Microsoft is adding seven new titles to it’s $9.99 Xbox Game Pass in July. The game subscription service lets gamers download and play any of the over 100 titles available on the service, about three-quarters of which are games either launched on the Xbox 360 or ported to Xbox One from the 360. The new offerings include the following games:
The Flame In The Flood
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Resident Evil 6
Dead Island: Definitive Edition
None of the new additions have triple-A value; Resident Evil 6, Dead Island: DE, Monaco, and Guacamelee all released on Xbox 360. The other three ‘new’ titles are old (F1 2015), retro (Bard’s Gold), and/or independent (The Flame In The Flood).
The only game here worth a second mention is The Flame In The Flood; it’s an excellent rogue-like survival title that stands apart from other games in the genre. It was just as excellent when it was released early last year on Steam. Perhaps there’s value here for those who haven’t checked out the Game Pass yet, but if you were waiting to see what happened next before you decided to carry your subscription another month: this might be the announcement that saves you 10 dollars in July.
The entire Xbox Game Pass subscription is based on potential. It’s pretty easy to pore over the library, decide if games like Halo 5 and NBA 2K16 are strong enough to influence your wallet, and then determine if the 100 plus available titles are right for you. The service held more value for it’s potential than it’s initially modest library.
At least it did – now they’ve announced the new titles being added and it’s difficult to find a reason to maintain a subscription unless there are several games you’ve been playing with Game Pass in June you just can’t put down.
A case of wasted potential
When Microsoft announced the Xbox Game Pass they showed a commitment to keep their customer’s experience competitive. Finally, single-console owners who chose the Xbox One would have access to a game subscription service similar to Sony’s Playstation Now. Even better for Microsoft fans, the Game Pass would offer current generation games along side older backwards compatible titles; Sony’s offering only has PS3 games.
The problem is Xbox just came back at us with another batch of games that feel like they should have been included in the first month (longer for Xbox Insiders) with the other ‘decent’ offerings. At best this is a ‘maybe there’s one game for you’ attempt at pleasing everyone at once offering, but there’s no star title.
The Xbox Game Pass missed a crucial opportunity to prove that maintaining a subscription to the service is worth it. Games like Forza 6 or even just Forza Horizon 2 would have made excellent offerings after E3s Forza 7 announcement this year.
Microsoft is going to have to loosen it’s own premium offerings or get publishers like Bethesda or Bioware to chip in more recent titles to give the service value again.
The Xbox Game Pass shows us, with the new July game additions, that it’s where games that have little-to-no further earning potential go to retire.