By Tom Warren, a senior editor covering Microsoft, PC gaming, console, and tech. He founded WinRumors, a site dedicated to Microsoft news, before joining The Verge in 2012.
Microsoft has stopped its $1 trial offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass. The trial has been available for years, with brief periods where it wasn’t always available in certain markets, and it now looks like Microsoft is considering new promotions instead.
“We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass and are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future,” says Kari Perez, head of global communications at Xbox, in a statement to The Verge.
The $1 trial has allowed people to sign up to Xbox Game Pass for a month, before the full Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription kicks in at $14.99 per month or $9.99 a month for the PC- or console-only subscriptions. It’s been a great way to recommend the service to a friend or family member, but we’ll now have to wait to see what these “different marketing promotions” are for new members.
Microsoft has also been working on its Friends & Family plan for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. The plan lets you share Xbox Game Pass Ultimate benefits with up to four other friends or family members. Pricing in Ireland is set at €21.99 per month (nearly $24), working out to less than $5 per person.
Microsoft expanded this Friends & Family plan to New Zealand, South Africa, Chile, Hungary, Israel, and Sweden recently, but it’s still not available in many European markets or the UK and US. This $1 trial removal could be a sign that Microsoft is getting ready to expand Friends & Family even further, after trialing this new subscription for less than a year.
Microsoft also recently opened up its PC Game Pass subscription to 40 new countries. Game Pass is now available in 86 markets in total, with new availability across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.
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