Gold? The logical conclusion is that GamePass will be the new way that you pay for online services from Microsoft. Does this mean that you will need to subscribe to GamePass instead of Live Gold?

Possibly, but keep in mind, Xbox Live Gold is £6.99/$9.99 a month before discounts and GamePass is £7.99/$9.99 a month as well. Ultimate, which will include xCloud when it is publicly available, is £10.99/$14.99 a month and also includes Games Pass on PC too. The point here is that this likely won’t cut out a significant amount of revenue from users migrating to the updated service.

Microsoft also recently announced that Halo Infinite’s multiplayer will be free too. This is likely more evidence pointing to the fact that you may no longer need Xbox Live Gold to play online in the near future.