How Xbox Can Still Make Game Pass Enticing in 2022

"Not a doomed year yet"

Xbox Series XS Game Pass 2022 Starfield Redfall
How Xbox Can Still Make Game Pass Enticing in 2022

By now, Xbox fans have already heard of the Starfield and Redfall delays, which seemed to have caused a few to unsubscribe to Xbox Game Pass. Naturally, some still look forward to a cut of AAA offerings per year, though it seems like Xbox might be in short supply this year without hooks for the Xbox Series X/S or subscription service. However, it’s possible that they can still make Game Pass an enticing deal in 2022, even without Starfield.

While Xbox Game Pass will receive exclusives like Starfield on the subscription service on day one, many will still go out and purchase copies of these games regardless. However, we also have to acknowledge that many now rely on Game Pass to deliver these experiences as that’s the only way to affordably play new titles. Despite the delays, here are a few ways Xbox can redeem 2022 if it plays its cards right.

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Third-Party Day One Drops

Xbox Series X/S Game Pass 2022 Starfield Redfall

Xbox is no stranger to signing deals for third-party AAA games arriving on day one on Game Pass. We saw this happen last year with Back 4 Blood and Outriders, among many other titles. If Xbox can secure a few more third-party day one drops for 2022, Game Pass will still be an enticing deal even without the big exclusives.

Since Warner Bros. published Back 4 Blood, Xbox may have a good relationship with the company and it’s possible that a similar deal could be struck for games likeĀ Gotham Knights, both of which will arrive later this year. There’s also a handful of other third-party games coming out in 2022 that Xbox could potentially wiggle a day one Game Pass drop for, including The Lord of the Rings: Gollum, Saints Row and The Callisto Protocol, among others.

Gears of War Collection

Xbox Series X/S Game Pass 2022 Starfield Redfall

Earlier this month, it was reported that Xbox was developing a Master Chief Collection-style remastered bundle for the Gears of War series. This collection is supposedly set to arrive in late 2022, which may fill in the gap for the lack of new exclusive releases. Unfortunately, it’s not exactly something new as most fans have already played through the series – and probably numerous times too.

The entire Gears of War series is also currently available on Xbox Game Pass’ library via backward compatibility, so it’s not like we’ll be receiving a bundle of games that haven’t been on the service before. Nonetheless, the second and third entries have yet to get proper facelifts like the first game and it will surely be exciting for fans to replay the series with updated visuals and framerates.

Xbox/Bethesda Showcase Needs to Make a Splash

Xbox Series X/S Game Pass 2022 Starfield Redfall

The Xbox and Bethesda Games Showcase is set to take place on 12 June next month, and there’s no doubt that the company’s focus will be on making Game Pass an enticing offer even without Starfield and Redfall (though those might still be shown). There’s suddenly quite a bit of pressure on this showcase to drive home the benefits of keeping your sub active in 2022 and Xbox understands this very well.

Xbox might double down on gameplay showcases for upcoming major exclusives like Hellblade 2, Fable and Avowed, but those seem further off from release than late 2022. Players will need a reason to keep their Game Pass subscription for the remainder of the year and if Xbox can at least fill the gap with third-party deals, Forza Motorsport or something more exciting and unexpected, then it will be a swift but minor win for securing 2022 subscriptions.

Bolstering the Service

Xbox Series X/S Game Pass 2022 Starfield Redfall

Xbox Game Pass is arguably one of the best deals in gaming, but it could be better. Microsoft has been actively trying to bolster the service, whether that meant signing on the EA Play vault or dropping subscription prices. What Game Pass needs is another catch that will give a reason for players to stay on board, even if the games aren’t coming in as frequently.

Some have put forward the idea of Game Pass getting the Ubisoft+ library, which will be fantastic as Xbox’s backward compatibility could allow older Ubisoft classics to appear as part of the package. Xbox could also drop a handful of games in one swift motion (like they did with Bethesda’s library). The Activision Blizzard acquisition won’t be finalised until next year, but surely a deal could be worked out to get its games on the service a little ahead of schedule… right?

It’s Still Great Value for Money

Xbox Series X/S Game Pass 2022 Starfield Redfall

Putting aside what Xbox could possibly do to keep the Game Pass momentum going in 2022, the service as a whole is still terrific. Game Pass continues to get a steady stream of new and old games, ranging from AAAs to indie titles, on a monthly basis – some of which are also day one drops. It’s helped by the fact that the library is so massive at an affordable price point too.

There are surely games that went under your radar or otherwise haven’t played yet that are sitting on Game Pass right now. I’ve heard many players use Game Pass as a means to determine whether or not they should purchase games, even if they are technically on the service for “free.”

With the revamped PlayStation Plus coming up (though not entirely sold as Game Pass competitor), competition will heat up and this is the chance for Xbox to show what its subscription service can really do.

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