Microsoft’s best Xbox Game Pass deal has been downgraded, now only offering a 14-day trial for new subscribers instead of a month. The conversion ratio for users transitioning from Xbox Live Gold to Game Pass has changed, with 60 days of Gold now only equating to 40 days of Game Pass Ultimate. This change, along with a recent price increase, indicates that Microsoft’s subscription service is maturing.
The best Xbox Game Pass deal just got a lot worse, as Microsoft’s $1 introductory offer now only lets new subscribers trial the service for 14 days instead of a whole month. The company already called it quits on the long-running Xbox Game Pass promo back in March, only to revert that decision come early summer.
Microsoft’s July decision to resurrect the best Xbox Game Pass deal already came with a big caveat: not only is the offer now only available to new subscribers, but its conversion ratio for users transitioning from Xbox Live Gold has also been changed from 1:1 to 3:2. For example, 60 days of Xbox Live Gold now only equates to 40 days of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
Microsoft has dialed down on its $1 offer yet again, halving its duration to just two weeks. The deal still applies to Xbox Game Pass for PC and the Ultimate tier of the service, regularly priced at $9.99 and $16.99 per month, respectively. The change was implemented without any fanfare, which is customary for such a move.
This development marks the second unfortunate piece of news of prospective Xbox Game Pass subscribers in just as many months; back when the company resurrected the now-devalued $1 deal, it also made Xbox Game Pass more expensive across the board. The first-ever price hike in the history of the service saw its console tier jump from $9.99 to $10.99 per month. Meanwhile, Xbox Game Pass Ultimate now sets subscribers back $16.99 per month, up $2 from its original price. The $9.99-per-month PC-only tier wasn’t affected by the change. The revised pricing still hasn’t gone into effect for existing subscribers, though that’s scheduled to happen on August 13.
While the fact that the best Xbox Game Pass deal just got a lot worse is far from a win for consumers, it also signals that Microsoft’s subscription service is maturing. After all, the tech giant would hardly feel comfortable devaluing its flagship introductory offer to the platform if it wasn’t confident that its ever-growing content library and a large selection of perks like discounts and free games could speak for themselves. It’s hence dubious whether this move will have any effect on the platform’s user acquisition rate.
That notwithstanding, Microsoft’s Netflix-like gaming offering hasn’t exactly been outperforming the company’s expectations in recent history. On the contrary, Xbox Game Pass missed its subscriber goal for the second year in a row back in 2022, so it very much remains to be seen whether the service manages to generate stronger momentum moving forward, especially in light of its newly weakened $1 deal.