Ahead of its big Project xCloud launch in 2019, Microsoft is readying a combined plan for its growing catalog of gaming subscriptions.
Microsoft is all about services. Gaming is no different: we've seen Xbox go from a console to a huge cross-platform service that brings monetization, games, and engagement to Xbox One consoles, Windows 10 PCs, and mobiles. That strategy has grown tremendously with the introduction of Xbox Game Pass, a self-described "Netflix for games" that offers access to over 100 Xbox titles. But with Xbox LIVE, Game Pass, and Project xCloud on the way, Microsoft's subscriptions are getting congested and could deter consumers.
Now the company wants to solve this problem before it happens. According to Twitter user h0x0d, who's been reliable with leaks and info in the past, Microsoft will combine Xbox LIVE and Xbox Game Pass into a single $14.99 a month subscription. It's called Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and shaves the total month-to-month cost of the two subs by $5.
Microsoft is rewarding Xbox Insiders with a massive discount, too. They only have to pay $1 a month for the new plan until the SKU is offered to everyone.
This way the subscriptions will be more cohesive before yet another one arrives--Project xCloud, or Microsoft's big new cloud game streaming service--to fragment the ecosystem.
We expect Microsoft will also fold xCloud into these plan and offer varying tiers of subscriptions. The more choices gamers have and opportunities to save money, the more likely they are to stay subscribed over time.