Over 238,000 employees at Microsoft will lose their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscriptions as the company forces workers to pay for the service instead of piggybacking off of free incentives. Sources close to Microsoft claim that in January 2024, all employee Xbox Game Pass subscriptions will be cancelled and if workers want to enjoy free games with their Xbox and PC hardware, they will have to subscribe and pay for it just like everyone else.
According to the report, the only people at Microsoft who will keep their Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription in 2024 are employees part of the Xbox / Microsoft Gaming divisions. So anyone outside of a gaming-related field won’t get a renewal next year.
Sources claim that Microsoft will offer these 238,000 employees discounts if they wish to purchase a subscription. However, it will no longer be part of their employee benefits.
After the news broke internally at the company, employees weren’t happy. Many of them voiced their opinions regarding the cancellations saying that they don’t see why this is happening. If workers get subscriptions to Office 365 and One Drive, they should get Xbox Game Pass.
Phil Spencer reportedly chimed into the conversation saying he wasn’t aware of the changes regarding employee Xbox Game Pass subscriptions. By the sound of things, the Xbox man himself didn’t know what was going on. He claims to be investigating the matter internally.
The cancellation of Microsoft employee Xbox Game Pass subscriptions arrived just after the service saw a price hike and the Activision deal was completed. It also follows the recent price hike in Activision games on Steam. By the look of things, Microsoft is scurrying around trying to reduce costs and increase revenue. Likely to weigh things up after spending a historical $69 billion on Activision.
We also don’t know how much money Microsoft makes off of Xbox Game Pass. Back in January 2022, the company claimed the service was sitting at 25 million active users. They haven’t shared any updated figures since.
Source: The Verge