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Xbox Game Pass service getting first-party exclusives at launch

Microsoft is expanding its Netflix-esque Xbox Game Pass subscription to include all first-party Xbox One releases at launch.

Microsoft is expanding its Netflix-esque Xbox Game Pass subscription service to include all first-party Xbox One releases at launch.

Moving forward, Game Pass subscribers will gain access to all Microsoft Studios exclusives on the same date as their global release. 

It's a change-in-tack that means paying Xbox Game Pass subscribers will be able to play games like Sea of Thieves, State of Decay 2, and Crackdown 3 right at launch, without paying beyond the subscription fee.

Players will have to keep up their $9.99 per month subscription plan to continue accessing those games -- and Microsoft wants to give players more payment options to ensure that happens. 

To that end, the console maker is partnering with retail stores to offer a six-month Xbox Game Pass subscription card for $59.99, presumably to tempt those who'd rather pay for things over-the-counter. 

The six-month cards will hit shelves on March 20, and will be available at "select retail partners" including GameStop.

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