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Microsoft scraps $1 Xbox Game Pass trial

It was an introductory offer that lasted five years

Off the back of rising game prices, Microsoft has now controversially scrapped a beloved Xbox deal: the $1 Game Pass offer. The offer would previously let you “trial” Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass for just $1, before pushing you onto the full price the following month, but now you’ll have to pay full price from the get-go.

In a statement to The Verge, Xbox head of global communications Kari Perez said that the introductory offer, which has been running for many years, has been officially stopped, and will potentially be replaced with another offer in the future.

“We have stopped our previous introductory offer for Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and PC Game Pass,” Perez reportedly said, “[We] are evaluating different marketing promotions for new members in the future.”

The deal was first introduced alongside Xbox Game Pass, all the way back in 2015, almost six years ago.

It comes after Microsoft announced that future first-party games, such as Redfall and Starfield, will be more expensive than games previously released on the Xbox platform. Both of these games, as well as any other game that releases on Xbox Series X|S but not Xbox One, will be priced at $69.99, $10 more than the previous default for first-party games.

The $1 Game Pass deal was a good way for new players to try before they buy, and was also available to some players who had let their subscription lapse. Now, anyone interested in checking out Game Pass will need to fork out $14.99 per month for a Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which gives access to Game Pass on both Xbox and PC, or $9.99 for PC or Xbox Game Pass.

It’s not all bad news, though. Microsoft has been trialing a Friends and Family plan, which allows subscribers to share their Game Pass Ultimate subscription with up to four other people for about $25 a month. It’s been rolled out to a few smaller markets, like New Zealand and Sweden, but has yet to become available in major markets like the US and the UK.

When it does, groups will be able to split the costs up, giving them full access to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate for as little as $5 per month each. Microsoft is staying quiet on when or even if the new plan will hit more markets, but we’d be surprised if it isn’t available in most markets by the end of the year.