Microsoft appears to be making their game subscription service, Xbox Game Pass, into more than just a monthly digital rental service. Announced today by Phil Spencer, Xbox's vice president executive, Xbox Game Pass will now include first party Microsoft titles, on launch. This means that future Xbox exclusives will be available to play on launch day, even if you don't own it, so long as you have a subscription. The first of these games to be a part of this initiative will be Sea of Thieves, the upcoming Rare Studios game, with plans to do the same for Crackdown 3, State of Decay 2, and more.
...follow through with State of Decay 2, Crackdown 3, and the rest of our portfolio. Not just those games, but our future Halos, our future Gears of War, future Forzas, and other games. Our plan is to launch those to our Game Pass subscribers at the same time they go to retail.
Xbox Game Pass was revealed back in February 2017, and launched in June of that same year. Currently, the subscription costs $9.99 a month, and allows players access over a hundred Xbox One, Xbox 360, and a handful of original Xbox games. Unlike its competitor PlayStation Now, Xbox Game Pass lets players download the games right to their system and allows them access at any time.
In regards to the company's Play Anywhere initiative, which offers a Windows Store PC copy with a purchase of every digital first party Xbox title, Spencer mentioned that he wants to see customers play their games on both Microsoft platforms, and that while there was no news for PC players at this time, he told fans to "stay tuned" on that front.
Though the Xbox One has lacked first party support in recent times, compared to rivals PlayStation and Nintendo, Phil Spencer tells fans to wait for E3 2018, and that they are focusing on the Xbox brand, and are committed to bringing more first party experiences to Xbox One and PC.