Microsoft announced today that its Xbox Game Pass subscription service, which allows users to access to a select library of games for $10 per month, is soon heading to PC. Part of the initiative will see Xbox Game Studios titles release for PC on the same global launch day as the Xbox One platform.
In a blog post, head of Xbox Phil Spencer wrote:
“Xbox Game Pass for PC will give players unlimited access to a curated library of over 100 high-quality PC games on Windows 10, from well-known PC game developers and publishers such as Bethesda, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, SEGA, and more.
And just as we committed on the console, it is our intent to include new games from Xbox Game Studios in Xbox Game Pass for PC the same day as their global release, including titles from newly acquired studios like Obsidian and inXile.
We’re working with over 75 developers and publishers to bring PC content to the service and we’ll ensure the library remains curated and full of great PC titles across a variety of genres, with new games added every month.”
This is a big move from Microsoft, who have long been positioning themselves as a developer of pro-consumer services and accessibility options. Initiatives such as backward compatibility, Game Pass, Xbox All Access, and cross-platform play have not only focused on making the Xbox One console a superior user experience, but also increasing the company’s wider presence across the industry.
Future upcoming services like its xCloud program and the availability of its Xbox Live online service for Nintendo’s Switch console all tie into this concept as well. Extending the directive to PC is certainly indicative of the company’s strategy to impress itself upon the market moving forward.
Further to that, Microsoft is also keen to express that it’s not entering the PC storefront exclusivity war, which has been upsetting PC players who lament its fragmented nature. The Epic Game Store, for all its done to improve revenue splits for developers, hasn’t impressed PC gamers with its aggressive policy of securing exclusive partnerships.
Microsoft’s rhetoric in this latest blog post suggests its aware of the issue and isn’t looking to further upset the status quo.
“With that in mind, our intent is to make our Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including our own Microsoft Store on Windows, at their launch. We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games.
We will continue to add to the more than 20 Xbox Game Studios titles on Steam, starting with Gears 5 and all Age of Empires I, II & III: Definitive Editions.
We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice. We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future.”
Finally, also in the name of accessibility and developer/consumer options, Microsoft announced that it’s adding win32 support for games on the Windows Store.
“We recognize that Win32 is the app format that game developers love to use and gamers love to play, so we are excited to share that we will be enabling full support for native Win32 games to the Microsoft Store on Windows.
This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem.”
Spencer signs off by promising more details and information during the company’s E3 press conference, which takes place on June 9 at 6 p. ET.
Earlier this year, Microsoft announced Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, bundling the subscription service with its Xbox Live online service. More than just a boon for consumers, developers have also recently commented on how the model has benefitted their games.