Tobold's Blog
Friday, September 18, 2020
Xbox Game Pass for PC leaves beta

I have been subscribed to the Xbox Game Pass for PC for nearly a year now, at €4 per month, thus €48 in total. During this time I played Crusader Kings III, Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun, Phoenix Point, Final Fantasy XV (very shortly), The Outer World, The Flame in the Flood, Gears of War 4, Gears Tactics, Surviving Mars, Fallout 76, and Valkyria Chronicles on this platform. In other words, I played 11 games for the price of one of them. That was a pretty sweet deal!

Now I got a mail that Xbox Game Pass for PC is leaving beta, and doubling the price of subscription. Annoyingly it expresses that only is $ terms, from $4.99 to $9.99, but I guess for me it goes up from €3.99 to €7.99, not €9.99. Based on my previous experience, I will keep subscribing, because even at the new price the subscription is cheaper than buying those games individually. And I still have a list of games I'd like to play on the service: Age of Wonders: Planetfall, Dishonored 2, Wasteland 3, Star Renegades, and Two Point Hospital. In fact, the service often adds games I want to play to that list faster than I can shorten the list by playing those games.

Not all the games I played or want to play are new, full-price, triple A games. And not all of them have great review scores. But somewhere I consider this one of the advantages of the Xbox Game Pass for PC: It lowers the barrier to entry into games that I might not have bought at full price. I enjoyed my week in Crusader Kings 3, for free, but would have regretted paying €50 for it on Steam. I didn't really like Fallout 76, but I am glad that I could try it for free. And so on. If I am bored one day, I can quickly download the Goat Simulator, laugh about it for an hour, and uninstall it again, no harm done. Not something I would want to spend money on.

The one thing I will not do is subscribe to several game subscription services at once. In the end it is my time that limits how many games I can play, not the number of games on offer. Two subscriptions would just cost me twice, and I'd end up playing the same number of games. I might at some point switch to another service, but for me the Xbox Game Pass for PC even at double price seems to be a better offer than UPlay+, EA Play, or Google Stadia right now. Ubisoft and EA mostly offer their own games, and have a lot of older games in their list, while Google Stadia has very few games that you can play without an additional purchase. And I doubt that Steam is ever going to offer a subscription service with access to all of their 30,000 games. :)

A few weeks back there was a suggestion that Xbox for pc would soon include EA play. That would be a great deal but I can't find any mention of it on the Xbox website.
Oh, good news that. Apparently it will happen by Christmas this year.
Hold off on Wasteland 3. It's a very buggy game right now. I put about 15 hours into it and hit a game breaking bug that requires me to start my game over. I'd say leave that one on the back burner until the devs release more bug fixes for it.

But yeah Game Pass is such a good deal. Even at $9.99 US. I still pay $15 a month just for WoW.
I still personally prefer to purchase games outright, but I did pick up game pass for my son (on box, though it also includes PC). For him its great; he finds a game and a week or two later he's absorbed all there is to know of it, and moves on to the next thing Game Pass has that fancies him. For him this works well.

For me, I often grab a game not because I am going to play it now, but at some imagined future date when I have time, and that might be a time that doesn't mesh well with the Game Pass licensing structure. For me, realistic behavior should be "don't buy these at all until you think you can really play them," but hoarding digital content is a thing I guess I do. A sickness.
Maybe next year I will choose between WoW and gamepass. Shadowlands feels like the fork in the road for me. After 15 years it's probably time to move on. Gamepass fits better these days and keeping both would be indulgent. I am not a German prince.

I have found Wasteland 3 single player bug free and honestly seems up your alley. Would like to hear your take.
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