Microsoft wants your views on cheaper, ad-supported Xbox Game Pass tiers and family subscriptions

(Image credit: Xbox)

Microsoft may be considering a cheaper tier of its Xbox Game Pass subscription service in exchange for running adverts and holding back its first-party releases for up to six months for those paying a lower fee.

The news comes via a (currently unsubstantiated) player survey, a screenshot of which was posted on ResetEra. According to the poster, a friend of theirs had been surveyed by Microsoft and asked to give their views on two "hypothetical" subscription services, one of which would be available for families, and the other for a single user at a discounted rate (thanks, VGC).

The former service would reportedly cover five users across console and PC, and offer what is essentially the current Xbox Game Pass service to all users - including day-one access to its first-party games - for €22 / $23 a month.

The other one, however, would come in significantly cheaper at just €3/$3 a month and seems to bundle in Xbox Live Gold and something like an Xbox Game Pass "Lite" subscription, which offers a library of first-party games - providing they've been out for six months or more - and adverts before players play games from the library.

As you'd expect, it's caused quite the discussion on the gaming forum and heated debate on how palatable embedded adverts can be in practice rather than just in theory. 

While we're on the subject of Microsoft… are you up to date with the latest on Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard? Last week, Xbox's Phil Spencer said that there was "one major opposer to the deal" of the company's planned acquisition of Activision Blizzard, adding that competitor Sony "is trying to protect its dominance on the console".

Talking on a podcast, Spencer added that "the way [Sony] grow[s] is by making Xbox smaller", saying: "[Sony] has a very different view of the industry than we do. They don't ship their games day and date on PC, they do not put their games into their subscription when they launch their games."

The comments came just days after it was revealed that the US Federal Trade Commission is suing to block Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard, alleging that the deal would "enable Microsoft to suppress competitors" and ultimately harm competition in the games industry. This loosely echoes several arguments raised by Sony in a rebuttal submitted as part of the UK Competition and Markets Authority's investigation of the deal.

However, Microsoft president Brad Smith reportedly made comments at a recent shareholder meeting claiming that the company promised the FTC a legally binding agreement that would guarantee Call of Duty stays on rival platforms, including PlayStation

Here are the upcoming games of 2023 we really just can't wait for.

Vikki Blake
Weekend Reporter, GamesRadar+

Vikki Blake is GamesRadar+'s Weekend Reporter. Vikki works tirelessly to ensure that you have something to read on the days of the week beginning with 'S', and can also be found contributing to outlets including the BBC, Eurogamer, and Vikki also runs a weekly games column at NME, and can be frequently found talking about Destiny 2 and Silent Hill on Twitter.