Upcoming Game Pass List

A few weeks ago, Microsoft had a presentation regarding some of the upcoming Game Pass titles. As someone who ended up purchasing 12 months ahead at a steep discount – not quite the $1 deal, but way below market – this is relevant to my interests.

  • Grounded (full release)
  • Persona 3 & 4 & 5
  • Slime Rancher 2
  • ARK 2
  • Diablo 4
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2
  • Starfield

Only typing out the ones that interest me makes it seem… well, not as many.

Nevertheless, I continue to appreciate Game Pass insofar as it removes any convoluted parsimony when it comes to titles large or small. For example, I had Hardspace: Shipbreaker on my radar for a while. No dilemma about whether to have bought it for cheaper in Early Access – been playing it for hours for free*. Same with Grounded, which is a survival crafting game right in my wheelhouse. Then you got the larger titles like Starfield, STALKER 2, and Diablo 4. The latter of which was surprising until, oh yeah, Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard.

Not saying Game Pass is worth subscribing for everyone. I have literally 22 games installed right now though, not counting what I’ve played this year or the larger titles I know I don’t have time for.

But you know what? Let’s make that list. Here is what I have installed:

  • Citizen Sleeper
  • Death’s Door
  • Dreamscaper
  • Eiyuden Chronical: Rising
  • FAR: Changing Tides
  • Firewatch
  • Grounded
  • Hardspace: Shipbreaker
  • Infernax
  • Loot River
  • Nobody Saves the World
  • Octopath Traveler
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps
  • Sable
  • Skul: the Hero Slayer
  • Solasta: Crown of the Magister
  • Superliminal
  • Turnip Boy Commits Tax Evasion
  • Unpacking
  • Unsighted
  • Vampire Survivors
  • We Happy Few

I have only played the ones underlined. There’s a risk of leaving so many unplayed in that games frequently leave the service, unlikely to return. At the same time, there are only so many hours in the day. Plus, if I wanted to play something, would I really have let it sit on my hard drive for months?

…Yeah, actually, my preferences are whimsey-based more than anything. Whatever. I’m working on it.

Posted on June 22, 2022, in Commentary and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Diablo 4 took me a moment to process, too. I’ve gone in for Game Pass only once ever (to play The Outer Worlds for a buck) but this would be a big draw, although the ethics of throwing any cash at Blizzard remain murky for me even post-acquisition.

    The Persona games are also exactly the kind of titles I’d be unlikely to buy, but would probably at least try guilt-free for a little while to see whether they grab me. They’re so different, aesthetically and mechanically, from my usual fare.

    I guess that’s how the Game Pass makes sense. It’s a way for Microsoft to realise expected value. Our error is thinking of ourselves as wilful consumers (rookie mistake under capitalism) instead of as respirating bundles of game purchase futures.

    If the chance in any given month that I’ll pull the trigger and buy Persona 5 at nominal price is, say, 2%, then the monthly expected value of me ($60 price tag and zero marginal cost) is $1.20. If, in addition, the monthly chance for Diablo 4 is 10%, then add another $6, and so on, with the long tail filling out and exceeding the rest of the monthly price of the Pass.

    They’re selling me at $10 but the next month when my EV has plummeted because I’m busy gaming, they’re selling me at $10 again. And time is on their side. My annual chance of actually buying P5 would otherwise be only about 21% (1−(1−0.02)^12) if the monthly odds don’t change.

    Back in March, Phil Spencer claimed something interesting: after joining Pass, the average member plays 30% more genres and plays 40% more games, with a majority of those games being outside of Game Pass. Bake that exposure-leverage on smaller developers into my value, and the math begins to gel.


    • It will definitely be interesting to see if Game Pass is actually a Loss Leader, such as with the Epic Store giveaways, or if it is actually more profitable than expected overall. I cannot imagine actually buying games off of the Microsoft Store as opposed to other storefronts, but clearly getting people through the door alone is worth X amount.


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