2022 is the year I fell in love with Game Pass. As someone who coveted every major release since long before I started writing about games, I just could checking out a slew of hot new games without worrying about the hole it might leave in my wallet is extremely liberating, especially now that buying one big game equates to six months of Game Pass subscription. Seeing something like Darktide or A Plague Tale land on Game Pass is always exciting, and finding a hidden gem while browsing the library is even better. Outside of games I’ve covered professionally, I’ve probably played more games this year through Game Pass than through Steam, what wild.

Yes, ownership issues still gnaw at the back of my mind, though between modern licensing deals and the ephemeral nature of digital distribution, my hold on my game library is already pretty transient. In any case, Game Pass offers fantastic value for money for now. The benefits aren’t exclusive to subscribers either. For developers who offer games or make them active on the service, it can provide welcome financial guarantees (opens in new tab) in a busy and unpredictable market.

(Image credit: Fatshark)

In short, we stand for Game Pass. Still, I also worry about how long the good times will last. In October, it was reported that Game Pass had failed to reach its subscriber count for the second year in a row. It wasn’t a narrow miss either. Microsoft’s forecast annual growth rate for the service was 72.88% as of June 2022. As of that date, the service had grown by just 28.07%. Even worse, the year-over-year growth has actually slowed compared to 2021, when sales grew 37.48%.

Growing pains



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By wy9m6

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