Can you believe it’s been half a decade since Xbox launched its Game Pass program? Well, you better believe it. Xbox’s popular subscription service launched to the public in June 2017, which somehow is now five years ago! (We say somehow, that’s how time works…)
Anyway, now that we’ve established that time passes and we’re all slowly getting old, let’s take a look back at Game Pass’s first five years on the market. When it launched in 2017, the library was pretty slim by today’s standards, and Game Pass Ultimate never existed, not to mention Game Pass Perks and the like. In fact, here’s the original list of Xbox One games, as we described on the four-year anniversary.
Since that starting point, the service has been transformed. The continued addition of backwards compatible games has expanded the library considerably, not to mention the inclusion of many day one Xbox One and Series X|S releases. At this point, Microsoft’s “100+ games” ad for Game Pass’s value sounds a bit silly; it greatly undermines the library.
Then there’s the big one. In January 2018, Xbox took the gamble of adding all of its first party games to its library on day one. That started with Sea of Thieves on March 20, 2018, and for our money, it was the biggest step of the Game Pass revolution yet. Exclusive on day one, Game Pass turned into an essential service for the Xbox gamer, rather than an optional extra for the most engaged users.