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Microsoft quietly ends $1 Game Pass pricing before Starfield releases

The Game Pass promo will probably return soon, but Xbox doesn’t want to give away the farm just yet.


Image: Microsoft Xbox logo
Image: Microsoft Xbox

The Microsoft giveth and the Microsoft taketh away. Back in July, Microsoft brought back the $1 Game Pass deal that cemented Xbox Live Gold and Game Pass as must-subscribe services for ages. Now, it’s gone again.


All the way back in March, the $1 Game Pass deal had ended. It allowed users to get a full month to try out PC Game Pass or Game Pass Ultimate for only $1. When it came back in July, it only offered 14 days for the trial period.


Kari Perez, head of global communications for Xbox spoke with The Verge, at that point, to explain that Microsoft was “evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future.”


Who are we kidding? Ultimate was the best bang for your literal buck, in any case. Once the month trial was up, you were prompted to continue for the full price. But, it was the best way to garner new signups.


In advance of Starfield’s imminent release, Microsoft quietly removed the $1 trial option for now. There was no fanfare or announcement to come with it. It’s just missing as an option now.


While it’s likely that they did this to get a little more money during their big launch for 2023, it could also be related to Xbox Live Gold’s demise. Last month, Xbox announced that they were sunsetting the classic Xbox Live Gold program.


In lieu of the two-decade-old service, they are introducing Xbox Game Pass Core to better unify their Game Pass branding. Launching September 14th, just over 2 weeks from writing, it’s likely the deal ending could be multifaceted for the sake of pushing the new services out.


While the Console-only Game Pass didn’t offer the $1 deal, the upcoming Game Pass Core may get the promo when it inevitably comes back. But, this is speculation.


Of course, the deal ending means that people must pay either the full $70 for Starfield or give them a cheaper $10.99 option with the Xbox Game Pass.


If you’re looking to grab the PC Game Pass, it’s still sitting at $9.99. Game Pass Ultimate sits at $16.99, but you get access to Xbox, PC, and cloud games that way. As mentioned, it was a good bang for your buck.


Give it time. The $1 deal will likely return eventually. We hope.


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