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Microsoft employees will lose free Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefit

You work for it, you buy it.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

November 3, 2023

1 Min Read
Graphic for Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass service.
Image via Microsoft.

A majority of the 238,000 employees at Microsoft will abruptly lose a job perk that granted them a free subscription to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. 

Per The Verge, permanent staff at the company will lose out on Ultimate starting January 2024. Those who don't work in the Xbox/Microsoft Gaming division will be able to buy a discounted 12-month subscription for the Ultimate tier at the company's internal store. 

Game Pass always draws attention for the games it adds to its library (and the ones it could've added), and Microsoft has always been eager to tout its various successes. Hearing that staff have to pay for the service (which hit nearly $1 billion in revenue this past spring) is more than a little odd.

Months ago, Microsoft gave Game Pass its first-ever price hike, bumping up the monthly price from $15 to $17. This also comes weeks after the launch of Game Pass Core, a replacement for the developer's long-running Xbox Live Gold service. 

Affected employees made their ire with the change known through Microsoft's internal messaging system. Gaming head Phil Spencer was also informed of the situation, and he claims to have not been aware of the change. 

The Verge noted that he's "looking into the situation," and Microsoft hasn't provided a comment to the outlet at time of writing. 

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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