Microsoft is bringing the all-you-can-play subscription service Xbox Game Pass to Windows PC as part of its continuing effort to build out its long-dormant support of gaming on computers, Phil Spencer, vice president gaming at Microsoft announced in a blog post Thursday.
The service will give PC players unlimited access to a curated library of over 100 PC games on Windows 10, from a list of developers and publishers that includes Bethesda, Deep Silver, Devolver Digital, Paradox Interactive, and SEGA. The intent will be to deliver those games on the same day as their global release for sale.
Spencer wrote that they’re working with more than 75 developers and publishers to bring PC content to the service and we’ll ensure the library remains curated and full of great PC titles across a variety of genres, with new games added every month.
While the service shares the name and basic premise of its console counterpart, Spencer wrote that it will bring something “new and additive to the PC gaming ecosystem.
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“We designed a service specifically for the needs of PC gamers and PC game developers,” he wrote. “It’s called Xbox Game Pass, just like the original, but it’s a new experience that we are building together with the PC community.”
The PC version of the game pass will also give members discounts of up to 20% on games currently in the library and up to 10% off related game DLC and add-ons.
The company plans to share more details — perhaps including release timing and pricing — at E3 next month.
Spencer also announced that Microsoft is expanding where people will be able to purchase Xbox Game Studio titles.
“Our intent is to make our Xbox Game Studios PC games available in multiple stores, including our own Microsoft Store on Windows, at their launch,” he wrote. “We believe you should have choice in where you buy your PC games.”
The “Halo: The Master Chief Collection” will launch on Steam and the Microsoft Store on Windows later this year, and “Gears of War 5” and “Age of Empires I, II & Definitive editions” will also be available on both stores.
“We know millions of PC gamers trust Steam as a great source to buy PC games and we’ve heard the feedback that PC gamers would like choice,” he wrote. “We also know that there are other stores on PC, and we are working to enable more choice in which store you can find our Xbox Game Studios titles in the future. “
Finally, Spencer wrote that Microsoft is enabling full support for native Win32 games to the Microsoft Store on Windows.
“This will unlock more options for developers and gamers alike, allowing for the customization and control they’ve come to expect from the open Windows gaming ecosystem,” he wrote. “When I think about the role we play as a company to support and evolve gaming on Windows, it’s critical that we make decisions that reinforce the open nature of the PC, focusing on how best to unite players on all devices around the games they love. That philosophy will guide us as we introduce new ways to discover and play games on Windows.”
Microsoft’s evolution of its platform-centric, console-centric gaming to an inclusive philosophy that embraces “gaming anywhere” started in 2018 with Spencer’s gripping keynote at the DICE Summit. Last year’s E3 keynote put action behind those words with Spencer detailing how Microsoft planned to expand its reach by investing in cloud gaming, which would allow people to play anywhere. In the nearly year that followed, Microsoft continued to make headlines with surprise announcements including opening the door for Xbox exclusive “Cuphead” to launch on the Nintendo Switch, expanding where Xbox Live is available and a partnership with Sony that involves cloud-based gaming.
Next month’s E3 is likely to shed light on not just Microsoft’s next range of Xbox consoles, but how all of these initiatives will come together.