On August 15, 2023, Microsoft will officially end its Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family preview program. The company announced that it will evaluate the insights gleaned from the program over the past few months and use these findings to develop a new, global offering.
The Xbox Game Pass Friends and Family tier was revealed in September 2022, with trials first released in Ireland and Colombia. It enabled a single primary account holder to share Game Pass Ultimate benefits with up to four group members, which could include both friends and family. The primary account holder was responsible for subscription fees, and group members could access all Game Pass Ultimate games, content, and benefits with their personal Xbox profiles. The only requirement was that all group participants had to be residents of the same country.
What This Means for Subscribers
Starting from July 14, 2023, existing Primary and Secondary members will receive emails outlining these changes. Beginning July 17, primary account holders will be unable to add new members to their shared membership.
By August 15, all existing memberships will end, and the Xbox Game Pass Friends & Family program will cease to be available. To thank participants for their involvement in the program, Microsoft will distribute Xbox Game Pass Ultimate codes based on the remaining subscription time of each primary account holder. The codes will be redeemable via the Xbox account associated with the current Friends & Family membership.
Participants with less than a month remaining will receive 3 months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate. Those with 1-2 months left will receive 6 months, 2-5 months will translate to a year, 5-10 months to 2 years, and more than 10 months will yield a whopping 36 months.
There has been a mixed response to the news on social media platforms such as Twitter.
User Dave Slye (@Spitfire_Spud), expressed disappointment, saying “Well it was fun while it lasted,” while showing appreciation for the 3 Month Xbox Game Pass Ultimate Subscription for members of his Friends & Family group.
Darren Blake (@blakey_nz) shared this sentiment, commenting that while he was disappointed to see the program end, he was pleased that his 3 kids and their friend would each receive 24 months of Game Pass Ultimate.
Some users also showed confusion about the changes, with Pat Christopher III (@PatChristophe18) inquiring about the availability of the Game Pass Ultimate on his Xbox series x console.
Despite this, Microsoft is optimistic about the future of the service. They have expressed their gratitude to the community for their participation in the preview program, and assure users they are committed to investigating how to develop an offering they can launch worldwide.