Microsoft announced some blockbuster news with the acquisition of ZeniMax Media and its game publisher Bethesda Softworks, which will bring its critically-acclaimed portfolio of games to Xbox Game Pass for PC and Console. Three years since its launch on Xbox One in June 2017, and one year after the launch of Xbox Game Pass for PC, the gaming subscription service has now crossed 15 million subscribers, up from 10 million in April.
“Gaming is the most expansive category in the entertainment industry, as people everywhere turn to gaming to connect, socialize and play with their friends,” said Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft. “Quality differentiated content is the engine behind the growth and value of Xbox Game Pass—from Minecraft to Flight Simulator. As a proven game developer and publisher, Bethesda has seen success across every category of games, and together, we will further our ambition to empower the more than three billion gamers worldwide.”
Xbox Game Pass has been one of the best deals in gaming for quite some time now, and it’s becoming even better this fall with the free addition of Cloud Gaming (Project xCloud) on Android as part of the $14.99/month Ultimate tier. This holiday season, Microsoft will also offer EA Play games for free to Xbox Game Pass subscribers. The EA Play catalog currently includes over 80 EA games from critically-acclaimed franchises such as FIFA, Madden, Mass Effect, Dragon Age, Titanfall, Need for Speed, Star Wars Battlefront, and more.
With a strong portfolio of first-party studios (23 if you take into account the upcoming Bethesda acquisition), and deals with EA, Square Enix, Capcom, and many other video game publishers, Microsoft is now able to offer an unprecedented variety of games to Xbox Game Pass subscribers. The best thing with Xbox Game Pass is that some high-profile games are now available on day one, such as the upcoming Beyond Light expansion for Destiny 2 as well as Starfield, the highly anticipated space adventure currently in development by Bethesda Game Studios.