Ubisoft+ – Ubisoft's subscription service – might be offered as part of Microsoft's Xbox Game Pass.
The rumour has been bubbling around for a few days now – I first saw it before Christmas – but at the time, it hadn't been substantiated by any notable sources and was loosely grouped in a bigger collection of speculative Xbox "rumours".
Now, however, Windows Central editor Jez Corden has acknowledged the rumour "has a strong chance of being true based on stuff [they'd] heard", which reportedly states Ubisoft will join the service in late 2021.
"I've seen rumours about Ubisoft Uplay+ joining Xbox Game Pass Ultimate," Corden recently tweeted (thanks, ONMSFT.com (opens in new tab)). "I think this has a strong chance of being true, based on stuff I've heard.
"I imagine it would be a vault or smaller slice of older games, but crazier things have happened," they added. "I always thought EA Play would be an extra tier of Game Pass, but they just rolled that bad boy right in. Guess we'll see."
I imagine it would be a vault or smaller slice of older games, but crazier things have happened. I always thought EA Play would be an extra tier of Game Pass, but they just rolled that bad boy right in. Guess we'll see.December 30, 2020
Like EA's EA Play, Ubisoft+ offers players unlimited access to a large library of new and old Ubisoft games, although Ubisoft+ also includes day-one access to new releases. The monthly subscription currently costs $14.99/£12.99.
Right now we can only take the news as precisely what it is – a rumour – and even if it is true, reports suggest the partnership will come later rather than sooner, reportedly sometime around holiday 2021.
EA Play joined the console version of Xbox Game Pass (opens in new tab) in time for the launch of Xbox Series X (opens in new tab) and Xbox Series S (opens in new tab). EA Play was also expected to join Xbox Game Pass on PC in December, but Microsoft now says it needs more time "to ensure a great experience for everyone (opens in new tab)". EA Play's arrival on Xbox Game Pass for PC is now set for some time in 2021 and Microsoft says it will have more info to share early next year.
In related news, Sony's Jim Ryan recently hinted that PlayStation may have a response to Xbox Game Pass (opens in new tab) in the works. Speaking to press earlier this month, Ryan was asked how Sony plans to respond to Microsoft's Game Pass initiative and replied: "There is actually news to come, but just not today. We have PlayStation Now which is our subscription service, and that is available in a number of markets."
In October, we learned that more than 15 million people now subscribe to Xbox Game Pass. That was up 50 per cent in just about five months, as the service only surpassed 10 million subscribers back in April (opens in new tab). Microsoft released the new figure for Xbox Game Pass subscriber numbers in the same press release where it announced its acquisition of Bethesda parent company ZeniMax (opens in new tab).
With the announcement that future Bethesda titles are coming to Xbox Game Pass on day one (opens in new tab), including Starfield (opens in new tab) and The Elder Scrolls 6 (opens in new tab), and the roll out of it's next-gen systems, it's unlikely Xbox Game Pass' growth is about to start slowing down now.
Here are our picks of the best Xbox Game Pass games (opens in new tab).